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Concerns over possibility of around 100 new homes being built in small Flintshire village

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of around 100 new homes being built in a small village in Flintshire.

A housing company has recently completed a consultation on proposals to develop land in New Brighton, near Mold.

Stewart Milne Homes wants to create a mixture of two to five-bedroom properties in an area south of New Brighton Road.

However, residents living nearby believe the scheme for 97 properties would increase the village’s population by up to a third.

They also claim the field where the houses would be located is prone to flooding, which has led to sewage leaking onto a residential street on 19 occasions in the last eleven years.

A spokesman for the New Brighton Residents Group, which is campaigning against the scheme, said: “We’re a small community and we don’t have many real amenities.

“We don’t have a shop or a post office and we only have one hotel.

“The field is renowned for flooding because underneath is clay and clay does not allow water to naturally run off.

“When we have heavy rain, as we did about two weeks ago, the water gets into the foul drains and causes them to overflow, resulting in raw sewage spilling out onto the road.

“If they build more houses on this field, it’s already known that will increase surface water run-off.”

The group is planning to hold a meeting to discuss the proposals on Friday starting at 7pm at New Brighton Community Centre.

Stewart Milne Homes has been approached for comment about the group’s concerns.

In a flood consequence assessment accompanying the consultation, civil engineers acting on the firm’s behalf said they believed the site was at low risk of flooding.

They said: “The site, following mitigation of surface water flooding, can be considered to be at low risk of flooding from all sources.

“There is no requirement to impose planning conditions on the development to ensure no additional risk to life and minimal damage and disruption to people and property and the natural environment.

“The proposed drainage strategy adopts the principles of the national tandards and implements the sustainable drainage systems in accordance with the manual guidance.”
They added that the homes would be designed to meet the area’s needs.

Formal plans are likely to be submitted to Flintshire Council at a later date.

By Liam Randall

Source: Deeside

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Aberdeen progresses plans for 2,000 new council homes with approval of housing budget

Proposals to create new council housing on sites at Summerhill, Kincorth, Torry, Dyce and Greenferns are among those to have moved forward as part of ambitious plans to significantly increase the supply of social housing in Aberdeen.

The plans were at the heart of the Housing Revenue Account budget agreed by elected members at a meeting of full council yesterday.

The budget is funded by the income from council house rents and associated fees and charges. Priorities for revenue and capital spending were set, with a £40 million programme of upgrades to existing council properties also approved.

As part of the 2019/20 budget a 4.3% rise in council rents was agreed.

This will support investment in upgrades to properties, with the programme for the year ahead including more than £5m to be spent on window replacements, £4.5m on renewing heating systems and £2.75 million on improving insulation. Millions more will be invested in areas including lift replacements, modernising bathrooms and kitchens, electrical improvements and enhanced safety measures.

Aberdeen City Council co-leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “Our work in housing is one of the most important aspects of the service we provide to the people of Aberdeen and the 2019/20 HRA budget supports the continuation of the vital work that we are doing in creating new homes and improving the existing residential estate.

“Housing, both in terms of quality and quantity, is fundamental to our vision for Aberdeen and a place where everyone can prosper. With that in mind, we are moving forward with incredibly ambitious plans to create 2,000 new council homes in the city and I am delighted we have taken the decisions that will accelerate the pace of that programme.

“In the past year we have marked the completion of the £13m development at Smithfield, bringing 99 new homes, and nearby at Manor Walk a further £13m is being invested to create 80 new council homes. The 2019/20 budget we have brought forward creates the next wave of council house construction in Aberdeen, on a level not seen in more than half a century.”

The budget includes approving the award of the contract for the development of 369 homes at Summerhill. The same model will be used to create a total of 389 units on sites at Craighill, Kincorth and Tillydrone. Progress will also be made with plans for two areas of land at Greenferns, with 350 homes earmarked for one of those sites.

The council is also working with private developers and landowners to lay the foundations for partnership working to deliver additional council houses and the 2019/20 budget outlines four private developments, with the potential for 680 homes, that have emerged through that innovative process. The first of those, the First Endeavour LLP development at Dyce Wellheads, will progress to contract award.

Co-leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden said: “Innovation runs through the council’s approach, with a major change in the way we deliver services and projects. Housing is no different and the partnerships we are building with the private sector will enable us to accelerate the housebuilding programme.

