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Plans for new council housing unveiled

Posted on : 05 Dec 2019

Plans for new council housing unveiled
Ambitious plans have been unveiled to increase the supply of council housing in the Caerphilly county borough.

The plans were included in a report entitled ‘Building Together’ which was endorsed at a recent meeting of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee. The report highlighted an unmet need for housing within the county borough, particularly in relation to affordable housing.

Included within the report are proposals, subject to planning approval, to build new council housing on small developments in Nelson, Bedwas and Trecenydd.  A new purpose built scheme for older persons is also being considered on the site of the former Ty Darren care home in Risca.  A number of larger development sites are also part of the proposal, with feasibility studies planned to assess viability.

‘Building Together’ outlines the council’s plans to explore the use of modern methods of construction, including modular homes built off-site.  This approach would deliver energy efficient homes with a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional methods of construction, in-line with recommendations from the 2019 Independent Review of Affordable Housing Supply.

Members of Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee were also updated on the work already being delivered by the council to increase its supply of affordable housing, including the purchase of existing homes utilising Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Grant and newly developed homes through the use of Section 106 Agreements.  The council has already purchased 15 homes in the Caerphilly county borough and has identified a further property for purchase using grant funding. Additional homes are also being created within existing buildings where these lend themselves to conversion and where there is a demand for such properties.          

The report proposes a number of options which are aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing, whilst also delivering high quality, energy efficient homes. Some of the proposals have been supported by Welsh Government Affordable Housing Grant in addition to funding from the council’s Housing Revenue Account and therefore the proposed investment will not impact on other services provided by the Council.

Cllr Lisa Phipps, the council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Places, said “As we near the final stages of the council’s £260 million Welsh Housing Quality Standard programme, our focus turns to meeting the need for affordable housing in the county borough.

The council already works alongside housing association partners to deliver new affordable homes in the county borough, but ‘Building Together’ offers a number of exciting opportunities to build new council homes, for the first time since 2003.  In addition to considering things like low carbon and fuel efficiency, the council is also considering the wider benefits that could be delivered alongside a development programme, such as jobs and training opportunities for local people.”

Caerphilly Council’s Cabinet will consider the proposals in the New Year.  The full report can be found at: democracy.caerphilly.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=548&MId=11959&Ver=4&LLL=0


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