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Dudley to Get New Council Housing Thanks to HCA Money

More affordable houses are coming to the West Midlands town of Dudley as approval for the first new council homes in two decades was given after Dudley Council was awarded £4million from the Coalition Government’s Home and Communities Agency (HCA).

Developers will build eighty new homes throughout the borough and the HCA are delighted to be supporting the local council with the investment to deliver new homes. The much needed homes will be of a high quality and cater for a range of different housing needs including supporting people with learning disabilities. The major projects for these new build council homes look set for completion towards the end of 2013 but some are expected to be finished in spring next year.

Dudley Councillor for housing, Adrian Turner said: “We are aiming to try and bring in as much affordable housing to the area as there has ever been for almost 100 years. We are continually developing sites, and so we will be eventually looking to replace every house. We are also looking to improve the state of homes for the elderly by installing more energy efficient systems that will help to keep temperatures warmer through winter months and keep fuel costs down. We are also working with private companies and investors to keep these improvements at a low cost, so people will not have to pay as much as they would have done, if we had gone commercially.”

Affordable housing is a problem for anyone looking to buy or rent a home, and the council hopes the scheme will dramatically reduce the housing waiting list in the Borough. The spending cuts imposed by Central Government on local authorities means that homes typically covered with landlord insurance by buy-to-let investors will have to take up some of the slack. However, the council has big plans for the regeneration of the borough. It seems Dudley’s efforts will be a welcome solution to the UK’s housing shortages, and should set the standard for other areas to follow.

Council plan to revive old British Vita site with two-hundred new homes

An ambitious plan to bring life into a forgotten corner of Middleton, Lancashire has been revealed by town hall bosses. They want to transform the land around the British Vita site into a major new residential and recreation area. The scheme will certainly attract property investors with an interest in landlord insurance.

As many as two-hundred new homes may be built and the River Irk, which runs through the site, would be developed into a haven for both walkers and wildlife. Major improvements to Oldham Road would also be carried out to reduce congestion and to provide easy access to the new estate. Full details will be revealed next month when planning chiefs will start to consult with residents about the development. British Vita has been based at the site in Greater Manchester for more than half a century and they approached Rochdale council about developing the vacant parts of the land. Although the site is still operational, most parts of it have been slowly closed down over the last seven years.

Councillor Donna Martin said: “Anything which brings investment into the area and which improves the housing stock can only be a good thing. We need to carefully look at the proposals to ensure they do not have a detrimental effect on existing residents and businesses, but overall it’s about time that effort and resources were focused in this area. Although the development is positive it’s important that residents around Glenwood Drive, who will back on to the new houses, are in favour of the scheme. Scowcroft Woods is in the area and needs to be protected while there is also a well-used right of access running through the site which we need to keep.”

Middleton Regeneration Group will discuss the issue this week before the public consultation in March. Half of the new homes built will be council properties and some will be earmarked for affordable housing, however, the rest will certainly be open for private investors to expand their portfolios.

New homes in Norwich city centre look set to be sold quickly

Property hunters who are looking for their first home or landlords who are looking for a property to add to their portfolios and protect it with landlords insurance are invited to the official opening of NR1, Taylor Wimpey’s new development in Norwich.

The impressive collection of one and two-bedroom apartments in the city centre are in a prime location on the banks of the River Wensum and they offer an excellent lifestyle opportunity for all of the prospective buyers. Guests at the exclusive launch on Friday will be the first to see both the detailed plans and prices for the collection of newly built homes for sale. Prospective buyers will be treated to food and drink and advised on the incentives Taylor Wimpey are offering people who sign up for one of the desirable residences.

Stacy Dornan, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey, says “We’re incredibly excited about the NR1 development of homes in Norwich, which boasts a fabulous waterside setting within easy reach of all the facilities of this fantastic city. High-quality apartments are always very much in demand, and so it’s no surprise that we’ve already received considerable interest in this exciting development. We expect the new homes at NR1 to be incredibly popular, so I would urge would-be movers to come along to the launch if they want to stand the best chance of securing the home of their dreams.”

Taylor Wimpey say the homes are in a superb location with fantastic views over the River Wensum, and yet the city centre is just a stroll away. Also close by are a wide choice of shopping, famous markets, bars and restaurants, while Norwich City Football Club is just a stone’s throw from the development. The city also has a thriving cultural life, with theatres, art galleries and live music venues. Norwich rail station is close at hand and the road network offers excellent routes out of the city.

Council criticised for leaving homes empty for two years

Despite the average length of time being 11 weeks for a council property to remain vacant, two council houses in Alloa have been empty for almost two years. The two homes are due to be adapted for tenants with disabilities and council officials say the delay is due to the extensive work required as well as the tendering process.

The controversial delay comes at a time when thousands remain on the council’s waiting list for a new home and even though the percentage of vacant council properties in Alloa is less than 2%, putting it among the lowest throughout Scotland, Councillor Mark English feels that the time taken for the work calls into question the whole process. Social housing is in high demand across the country and the council are planning to build the first new council houses to be protected by landlords insurance in thirty years. According to figures from homeless charity Shelter Scotland, there were 3000 people on the council house waiting list.

Councillor English said: “A clear inspection of the processes involved seems to be required in this case to ensure housing is not left void for long periods of time. We have a housing shortage at the moment and many are desperate for a house. Properties which are left empty for long periods of time lead to a loss of income for the council. I am fully supportive of the need for the council to realise housing for the disabled is crucial to enhance quality of life; however, two years seems an excessive amount of time for a property to be vacant.”

The two properties have had eighty applications, of which thirty-two have a moderate or severe medical priority. The council say they are very close to starting the work and are looking forward to seeing new tenants moving into the refurbished homes.

New homes in the pipeline for former Coal Board estate

Fresh plans to build almost one hundred new homes on an old mining estate have been submitted, and are just the first part of what is seen as a long term regeneration project for the area.

The developers are the Compendium Group and they hope to build the new properties on the Coalville estate in Weston Coyney, they have assured local villagers that there will also be a number of affordable houses built as part of the plan. A number of new homes have already been built in the area over the last 4 years and if the Compendium scheme gets the go ahead their properties would increase the number of new homes on the estate to over 450.

Chairman of the Coalville Residents’ Association, Ernie Clarke, has lived on the ex-National Coal Board housing estate for 56 years. The 63-year-old said “Having new homes is great news for all concerned. It’s going to be brilliant. This area once had a bad reputation but with the new homes that are being built and the money that is being invested it really has become an area which is on the up.”

It is thought some of the new properties will be bought by private landlords who will then cover the homes with landlord insurance and rent them out to local people. Residents are delighted to see so many nice new homes brightening up the estate and welcome the new plans as this can only benefit the area. Compendium are jointly owned by Lovell Partnerships and Riverside Group. Lovell has for a long time been one of the country’s biggest providers of social housing and Riverside housing is the third biggest registered social landlord. The houses will be made up of two, three and four bedroom homes.