“Housing has been a challenge in the Aberdeen area for a generation and Aberdeen City Council is taking positive strides towards long term solutions to the supply issues, with a focus on the quality of provision as well as quantity.”

The council recently adopted an updated buyback policy, with the purchase of former council homes to return to the rental stock part of the wide-ranging housing strategy.

Source: Scottish Construction News

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Another decade of declining housebuilding for UK

Figures released by think tank, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) show the present decade will be the worst for UK housebuilding since the Second World War. With one year to go the CPS predicts average annual house building in the 2010s will be around 130k per annum.

House building over the last 50 years has followed a declining trend (where the figures below refer the annual average over each decade):

  • 1960s – 300,000
  • 1970s – 260,000
  • 1980s – 175,000
  • 1990s – 150,000
  • 2000s – 147,000
  • 2010s – 130,000

Between January 2010 and June 2018 England built a total of 1,089,190 homes – around 253,700 lower than that achieved in the 2000s. To match the 1.34m recorded in the 2000s, house building would need to accelerate to a level not seen since 1977. The same trend has been identified for both Great Britain and the UK.

Because these figures do not take into account building conversions for home ownership, it cannot be directly compared to the government’s broad aim to deliver 300,000 homes a year. But the CPS believes even with this factored in the figures for the current decade are lower than the 2000s.

The figures become even more alarming once the growth in population is taken into consideration. In the 1960s there was one home built for every 14 people in England, in the 2010s that figure is now down to one new home for every 43 people.

A report published today by an independent commission led by housing charity Shelter Building for our future: a vision for social housing has said 3.1 million homes will be needed over the next 20 years to help solve the housing crisis.

Source: Environment Analyst

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House Building Rate Hits a Decade-high

Official figures reveal that the house building rate hit a decade-high in 2017, prompting the Government to declare that it is on track to achieve its goal of delivering 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

The data indicates that 222,190 new homes were built during last year, the highest level since the 2007/2008 peak and an increase of 2% annually.

The additions consist of 195,290 new builds, 29,720 change of use properties, 4,550 conversions, and 680 other property gains. The total gains were offset by 8,050 demolitions.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said that the figures are encouraging and confirm another annual increase in the number of new properties delivered, but the government is determined to do more to ensure that needed homes are delivered.

The Housing Secretary said that this is why an ambitious target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020’s has been set, This includes changing the planning rules, investing over £44bn, and eliminating the borrowing cap so councils can produce more homes.

The yearly supply growth rate remains down compared to 2016/2017, when supply was up by 15% and has slowed to its lowest total since 2013/2014 when a boost of 10% was recorded.

Naismiths managing director Blane Perrotton said that since Brexit made UK construction hesitate, housebuilders have prided themselves on keeping things running at home.

He pointed out that as other sectors slowed down, housebuilders remained busy during the housing crisis. The confirmation that the house building rate in 2017-18 saw more completions than at any other point in the decade was prideworthy for a sector that responded energetically to increased demand.

Mr. Perrotton did indicate that the speed of growth has fallen from 25% in 2014-15 to only 2% last year. He blamed weaker demand and reduced developer confidence since Brexit.

Knight Frank head of UK residential research Grainne Gilmore said that net additions remain approximately 26% lower than the 300,000 annual target set by the Government.

The number of Energy Performance Certificates issued to new homes is indicative of a sustained increase in activity, but other data that collects information on new properties being commenced on site show moderate activity,

There is also a challenge for London policymakers, with net additions in the city sinking by 20% over the year.

Home Builders Federation executive chairman Stewart Baseley said that while wider economic uncertainty has slowed down the second-hand market, the presence of Help to Buy to enable first-time buyers to buy newly constructed homes have motivated builders to invest and increase the house building rate.

Mr. Baseley said that the increases are both providing new homes and boosting the national economy. Thousands of new jobs have been created by house building sites, which have also contributed billions towards improving communities and local infrastructure. He said that the Government still needs to work with the housing sector to help it deliver more homes if the 300,000 target is to be reached.

Source: CRL

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Ultimate Guide to where new homes will be built across Nottinghamshire

At least 67,500 new homes are planned to be built in the county by 2032, providing homes for around 150,000 people – 10 percent of the current population.

It’s all part of the Government’s ambition, set in 2015, to build one million homes by 2020.

