Homes Sweet Homes – Babergh’s multi-million pound investment in social housing
Babergh District Council has secured a deal for 45 new-build homes in Sudbury this month to help low-income house-hunters – part of a multi-million pound investment in council housing across the district.
The 45 apartments, flats and houses on the new Chilton Place development off Waldingfield Road, are part of the council’s ongoing investment in social housing, with 158 ‘affordable homes’ in the pipeline for the district over the next three years. These will either add to Babergh District Council’s housing stock of more than 3,400 council homes, or be made available to buy as shared ownership homes – helping low income house-hunters onto the first rung of the property ladder.
Developer, Anderson Group received planning consent for the Sudbury scheme in July 2018, subject to a S106 agreement – a condition imposed by the local authority requiring the developers to provide a certain number of affordable homes as part of the scheme to help the local community. The first of the properties are due to be ready to move in to by November 2021.
The acquisition, in line with the council’s Homes and Housing strategy that everyone in Babergh should have somewhere affordable to live and call home, is just part of its current investment in social housing for the district. Some 89 properties have been bought or built in the district since 2017 – with a further 158 homes in the pipeline for 2020-2022. Of these 158 homes, 41 will be built on council-owned land, while 117 will be S106 purchases.
Amongst current developments on council-owned land is the transformation of the former Angel Court care home in Hadleigh. Babergh District Council bought the property from Suffolk County Council when the home closed in 2014 in order to transform the site into new homes to help those struggling to find suitable homes in Hadleigh. The 21 new one and two-bedroom flats will all either be homes that are added to the council’s housing stock for social rent; made available for ‘affordable rent’ (in other words below private rental market rates); or to buy as shared ownership homes. The development managed by Iceni Homes and being built by Pentaco Construction, are due for completion in April 2021.
Meanwhile, other S106 purchases across the district include eight homes at nearby King George’s View, Raydon, through developer Landex. Six new council houses already have tenants, while contracts are due for exchange for the two shared ownership homes later this month.
Over at Sproughton, the council is in contract with developer Taylor Wimpey for 29 affordable homes on the Wolsey Grange estate, currently under construction. Due for completion in March 2021, 23 homes will be available for social rent, and six for shared ownership.
The council has also bought eight properties on Marden Homes’ Osier View development in Bears Lane, Lavenham. Tenants have already moved in to two affordable rental homes and sales have been agreed on two shared equity houses – with new home-owners looking forward to collecting their keys later this year. The remaining plots – all destined to be homes for affordable rent – are also due to be ready to move into during autumn.
Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Jan Osborne, said:
“This isn’t just about bricks and mortar – 158 new homes over the next three years means 158 lower income families having somewhere affordable that they are proud to call home. As a local authority we have a responsibility to plan and invest to ensure our communities have the homes they need. I wish all our future tenants and new home-owners across our district, every happiness in their new homes.”