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New homes in Flintshire set to bring local job boost

A major recruitment drive has been launched as Flintshire Council and Wates Residential, the council’s housing partner, look to ramp up employment and training across the county.

Wates and the local authority are working in collaboration with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Coleg Cambria, they are inviting local people to express an interest in a range of employment, apprentice and work experience opportunities across all building trades, including window fitting and scaffolding.

The call for candidates comes as Wates Residential North begins building work to create 24 new council homes on the site of the former council depot in Dobshill, some of which will be available through affordable rent with North East Wales Homes.

The latest milestone forms part of Flintshire Council’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Partnership (SHARP) programme, which will see the creation of 500 new homes across Flintshire.

Launched in 2015, SHARP has brought extensive opportunities for on-site training, including Wates’ industry-leading Building Futures programme. Carried out four times across the county, the course has seen local people secure jobs in a range of construction industry trades.

Further opportunities have been created through Flintshire Council’s Communities for Work and Communities for Work Plus programmes, which work with people who face the greatest barriers to becoming employable.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Bernie Attridge, said:

“Working with partners such as Wates, CITB and Coleg Cambria allows us to offer training and apprenticeships which really help our residents and our local economy. 

We need to invest in local people so that they can take advantage of employment opportunities in the area.  I fully support this latest initiative.”

Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director, Wates Construction North, commented:

“Throughout the course of the past four years our team has worked tirelessly to fulfil our commitment to build high quality and affordable new homes, doing so while continually investing our time and resources into employment and training for Flintshire residents.

“The difference that this is making to the lives of local people is fantastic. I myself started my career as an apprentice brickie and I look forward to seeing even more local people join our team and take those exciting first steps in their careers in construction.”

Source: Deeside

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The ambitious plans for 100 homes and primary school to form ‘new gateway’ for Tonbridge

Developers are applying to build 100 homes and a new primary school in a scheme they claim would form a new gateway to Tonbridge.

The ambitious plans have been submitted to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and form part of a longer term aim to develop land along Haysden Lane on the edge of Haysden Country Park.

Developer, Hallam Land Management, wants to build the homes on two fields butting the eastern boundary of the Hayesbrook School on one side and the Judd School’s sports facilities to the other and have put forward two options.

Hallam Land Management have put forward two options - with and without a primary school
Hallam Land Management have put forward two options – with and without a primary school (Image: Kent and Sussex Courier)

One would include 100 homes and a two entry class primary school with access from Lower Haysden Lane while the second shows 125 homes to the south of the site.

Consultants drawing up plans on their behalf say the 10.64 hectares, currently used for pasture, would retain their open feel and houses would be built as a “sustainable extension to Tonbridge.”

The application is made possible after Tonbridge and Malling planners set aside the plot in its 2007 local plan – dubbing it an area “safeguarded” for development and removing it from the Greenbelt. The borough’s new local plan is currently being drawn up and will set planning policy until 2031.

It includes the same piece of land plus a larger area  which has been broadly earmarked for the development of 480 homes – running from Haysden Country Park and the Hayesbrook School down over Lower Haysden Lane to the A21.

Developers claim the development would have an open feel
Developers claim the development would have an open feel (Image: Kent and Sussex Courier)

But the site – just 500 metres from the High Weald’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is bound to prove controversial – pushing the boundaries of the town’s Greenbelt.

In a statement presented to the council,  Hallem Land Management claim homes will be built over less than half of the overall site with recreational spaces preserved and trees and green buffers planted throughout.

Source: Kent Live

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More than 80,000 affordable homes built in Scotland over last decade

The number of affordable homes built in Scotland has increased by a fifth in a year, while more than 80,000 have been completed since 2007.

Scotland’s chief statistician released figures showing 18,182 new houses were finished in the one-year period measured until June, an overall rise of 4%.

Of the total number of new builds, 8,767 are considered affordable, up 21% on the 7,271 completions in the previous year.

There were 5,340 social rented homes delivered, a yearly increase of 864 homes.

In the same period there were 19,903 new houses under construction, a decrease of 1,231 homes (6%) on the 20,534 starts in the previous year.

Private-led starts fell by 1,593 homes (11%), while local authority starts increased by 577 homes (48%), but housing association approvals decreased by 215 (4%).

I am proud that this government has now delivered more than 80,000 affordable homes since 2007

Kevin Stewart, Housing Minister

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Making sure everyone has a safe, warm and affordable home is central to our drive for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.

“That is why I am proud that this government has now delivered more than 80,000 affordable homes since 2007.

“This is a significant achievement – boosting the supply of affordable homes in communities right across the country.

“During the course of this Parliament we are investing more than £3 billion to deliver our target of at least 50,000 affordable, high-quality homes, including 35,000 homes for social rent.

“While we know this is an ambitious target, we have shown we can deliver on housing and we will continue to do so.”

Compared to England, approximately 50% more affordable homes and more than five times as many social rented properties have been built per head of population in Scotland since 2014.

Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “The programme to develop 35,000 new homes for social rent by 2021 is one of the most important projects on the Scottish Government’s agenda.

“The latest figures show that with half the time gone only 11,825 social homes have been completed to date.

“This leaves much of the target on the drawing board and means we will have to see an acceleration in building if the target is to be met.

“The more homes programme is a promise to Scotland that must not be broken.

“It represents the biggest investment in social housing since the 1970s and a chance to begin to restore the foundations of our housing safety net which has been badly damaged by decades of underinvestment.”

Source: Shropshire Star