Shropshire Council has announced plans to to build 1,000 new houses, including 400 council homes, over the next five years.
Following decisions made at a full council meeting in February, the authority’s housing company, Cornovii Developments Limited, will have access to a rolling loan facility of £35 million, on top of a £14m loan previously agreed.
The project will run until 2025.
The council also agreed in principle for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), which holds the authority’s 4,100 council homes and is managed by Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing (STaR Housing), to borrow £10m per year over the next five years. This, together with HRA reserves and potential grant funding, amounts to a £75m investment in new housing.
Both companies will provide a mix of housing tenures to help address an unmet housing need in Shropshire. This will include ‘affordable’ rent, low-cost home ownership, private rented, and open market sales.
Development will include homes specifically built for key workers, veterans, older people, those with learning and physical disabilities, and those struggling to afford or buy on the open market.
Shropshire Council said it is focused on integrating health, education, employment, transport, shopping, leisure and amenity needs into any new development.
The authority added that the new homes across the county will help support the local economy, create new jobs and apprenticeships, and generate additional value to reinvest into council services.
Robert Macey, cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said: “A great deal of work has gone into identifying the unmet housing need in Shropshire.
“This unprecedented level of local investment presents us with a unique opportunity to build the quality, reasonably-priced homes that people and their families need, whilst at the same time helping to address many of the other housing challenges facing our county.”
Mark Barrow, executive director of place, said: “This announcement demonstrates our determination to build the homes Shropshire needs.
“Last year, affordable housing accounted for just 14 per cent of overall new builds in the county. Our plans commit the council to delivering 40 per cent affordable housing across the portfolio of our new housing and business plans.”
By Rory Smith
Source: Shropshire Star