Great Yarmouth set to build first council houses in 20 years

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is set to build its first homes for 20 years, five of which will be a

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is set to build its first homes for 20 years, five of which will be at Charles Close, Caister. - Credit: Archant

The first new council homes in the Great Yarmouth borough for 20 years are set to be built after a £1m scheme was approved last night.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's planning committee gave the go-ahead to proposals to build a total of 10 much-needed homes as in-fill developments across two sites on existing council housing estates.

The plans were submitted by the Great Yarmouth Development Company, a joint venture between Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council.

Great Yarmouth Community Housing – the borough council's housing department – has about 6,000 homes across the borough, and the new homes will help to meet continuing high demand.

All new social housing in Great Yarmouth in the last 20 years has been developed by housing associations.

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The new council homes have been made possible thanks to a change in the council house funding system which came into effect in April. It meant the council could move from a national subsidy system, where Great Yarmouth effectively lost some income from tenants' rents to other councils, to a new self-financing system where the council can keep and re-invest all rent income.

Cllr Penny Linden, cabinet member for communities, said: 'I am delighted we are now able to build these new homes, the first in the borough for about 20 years, which demonstrates the council's commitment to meeting the housing challenge for our residents.

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'There is a huge need within the borough but the nature of the borough means that we haven't got huge amounts of suitable land in order to expand housing, so this is about making the best use of the land we've got.'

The approved developments are at Grove Close, Martham, where the council's scheme comprises sheltered housing for older people, as well as two two-bedroom bungalows and a one bedroom bungalow suitable for people with disabilities.

The second is at Charles Close, Caister, where there will be two two-bedroom houses and three one-bedroom bungalows.

The two schemes were allocated funding by the council last year, with funding coming from tenants' rents and income from homes sold under the Right to Buy scheme.

There is also funding from developer's contributions and money from the new homes bonus, which is a grant paid by Government to councils for increasing the number of homes and their use.

Construction of both schemes will start in the autumn, with the first homes available to let by April next year through the normal housing options system.

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