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Council to sell homes earmarked for controversial supported accommodation plans

PUBLISHED: 16:23 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 29 October 2019

Some of the five properties in Cleveland Road, Lowestoft being proposed for a new supported housing scheme. Pictures: Mark Boggis

Some of the five properties in Cleveland Road, Lowestoft being proposed for a new supported housing scheme. Pictures: Mark Boggis

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Council houses which had been earmarked for controverisal supported accommodation plans have now been put on the market to fund new housing.

Some of the five properties in Cleveland Road, Lowestoft being proposed for a new supported housing scheme. Pictures: Mark BoggisSome of the five properties in Cleveland Road, Lowestoft being proposed for a new supported housing scheme. Pictures: Mark Boggis

Three six-bedroom Cleveland Road homes have been put up for sale by East Suffolk Council after standing empty for a number of years.

Earlier this year, councillors rejected a plan, submitted by ESC to be managed by MAVAM, to transform five properties on the street into supported housing.

The plans were met with widespread opposition from nearby residents, with 60 letters of objection submitted raising concerns around parking, the impact on the conservation area and fears of an increase in anti-social behaviour and crime.

Now, the council will look to sell three of the properties, citing low demand for homes of this size from families on the housing register, with hopes the sale will combat their deterioration and anti-social behaviour, including vandalism, fly-tipping and squatting.

Only one of the council's Cleveland Road properties is currently occupied.

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Proceeds from selling the properties will be reinvested into more suitable, affordable housing in Lowestoft.

Councillor Richard Kerry, East Suffolk's cabinet member for housing, said: "Increasing housing provision for people in housing need and reducing the number of long-term empty homes are both key ambitions for the council.

"By developing new sites and refurbishing older, empty properties, we are working to increase the amount of homes available.

"We have considered many options for the properties at Cleveland Road. However, there is very little local demand for such large properties from those on our housing register and, as we are unable to remodel these due to planning policy, the most sensible option is to make them available for private sale.

"Proceeds from the sales will be reinvested into the development of new and more suitable affordable housing, which will better suit the needs of our tenants now and in the future."

The council's cabinet have approved the sale of all five properties, allowing the sale of the occupied property when it becomes vacant in the future.

The homes are unable to be converted into flats as they are within the flat saturation zone.

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