£12m boost for revamp of Norwich’s Anglia Square and £9.9m injection for 5,000 home scheme at Thetford
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
£12m of government funding will be released in a bid to help unlock development of more than 1,000 homes at Anglia Square.
A total of 133 council-led projects across the country have today been selected as winning bids for a share of £866m government cash from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
Last November Chancellor Philip Hammond added £2.7bn to the pot of the money, bringing it up to a total of £5bn.
Norwich City Council lodged two bids with the scheme, seeking a £20m investment from Government to bring forward the redevelopment of Anglia Square and the Deal Ground.
In 2013, Serruys Property Company was given outline permission for up to 670 homes at the Deal Ground site, but work has yet to start on the £110m scheme.
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The site is the biggest undeveloped brownfield site in the city and the council had hoped if the access roads to the site can be sorted, then the developer will be able to get on and build the homes.
But the Deal Ground was not selected as one of the winning bids, announced this morning, while £12,226,223 has been allocated to help delivery of social housing at Anglia Square.
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Weston Homes and Columbia Threadneedle have been drawing up plans which would see a revamp and up to 1,350 homes.
However, the city council is keen that a percentage of those homes are social housing and hopes that will become viable with the aid of the cash injection.
At the time of the bid, Norwich City Council leader Alan Waters said: 'We want to see that area regenerated. People must be fed up looking at what is, in parts, a derelict site.
'But to get it moving, the Homes Infrastructure Fund money is really important in terms of the scheme's viability, but also in getting some council housing as part of the development.
'Given the scale of the site and the opportunities there, it would be transformational and help with the housing growth that we need.'
The money will help to cover the demolition of the existing buildings at Anglia Square and the redevelopment, which the city council hopes will make it more viable for the developers to provide affordable homes.
And there is also a huge boost for the Thetford Sustainable Urban Expension (SUE). Breckland Council has been handed £9.9m towards the upfront reinforcement of power supplies and drinkable water for the 771 hectare development.
The plan includes 5,000 new homes to the north of the town, along with three primary schools, employment land, commercial centres and new road junctions.
South Norfolk Council has also been successful with a bid to the fund. The council has been awarded £5.5m to unlock development on land to the south of the A11 at Cringleford.
The idea is that, by getting the road infrastructure in place it will enable earlier sale of small parcels of land to small and medium developers.
That will enable homes to be built, close to the likes of Norwich Research Park, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The government says the money will help to accelerate the development there by at least 18 months.
Housing secretary Sajid Javid said: 'Our priority is building the homes this country desperately needs.
'This first wave of investment totalling £866m will help get up to 200,000 homes off the ground, making a huge difference to communities across the country.
'This is just one of the many ways this government is taking action to get Britain building homes again.'