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Housing land could go to those in need

PUBLISHED: 12:40 11 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 March 2010

LAND at Woodbridge, Leiston and Saxmundham looks set to be given away to allow desperately-needed homes to be built for those unable to afford to buy.

The council-owned sites will be given away free to a housing association and will mean that 18 new family homes costing £480,000 can be provided.

LAND at Woodbridge, Leiston and Saxmundham looks set to be given away to allow desperately-needed homes to be built for those unable to afford to buy.

The council-owned sites will be given away free to a housing association and will mean that 18 new family homes costing £480,000 can be provided.

Suffolk Coastal's cabinet will discuss the land on Tuesday June 17 and members are being recommended to approve the projects.

If they give the go-ahead, it will mean Suffolk Heritage Housing Association can build a pair of three-bed semi-detached houses at Ashfield Drive in Leiston, and the same at Henley Close, Saxmundham, along with a two-bed bungalow at Mill Rise in Saxmundham.

In Woodbridge, 11 homes would be built at the rear of Peterhouse Crescent – six two-bed, three three-bed and two four-bed houses.

"The properties that will be created as a result of these four proposals will contribute to meeting the need for additional social housing in the district, particularly the scheme in Woodbridge," said Deborah Robinson, director of environmental services.

"While planning permission has not yet been obtained for any of the proposals, discussions have been held with planning staff about each scheme."

The district valuer has also been asked for his views on the value of the four sites based on the current proposals for development and his report will be given to the cabinet meeting.

Changes to government policy means the council will not be able to give funding for new homes schemes carried out by housing associations for several years.

This will severely hit social housing projects.

The rules on giving cash are complex. The council could decide to sell the land to the associations instead of giving it for free and then give this money back in grants – but the land would have to be paid for from Housing Corporation funding for the associations, which could mean fewer homes being built.

For the year ahead the housing associations working in the Suffolk Coastal area have secured £1.8 million in Housing Corporation grant for social housing.

Other schemes taking place this year include a £400,000 scheme to convert the Seckford Almshouses at Woodbridge into 30 very sheltered flats, a £252,000 scheme to create four flats in Orwell Road, Felixstowe, six homes costing £150,000 at Clopton, and a £233,000 project for four homes at Grundisburgh.

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