Building work to start on Norwich’s first new council homes for more than 20 years

Gwyn Jones and Bert Bremner at the Three Score development site at Bowthorpe.; Photo: Bill Smith Gwyn Jones and Bert Bremner at the Three Score development site at Bowthorpe.; Photo: Bill Smith

Monday, February 17, 2014
9:22 AM

Construction will start today on the first new council houses to be built in Norwich for more than two decades, while City Hall leaders have revealed they will spend £13.2m on almost 150 further homes.

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New council home building to begin at Pointers FieldNew council home building to begin at Pointers Field

When the builders start work on eight flats in Catton Grove, it will mark the first time new council homes have been built in the city since 1992.

The council is spending £700,000 on the one-bedroom flats in Pointer’s Field, near Sleaford Green. It aims to have them finished and ready to let to people on the city’s social housing waiting list by May.

A further four, two-bedroom properties will be available to buy on a shared ownership basis through Orwell Housing Association, which is working in partnership with the city council to deliver the scheme.

A new concept known as ‘self-build’ is being piloted in Norwich for the first time in the building of the shared ownership homes – with the houses built to 90pc completion.

Council gives go-ahead for building to start at Three ScoreCouncil gives go-ahead for building to start at Three Score

The buyer is then given a range of options for finishing the build themselves or buying in building services from the main contractor.

The city council has committed to building 250 new homes over the next five years and council leader Brenda Arthur said today was an “historic occasion”, which she hoped would be “the first of many much needed, affordable council-owned homes for the city”.

And the council’s controlling Labour cabinet has also agreed to spending which will see a start to the long-awaited work on the Three Score site.

The Three Score site is the last remaining piece of land in Bowthorpe not yet developed under a plan forged for the area in the 1970s.

The 79-acre site will eventually include 1,000 homes, a care home and community facilities. The spine road through the estate has been mapped out, while this week will see work to cut back trees before the bird nesting season begins.

The council’s cabinet recently met behind closed doors to agree to make £13.2m available to design and build the first of the homes at Three Score.

Gwyn Jones, city growth and development manager at the city council, said the first 140 units would be in the north-east corner of the site and would be for a mix of private homes for sale and rent, plus social housing.

She said planning applications would have to be lodged and a construction company appointed to build the homes, but, if it goes ahead, work is likely to start in summer next year and take two years.

As per a partnership agreement with the Homes and Communities Agency, which has provided money to kick-start the Three Score scheme, proceeds from future development of the site will be pumped back into regeneration and housing schemes in Norwich.

Cash generated from the first phase of homes, next to the housing with care scheme which Norsecare intends to start work on in the summer, will be used to recoup the cost of building the road and drainage, including two lagoons, which the site needs.

Mrs Arthur said: “This is an exciting moment, not only for the development at Three Score, but also for the council as a service provider.

“By looking to take on a business model for this development, we hope to create a robust and sustainable means of delivering and funding homes for Norwich well into the future.

“It is also another way in which we can manage our money wisely to reduce the effects of funding cuts on our frontline services.”

Steve Collins, head of area for the HCA, said: “We fully support this move by the council to use remaining funds for the partnership to deliver infrastructure, which will unlock this development site, and their plans to provide private sale and affordable housing directly to the market.”

Are you looking for a new home? Make sure you visit www.homes24.co.uk

35 comments

  • I wonder who these have been earmarked for ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Welcome news but council houses are still being sold at a ratio of 7-1 with Cameron upping the discount to 70%.The misdirected subsidy should stop until councils are able to build at least as many as they are having to sell.The monies provided by the sale should be used to replace the stock on a 1 for 1 basis.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • " same old story " ......it certainly is on here .

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • My Polish friend said, thanks do budowy domów dla nas, thanks , thanks

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • @V - "As for GoneAway, must be a council jobsworth do gooder !" I'm not entirely sure what one of those is, but I'm reasonably sure I've never been one. As you're so keen on perusing other peoples' details, and deciding what's good for them, perhaps you could publicly publish yours? Only fair, after all. If the majority of posters here are representative of those remaining in Norfolk, I'm glad I left. Here on the continent, looking over the channel, the UK seems a surprisingly small and increasingly insignificant place. Wonder why?

    Report this comment

    GoneAway

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Council houses should never had been sold, one of the reasons we have a housing crisis. davidbrian56 looks like the only one to talk any sense

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Blister I think you are right. My brother lives near a new development of reasonably expensive houses (£250k plus) that also included some social housing. The people in the social have been nothing but trouble from day one. You would expect the authorities would offer these to people who have a good record as council tenants but I'm afraid they don't. Anyone buying in a new development which includes social housing should beware.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Why flats and not houses? It would be o.k. if they were for NorwichNorfolk folk, but, we all know differently.

