Bid to build 250 council homes in Norwich within four years

City Council leader Brenda Arthur fixes the timber frame sole plates on the first council homes to b

City Council leader Brenda Arthur fixes the timber frame sole plates on the first council homes to be built in Norwich for over 20 years, which are being built at Pointers Field. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A target to get 250 new council homes built in Norwich within four years is on track, according to council leaders.

Norwich City Council this week unveiled a £13m vision for just over a hundred new homes at the site of Greyhound Opening, off Goldsmith Street - of which at least 60pc will be council homes.

The Labour administration at City Hall last year set itself the target to get 250 council homes built in the city by 2018 and, earlier this year, work started on the first seven council homes to be constructed in Norwich for more than two decades.

Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur said she was confident the target would be met.

She said: 'I am confident it will happen. We have made a commitment to build 250 homes in the city by 2018 and Goldsmith Street will take us a significant way to achieving our target.

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'We have further homes planned at Threescore, Brazengate, Hansard Close and Riley Close, as well as Pointers Field, which is almost complete. We are currently assessing further sites, which will be reported on at October's cabinet meeting.

'With growing waiting lists for council homes and so many people priced out of the market, more new homes are vitally needed for the city across all tenures, not just to put a roof over people's heads, but to create and safeguard local jobs, as well as strengthening the local economy.'

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At a recent city council meeting, the ambitions of the administration over housing were called into question by the opposition Green group.

Andrew Boswell, Green leader, questioned why the council had not submitted a bid for a share of some £300m extra borrowing the government had made available to help build homes.

Ms Arthur said officers had looked into submitting a bid, but concluded it was not financially viable under the government guidelines. But she said a second funding round could present another opportunity, if the guidelines are altered.

• Do you think the city needs more council homes? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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