Council buys field with plans to build 100% affordable housing scheme

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New Forest housing
Cllr Jill Cleary, NFDC’s cabinet member for housing

NEW FOREST District Council has bought a field in New Milton with plans to develop it into at least 15 new affordable homes.

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The move is part of NFDC‘s strategy to provide 600 cheaper properties for rent or shared-ownership in the district by 2026. There are currently more than 3,000 people on the housing list.

The site is about 0.45 hectares (1.1 acres) north of the A337 Christchurch Road, between Fawcett’s Field and Moore Close. It has already been allocated for 100% affordable homes under the council’s Local Plan.

The price paid has been kept secret but a report said development and finance assessments had shown the scheme was “viable and reflects acceptable value for money”.

The purchase was signed off by NFDC’s cabinet member for housing services, Cllr Jill Cleary.

She said: “It’s brilliant news to have 15 new homes to provide 15 households with their own home.

“If you have been on the waiting list for seven to eight years and you’re in a flat with children you will say, ‘15 more homes – hey, hopefully I will be allocated one’.

“Yes, it’s small steps but we are progressing and we are adding to our 600 homes. People can only be pleased about it.

“Hopefully it will be delivered soon once the design is approved. But obviously we still have to go through planning. We have got to take the natural route and as soon as we can we will. We want people in their own homes.”

A council report said work would start on securing planning permission for the homes “as quickly as possible”, alongside a bid for funding from national housing agency Homes England.

It said: “For both housing and planning reasons it is very pleasing to have secured this site for 100% affordable housing when other similarly allocated sites have only come forward once they have been permitted to include open market housing.”

The homes will be developed managed by the NFDC, it said. “Ecological sensitivities” would be taken into consideration during construction, alongside the concerns the neighbours, it added.

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