First look at new Ipswich council flats
PUBLISHED: 11:55 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:27 27 December 2019
This is the first glimpse of the new flats that should take shape on the site of the former arcade of shops on Grimade Street in Ipswich over the next year.
They will contain 16 council flats in two blocks of eight as part of a major new housing drive by the borough and its wholly-owned company Handford Homes.
They are among 40 new homes that Handford Homes hopes to build across the town in addition to the borough's major development of 60 rental homes on the former Took's site on Old Norwich Road.
The 40 homes are in six separate developments across Ipswich - and all will be considered by the borough's planning and development committee in early 2020.
As well as the Grimwade Street flats, Handford Homes hopes to build eight homes in Sheldrake Drive, six flats off Emmanuel Close, six houses in Mallard Way, two houses and a bungalow in Coltsfoot Road, and a large bungalow in Halton Crescent.
Handford Homes chair Colin Kreidewolf said: "All these proposals mark important developments for us and the Council.
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"Small sites provide not only much needed new affordable homes but also local regeneration, tidying up sites that have often become eyesores."
The applications for the new homes come just as the first tenants have moved into a new 17-home development on Cauldwell Hall Road in time to celebrate Christmas and as work is stepped up on the major Took's development.
Neil MacDonald, the council's housing portfolio holder, said: "We are helping people who cannot afford to buy or rent privately, to find a quality and affordable home.
"I am especially pleased that we are able to build a number of larger disability adapted properties, as there is a growing need for these."
The council is allowed to build small numbers of council houses on infill sites - but government rules say that with larger developments like that at Took's some of the homes have to be offered at commercial rents.
So on that site 19 of the homes will be offered at commercial rents by another council-owned company, Handford Lettings.
However senior councillors at the borough have suggested that if the rules are changes by the government all the homes on the site could eventually be added to the council housing stock.