    Report this comment

    Lynda

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • "We don't need them" says PaulH I think "we" should read "I"! you wouldn't be one of the 1,730 tenants in Norwich now deemed to be under-occupying, and needing one bed accommodation then Paul?

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • "....My Polish friend ..." . Judging by the amount of time you spend trolling on here under a variety of names i would be surprised if you had any friends at all.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Looks a bit near the river. Is it a flood plain.?

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • My Polish friend said, thanks do budowy domów dla nas, thanks , thanks

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Strange never happened under a Labour government. So if you want council houses vote Tory.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • you only have to read the freedom of information requests on who gets a council house to know that 20 per cent of new lets are going to people from outside the uk. As for norwich city council they have never released their figures on who is housed . Wonder WHY

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • These are flats not houses We don't need them in Catton Grove..Council dwellings keep them in power.Filling them with you've got it

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • @milecross - then what? A witch-hunt? Yay! Out with the pitchforks!

    Report this comment

    GoneAway

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • if the ignorant people on here would look at housing law (not local policy) then they would see that these properties are not earmarked for anyone other than those in need. it would be wonderful if they weren't sold to tenants, good old 'right to buy' as these are then sold off and become 'buy to let' .Therefore a further drain on housing benefit to line rich tory supporters pockets. Why do people think that european immigrants, allowed here by eu law, signed and supported by maggie t, are taking all the properties? They do all the work lazy brits don't want to do, pay taxes, pay rent, support local communities.... Get real folk.

    Report this comment

    davidbrian56

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Looks very close to the River.

    Report this comment

    CllrJohnCowan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I was brought up on a council estate and 30 years ago tenants looked after them and were grateful for the accommodation, sadly most people I know who live near social housing say that any communal facilities are wrecked within weeks of tenants moving in and the house and flats look like slums within months

    Report this comment

    blister

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • So the Labpour administration and City Hall officers have failed to build public housing for 20 years? But they run the largest council housing stock in East Anglia, what did they do for twenty years? and why build on a flood plain, a river valley? will these houses be off the ground?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

  • What a total waste of tax payers money

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • British homes for British workers - those were the days. Probably won't see them again in my lifetime. DB56 sounds like he's just come out of the BBC's Question time.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • @V - "As for GoneAway, must be a council jobsworth do gooder !" I'm not entirely sure what one of those is, but I'm reasonably sure I've never been one. As you're so keen on perusing other peoples' details, and deciding what's good for them, perhaps you could publicly publish yours? Only fair, after all. If the majority of posters here are representative of those remaining in Norfolk, I'm glad I left. Here on the continent, looking over the channel, the UK seems a surprisingly small and increasingly insignificant place. Wonder why?

    Report this comment

    GoneAway

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • ingo wagenknech--- they were not allowed to

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

  • And shame on NuLabour for not building any in Norwich in 13 years! Presumably migrants get as much priority as local families nowadays?

    Report this comment

    marty r

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • My Polish friend said, thanks do budowy domów dla nas, thanks , thanks

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • These are local houses for local people. There is nothing for you here.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Council houses should never had been sold, one of the reasons we have a housing crisis. davidbrian56 looks like the only one to talk any sense

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Rorping. Why then, in Yarmouth are all foreigners shunted to the front of the housing list, as being "in need" and why has Yarmouth Borough council now stopped putting people on, and abolished, the waiting list and made it "for people most in need" ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Another ghetto in the making !!!!

    Report this comment

    London in Norfolk

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Eight flats? Gosh. Slap my flippers! Wht an achievement. They'll be collecting in the millions in unpaid service charges next.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • how can pointing out norwich city labour councils continued descrimination of local people in housing be a witch hunt . Local people need to be put first in housing and its certainly not happening under labour

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • 'Blister' , that is life today,no respect for others or property and no pride in ones self.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Morning Larson. I was beginning to think your computer had packed up !. I agree milecross, seeing as Council house tennants are "guests" of the taxpayers in these houses. Lets see who is in these houses, and how many local people are in. As for GoneAway, must be a council jobsworth do gooder !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • same old story from norwich city labour council . No promise at all that local people will get these new council places . The people of norfolk should be allowed to see housing lists in norfolk to see who is housed and where they come from

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Monday, February 17, 2014

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