Council home plan to ‘start small’

SOUTH Holland District Council is to “start small” with a programme of building new houses.

It is hoped that progress will be made quickly on its plans to build developments of just one or two new council homes on small parcels of land it already owns.

The council could also look at taking back areas of garden land from existing council home tenants which could be suitable for new development.

Tenants would be compensated.

Portfolio holder for housing landlord, Christine Lawton, said: “We will certainly not be digging up people’s rose gardens but where there is spare land suitable for development we will consider it.

“We are actively looking at the land we already own because we are anxious to get started with building new council houses because we are desperately over-subscribed.

“So we are looking to start small and not be too ambitious and then grow incrementally in subsequent years as our income grows from rents.

“The Right to Buy scheme will also kick in again and we will reinvest that into building new homes.”

Once sites have been identified for possible development the council will still have to apply for planning permission through its own planning department and have to meet the normal criteria for new builds.

At a meeting of the council’s cabinet last week, portfolio holders agreed to grant delegated authority to the housing manager to advertise its intentions so a list of contractors can be compiled who could be invited to tender for future schemes.

Officers will also explore opportunities to work with parish councils and other partners.