Rushcliffe was given the highest target of all the districts and boroughs in the county, and needs to find land for 13,000 houses over the next few years.

As part of this, it plans to build 3,000 houses at Fairham Pastures – the biggest new development in the county – on land south of Clifton, near the A453.

But all over the area, new estates and housing schemes are planned, from small-scale plots with five houses to massive new ‘garden villages’ around the new HS2 station at Toton.

Gedling Borough Council is well advanced with its target. Almost all of the houses which need to be built before 2028 have already been given permission.

The largest of these is the Chase Farm development on the former Gedling Colliery, where around 1,050 houses will be built.

Councillor Jenny Hollingsworth is the portfolio holder for growth and regeneration at Gedling Borough Council, and represents the Gedling ward for Labour.

She said their plan would “allow us to provide much-needed new homes, encourage economic growth and support regeneration”.

The total each area has to built is specified in a complex legal document called a Local Plan, which has to be approved by the Government.

The Gedling Local Plan was formally approved in the last few weeks.

Councillor Hollingsworth said: “The Local Planning Document addresses the key planning issues in Gedling borough and sets out a clear and locally distinctive vision for the future development of the borough.

“Thanks must go to our planning policy officers who have worked tirelessly to get this document adopted and to the residents who have had their say on what is, a hugely significant and important document that sets out the future development of the borough.”

Here we’ve outlined the areas in each part of Nottinghamshire where the houses will be built, as well as where the biggest new developments will be.

Some areas already have their local plans in place, while others are still being drawn up.

New homes by Local Authority:

Nottingham City Council: Within the city boundaries there are plans to build 17,150 between 2011 and 2028, and the city council is currently ahead of its target. Several sites are already under construction, including the former Bestwood Day Centre, (50 homes) Woodhouse Park, (241 homes) Chalfont Drive (345 homes) Radford Mill, Ilkeston Road (314 homes) Sandfield Centre, Derby Road (95 houses) Crocus Street, Canal Quarter (300 houses) Trent Lane Basin, Daleside Road (73 houses)

As well as the sites already being built, many more are in the pipeline. Some have already been given planning permission, such as 229 houses on the Forest Mill site, and the former Park Yacht Club site

Others have also been earmarked for development, including around 450 houses on the former Padstow School site. The Island site has also been set aside for development.

Rushcliffe Borough Council has the largest target of the districts and boroughs, of 13,150 by 2028. It originally appealed to the Government to have this number reduced, but was unsuccessful. The Fairham Pastures development will be the largest new development, with 3,000 houses.

As well as this, there are several new developments, outlined below, which were sent to Government for approval in the last few days. Cotgrave : Rear of Mill Lane 180 homes; South of Hollygate Lane 190 homes. East Leake : Land off Rempstone Road (north) 235 homes. Keyworth : Land off Nicker Hill 150 homes; Between Platt Lane and Station Road 190 homes; South of Debdale Lane 190 homes. Radcliffe-on-Trent : Land north of Bingham 150 homes; Shelford Road 400 homes; North of Grantham Road 240 dwellings. Ruddington; West of Wilford Road 130 homes; Opposite Mere Way 170 homes.

Ashfield District Council: There are plans to build 7,211 houses between 2017 and 2032 across Ashfield. The largest new estate it plans to build is known as ‘Mowlands’, which will see up to 1,650 houses built. There is also a plan to build on is the former Rolls Royce site in Hucknall, where 900 houses and a new £3.6 million school will be built. There are also plans for 480 on land south of Broomhill Farm.

Bassetlaw District Council is still in the process of drafting its local plan, so the targets are not yet set in stone. The figure it is currently working towards is 6,525 between 2019 and 2034.

Broxtowe Borough Council : A total of 7,249 new homes could be built across the borough by 2028 – 1,144 of which have already been built. The two largest new schemes will be at Toton and Chetwynd Barracks, where 1,000 houses will be built by 2028, and more are expected on each afterwards. Another 500 will also be built at Bramcote, while Awsworth will see 250, Stapleford 240 and Eastwood 200. The final details of Broxtowe’s Local Plan are not yet finalised though. It has been sent to the Government for final approval.

A spokesman for the council said: “We believe the Local Plan will help to provide Broxtowe with the housing it needs to thrive. We’re always happy to receive new planning applications as part of our commitment to providing a good quality affordable home for all residents of Broxtowe and look forward to the exciting new opportunities over the coming years.”

