Council scheme to boost housing growth

Telford & Wrekin Council is to boost the level of housing growth in the borough by developing stalled sites in a number of locations.

Council scheme to boost housing growth

The Council will set up a company to oversee a major housing and commercial building programme aimed at stimulating economic growth and regeneration.

The Council will use rental income from the private housing and retail developments to protect essential frontline services as it strives to offset the effects of government grant cuts.

The programme will see around 425 homes and apartments built at a range of brownfield sites across the borough. These will then be rented at a market rent to generate income for the Council with circa 20 per cent of the homes being affordable rent.

At a meeting on 8 January, the Council’s cabinet is being asked to rubber stamp the formation of an external company to focus on the development of the sites.

The company will essentially act as a residential landlord overseeing the homes that are built and managing them going forward. The commercial properties will be incorporated into the Council’s already established Property Investment Portfolio, adding to the 600 properties already held to continue to deliver income for the Council which will be used to fund frontline services.

The housing and investment programme will regenerate sites which are owned by the Council. It will also create a number of jobs during the construction and operational phase.

The sites that have been identified for development, subject to associated approvals are as follows:

• Southwater apartments with associated car parking and ground floor retail units
• Hollinswood housing with a mix of market rent and affordable rent homes
• Randlay Lorry Park with market rent homes
• Former Woodlands Primary School, Woodside with market rent homes
• Madeley Court with a mixed use development of market rent homes and retail
• Springfields, Newport with affordable rent homes
• Matlock Avenue, Malinslee with market rent homes
• Wildwood, Woodside with affordable rent homes

The report going to the council’s cabinet is a follow up to a decision taken in July 2014 to set the company up.

Councillor Bill McClements, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Enterprise, said: “This scheme will deliver high quality private rental and affordable rental homes in response to the borough’s projected housing needs.

“It is a major programme that will deliver jobs in retail and construction and generate income to boost the borough’s economy.

“This is a very forward thinking approach to income generation and economic regeneration and demonstrates that we are committed in a big way to innovative commercial activities.”

Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for Employment and Skills, said: “This is about job creation and growth as much as it is about regeneration and responding to housing needs.

“I am delighted that we are in a position to combine both and create employment through the development of previously redundant council sites.

“We are committed to encouraging as many people into new and better employment as possible and this is a clear demonstration of that.”