Major Norwich housing projects put on hold

Kim BriscoeA �100m project for more than 400 homes in Norwich and plans for the first new council homes to be built in the city for nearly two decades have been put on ice because of the government's ongoing spending review.Kim Briscoe

A �100m project for more than 400 homes in Norwich and plans for the first new council homes to be built in the city for nearly two decades have been put on ice because of the government's ongoing spending review.

Developers behind the planned St Anne's Wharf development between King Street and the River Wensum were hoping to secure a chunk of money to kick-start work on their project on hundreds of new homes.

Meanwhile, a project to build 10 council homes in Bowers Avenue, Mile Cross, and a single home in Stafford Street in the Golden Triangle hangs on Norwich City Council being able to secure more than �630,000 in funding from the government.

The government's plan to find �6.2bn of cuts means the Homes and Communities Agency will now have to make �230m of savings and has put its schemes on hold until later this month.


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Norwich City Council has had its bid approved for almost �570,000 to build the 10 houses in Bowers Avenue and another �65,000 for one house in Stafford Street.

However, the work has not yet been contracted, which means the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has put the money not yet spent from this Local Authority New Build project on hold until Government funding decisions are detailed in the Chancellor's 50-day budget on June 22.

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Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'The HCA is a concern at the moment. We understand that the money is on hold rather than gone away and we are making the case that it needs to be released.

'What's really important is that it's about the creation of homes, jobs and prosperity in the city and we can't afford to put that on hold.'

The HCA, a national housing and regeneration body, also operates a Kickstart Housing Delivery programme, which is targeted at stalled sites to support construction of high quality developments.

City Living Developments, which is behind the St Anne's Wharf project, is bidding for funding as part of the second round of Kickstart, for which there are currently bids totalling �214m.

It wants an undisclosed sum of money so that it can start work on an initial 126 homes, a couple of retail units and a car park.

No one at City Living was available for comment.

But now the HCA says the sum available to fund Kickstart projects will be reduced by �50m. It is not clear how much money remains to be dished out, as some of the projects already have contracts and are mid-funding, but the budget for the second part of Kickstart stood at �110m at the end of March.

Also hoping for money from the Kickstart scheme is a multi-million pound building project in Great Yarmouth.

The Breydon View 111-unit development at Runham Vauxhall, by Norwich-based Heritage Developments had planning permission granted almost four years ago, but the slump in the building trade meant the project stalled.

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