Gedling Borough Council : A total of 7,250 homes will be built across the borough as part of the council’s plans by 2028, though many of these have already been given planning permission, and some are already being built. These include the Chase Farm development, which will have around 1,050 houses.

Mansfield District Council: A total of 9,024 homes will be built across the district by 2033 – 4,147 of which already have planning permission already. Large developments are expected around the A617 Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route, which will include 1,700 houses and a range of new infrastructure.

Source: West Bridgford Wire

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Figures show not enough homes are being built to meet demand

New figures have revealed not enough new homes are being built to cater for the future needs of Powys.

Research has shown that in the county, around 17,600 new homes will be needed by 2026, which meant 880 would need to be built annually by then.

However, the figures also revealed just 21 per cent of the target annual figure had been built over the last year.

Earlier this year, Powys County Council’s new local development plan had identified land for a range of uses, including housing, commercial and industrial development. Newtown has been highlighted as a key area for housing in the plan.

The Welsh Government has insisted it is investing in housing in the region.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are investing a record £1.7 billion in the housing sector to tackle a range of issues, including building homes and improving existing housing stock. We have abolished Right to Buy, ensuring that when we build new social housing we keep it for those who need it.

“We have recently quadrupled the Wales Property Development fund and launched the Stalled Sites Fund. Together they will provide nearly £430m over the next 17 years to support small and medium sized businesses to develop new homes in areas and sites which are not attractive to the bigger developers.

“We have a commitment to build 20,000 affordable homes this Assembly term and we have also announced an independent review of affordable housing supply to examine whether more can be done to increase supply and maximise resources.”

Source: Shropshire Star

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Housing minister announces £215m to build new homes in Oxfordshire

One hundred thousand new homes are to be built in Oxfordshire by 2031. It’s part of a £215m housing deal announced today.

More than one thousand of these will be affordable housing to help first time buyers.

The remaining government funding will support transport infrastructure – such as bridges, roundabouts and roads – in the county.

It was announced by the Housing Minister, Dominic Raab:

Our priority is to work with councils to build the right homes in the right places that work for everyone.

I am delighted to be here in Oxfordshire today to see first hand how our new funding will help deliver 100,000 homes for the county, not only helping address Oxfordshire’s housing challenges but also providing the kind of transport infrastructure such as roads, bridges and roundabouts which new homes need.

We’re clear the housing market must work for all which is why we have dedicated over a quarter of the £215 million funding directly to affordable housing so working families can get the support they need.”

– DOMINIC RAAB, MINISTER OF STATE FOR HOUSING AND PLANNING

I’m pleased that so many councillors of all parties and from all parts of the county have backed the Deal. It represents a comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing Oxfordshire’s severe housing shortage and infrastructure challenges.

It also demonstrates the Government’s commitment to working with Oxfordshire and recognises the critical role the county will play in driving forward the UK economy post-Brexit, attracting global investment.”

– COUNCILLOR BOB PRICE, CHAIR OF THE OXFORDSHIRE GROWTH BOARD
Source: iTV
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Shropshire Council plans to build and sell houses in bid to plug financial hole

Shropshire Council is planning to build and sell houses to make money as part of its efforts to tackle a financial black hole.

The council is suggesting the measure as one way of dealing with its financial deficit and says that the purchase of Shrewsbury’s shopping centres will also provide an income of £2.7 million in the next financial year.

Other projects the authority hope will raise money include the redevelopment of Shirehall as a ‘public sector hub’, the development of health centres and community hubs, and buying and developing commercial property.

The council also wants to sell its services to external clients, and look at new services it could provide.

These include a new library services initiative called “Fab Reads”, charging for the time of building control team staff, and fees for tree preservation orders.

The proposals will be discussed at Thursday’s Audit Committee meeting.

The move to build and sell houses has been welcomed by the council’s Labour leader Alan Mosley, who described the plan as a “far better” investment than the shopping centres.

He said: “It’s good to see that they’re looking at investing in housing, particularly the rental section, which would be a far better investment than the shopping centres in terms of social value.”

But he criticised proposals to sell some of the council’s services as a risk.

“Shropshire Council is desperate to try and fill the massive black hole in its finances and seeking additional income for services is one way,” Councillor Mosley added.

