Ipswich Borough hopes to start work on 200 council homes in 2018

David Ellesmere in Widgeon Close where new council houses are being built. Picture: IPSWICH COUNCIL

David Ellesmere in Widgeon Close where new council houses are being built. Picture: IPSWICH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

More than 200 affordable homes across 20 different house building programmes are set to take place in 2018 – a fifth of the target the borough has over a decade.

An update on Ipswich Borough Council’s economic development which is being presented at Thursday’s strategic overview and scrutiny committee revealed that upwards of 20 schemes are planned for 2018, including a high profile development at the former Tooks Bakery site.

The borough council set out a goal of building 1,000 affordable homes in a decade, with the 200 homes this year meaning that a fifth of that will be achieved in just 12 months, if all work goes according to plan.

The figure does not include work on 2,000 homes for the Ipswich garden Suburb, which could start later this year.

In the Spring, Handford Homes – a development company set by the borough – will begin work on 60 homes on the former Tooks Bakery site. Just over half of them will be council houses, the rest will be sold on the open market.

A similar arrangement will see 100 homes built at Ravenswood – but council leader David Ellesmere said negotiations were still progressing on that proposal which will see work start later.

Other areas include a planning application for 17 in Cauldwell Hall Road, as well as seven in Ridgeon Close and Ainsley Close.

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Four sites for regeneration have also been identified.

The report confirmed that feasibility studies will also get underway at sites in Bramford Road, Emmanuel Close, Mallard Road, Glamorgan Road, and Coltsfoot Road.

It is understood that 20 smaller sites have already been earmarked for building to begin in 2019.

The borough council’s housing strategy for 2017-22 revealed that £11m was spent last year alone on improvements to existing council properties to ensure existing homes were still viable.

Mr Ellesmere said: “After the government said we could not build the homes in Ravenswood a couple of year ago we had to look at other ways of developing new council houses – and we set up Handford Homes.

“The first of those joint private/council homes are now starting to be planned – and we are also identifying more sites where we can build small numbers of council houses, like redundant garage sites.”