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6 November 2018

Fifty-seven new council homes on the agenda

Proposals to build 57 new council homes could get the go ahead at the Housing & New Homes committee next week.

If approved, work will proceed on plans to build 45 homes on the site of the former housing office and adjacent bowls club in Victoria Road, Portslade, and 12 more on a site of under-used garages in Buckley Close, Hove.

The schemes are the latest developments in the council’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme building new rented council homes. So far, we’ve built 173 new homes on empty or under-used council-owned sites across the city, with many more in the pipeline.

The preferred option for Victoria Road (sketch shown right) would provide a mix of one, two and three bedroom flats, alongside two four bedroom maisonettes and four three bedroom houses. Including the car park, bowls club house and bowling greens within the development increases the number of homes in the scheme from 15 to 45, and facilitates building a new bowling green in Victoria Rec for the Portslade Bowls Club and a new sports pavilion for the use of the bowls club and local football clubs.

The proposals for Buckley Close are for 12 one and two-bedroom flats, including one fully wheelchair accessible flat with a level access shower, adjustable kitchen and storage for electric wheelchairs built in. The designs include 11 off-street parking spaces, and one disabled bay.

The committee will also be looking at an update on the wider raft of work being done to deliver new low cost housing across the city, and plans to expand and speed up this work following the government’s recent announcement on lifting the housing borrowing cap.

In addition to the New Homes for Neighbourhood programme, work includes:

  • The Homes for Brighton & Hove partnership with Hyde, aiming to build 1,000 new lower cost homes for rent and sale in the city. Proposals for the first sites are underway in Clarendon Place, Portslade, and two urban fringe sites identified for housing in the City Plan in Coldean Lane and north-west of Whitehawk.
  • The Hidden Homes project refurbishing and converting under-used and unused spaces in our housing buildings into new homes. Nine new homes have been completed so far, with a further six due to be ready this financial year and around 30 more in the pipeline.
  • The Home Purchase Policy, introduced last year, which allows the council to buy back homes sold under the right to buy. Nine homes have been bought back into the council housing stock to date and the Housing & New Homes Committee recently agreed to extend the scheme to include the option of buying affordable housing units supplied as part of new housing developments in the city.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “It’s great to see more new council homes on the way through our New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme. Each site throws up a unique set of challenges and both of these schemes make brilliant use of underused space. I’m particularly pleased that we’ve been able to come up with a scheme at Victoria Road which not only provides 45 new council homes, but also allows us to improve sports facilities for the wider community.

“I’m really proud of all the work we are doing to provide much needed new low cost homes in the city. With so many people on the joint housing register, 2,000 households in temporary accommodation and rising homelessness, it is a key priority for us.

“The lifting of the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap is something we’ve been pushing hard for in Brighton & Hove and we’re keen to make sure it can help us expand and speed up our work to provide new homes.”

The full reports are available in the 14 November 2018 Housing & New Homes committee papers.

For more information about our New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme, visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/nhfn.