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A dozen new council homes agreed

Part of the council's commitment to deliver up to 350 new affordable homes over the next five years

Date issued: 10 January 2020

Twelve new council houses were given the green light by Colchester Borough Council last night (Thursday) forming part of the authority’s commitment to delivering up to 350 new affordable homes over the next five years.

A meeting of the council’s Planning Committee backed applications made on behalf of the council by Colchester Amphora Homes Ltd (CAHL) and Colchester Borough Homes - the council’s housing development company and housing management company.

12 two-bedroomed flats will now be developed on two former garage sites in Buffett Way and Scarfe Way. Both sites will be affordable homes for rent by local people, built to make better use of land. Any garages currently on the sites will be demolished.

These developments form part of the second phase of the council using former garage sites to help provide much-needed housing. In phase one 34 homes were built and further sites are being looked at to provide more much-needed homes.

These dozen new affordable homes follow the agreement of eight homes to be developed through CAHL for Military Road at the end of last year, as well as two affordable homes that will be owned by the council as part of the first mixed-tenure housing development being undertaken by CAHL in Creffield Road.

All of the 350 new affordable homes being delivered by the end of 2024 will be owned by Colchester Borough Council and managed by Colchester Borough Homes to help house some of the nearly 3,000 people on the council’s housing register.

Among the other steps being taken to achieve this aim are:

  • CAHL delivering 30% (over 120 homes) new affordable homes as part of larger mixed-tenure developments across sites at Creffield Road, Mill Road and St Runwald Street 
  • bringing forward a third phase of developments on former garage sites later this year
  • re-developing and modernising the sheltered housing site at Elfreda House
  • purchasing former council homes that have been sold and homes that are on the open market

In total, borrowing of up to £75 million over five years has been agreed to support the delivery of these much-needed homes. This would then be recouped over a longer period through the additional rental incomes received. This was made possible by the Government scrapping its one per cent rent reduction which has been in place since 2015, as well as removing a previously imposed “debt cap” so that councils can once again borrow funds to build affordable homes. 

Councillor Adam Fox, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “While this is a vibrant and prosperous borough there are still pockets of deprivation and many people needing our help and support.

“This is clearly highlighted in the demand for affordable homes in the borough and we are committed to providing the much-needed council homes.

“While these developments may appear to be small steps, they are part of a much bigger package we are working on in partnership with Colchester Amphora Homes Ltd, Colchester Borough Homes and others to deliver the homes our residents need and want.”

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