“However, as has been acknowledged in the financial strategy, there are massive risks in relying on income to fund future service needs.

“This is no way in which councils should be financing the provision of vital and critical resources for residents.”

The council’s commercial strategy, approved by cabinet in March 2017, intends to invest in schemes and projects which can deliver £10m to £15m of new revenue income over a period of five to 10 years with returns of investment exceeding 10 per cent.

A spokeswoman for Shropshire Council said: “As government funding dwindles, choosing where to make savings is getting more and more difficult, especially as demand on the services we provide for our most vulnerable residents increases.

“Our financial strategy sets out a number of savings we propose to make over the next five years in order to balance our (revenue) budget.

“A key part of this is raising income.

“We are continuing to review all of the services we deliver (over 150, across the county) to explore whether they can sell their existing services to external clients and identify any new ones they can provide.”

Source: Shropshire Star

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Plans for 500 new homes at Connaught Barracks in Dover have taken a step forward

Plans to start building 500 new homes at Connaught Barracks in Dover have been boosted, with work expected to begin this year.

Connaught Barracks is a former Ministry of Defence site of 55 hectares acquired by the Homes and Community Agency, now known as Homes England, in 2008.

With a Land Trust owned Napoleonic fort Fort Burgoyne at its core, it is hoped the development will bring a flurry of homes for first time buyers and families to the district.

Work started on the demolition of the buildings in 2016, with outline planning permission obtained for the first 64 homes in July that year.

The demolition work was originally due for completion in spring 2017.

But unknown push-backs meant the demolition phase at the site off Dover Road has only just been completed, almost a year later.

Now, all the old buildings have been knocked down and Homes England has been approaching housing developers ahead of construction.

Bids were received for the first phase of the scheme – the Officers’ Mess – last month.

An artist’s impression

The preferred bidder is expected to be announced soon.

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke was shown around the site by bosses from Homes England on January 19.

He said: “There is so much potential for Connaught Barracks and I’m really excited about what can be achieved.

“I have urged Homes England to use the site to offer quality homes for first time buyers and families.

“I was pleased to see things are progressing. It’s vital the construction of the much needed homes now moves forward swiftly – and that we see work begin this year.

“The people of Dover have waited a long time for this project – now it’s time to deliver.”

Source: Kent Live

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Local councils ‘continue to ignore’ building affordable homes on farmland

Local authorities are continuing to ignore ways to deliver much needed affordable homes for local people across the countryside, according to a rural organisation.

New government data shows that despite a 9% increase in affordable homes built in small rural communities across England, only 51 more than the previous year were built on rural exception sites, farmland not usually granted planning permission but used for affordable housing developments.

The CLA, which represents landowners and farmers, welcomed the overall increase but said local councils across England could use these sites more effectively to help solve the rural housing crisis.

CLA Housing Adviser Matthew O’Connell said housing need is “widespread” throughout rural England.

“The increase in the total number of affordable homes being built is encouraging, however, large discrepancies between local authorities mean that certain councils are doing more than others,” he explained.

‘Missing a trick’

According to the data, Cornwall Council leads the way in number of homes built, whilst other councils lag behind.

Mr O’Connell believes local authorities are “missing a trick” by not using rural exception sites to their full potential.

“Rural exception sites are a key means of providing affordable homes in rural areas where a landowner provides land at below market value to build affordable homes for local people.

“We know that 27% of CLA members want to build affordable housing and many are keen to manage their own affordable properties. To harness this ambition, local councils and housing associations must engage with rural landowners to help bring more sites forward increasing the range of housing options for people in rural areas.

‘Hold the key’

Mr O’Connell added that rural landowners “hold the key” to easing the shortage of rural housing.

“Without challenging a few orthodoxies we are not going to solve the rural housing crisis. New build rented housing, affordable home ownership and affordable rented homes are all crucial to maintaining a living, working countryside,” he said.

To help increase the supply of affordable homes across the countryside the CLA is calling on the Government to formalise the process for landowners to manage affordable homes and implement the Housing White Paper proposals on rural exception sites.

The Housing White Paper proposed to give stronger support for rural exception sites and the role they can play in providing affordable housing for the community, even if this relies on an element of general market housing.

The CLA is also urging the government to exempt properties provided as affordable homes from liability for Inheritance Tax, and exempt the value of land sold for affordable homes from Capital Gains Tax.

Source: Farming UK