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"Real progress towards addressing the New Forest's affordable housing shortage" as 55 new council homes near completion

Cllr Cleary declaring Brook and Bartley Courts open "This is a major step towards achieving our target to deliver at least 600 new council-built affordable homes by 2026" said New Forest District Council's portfolio holder for housing, Councillor Jill Cleary, on visiting a new development of 35 flats for social rent that we have recently completed on Blackwater Drive in Totton. Nearby on Calmore Drive, another 20 new council homes are nearing completion.

Tenants are settling into nine two bedroom and 26 one bedroom flats in Brook and Bartley Courts, built on land we already owned next to existing council homes on Blackwater Drive.

 

Bartley Court

Irene and Harold Cooper showed Councillor Cleary around their one bedroom flat in Brook Court which they moved into a month ago with their dog Bella. "We have really settled in, the neighbours are lovely. We are thrilled to bits with our new home," said Mrs Cooper.

A group of district councillors visited the two sites on 16 July to see the quality of the new homes being provided. After visiting the development in Blackwater Drive, they moved on to the second scheme in nearby Calmore Drive, on the site of the former Stocklands care home, where 20 new homes are nearing completion. The development consists of 10 one-bedroom flats, five two bedroom and five three bedroom semi-detached houses.

Brook Court Looking around the two developments, Councillor Cleary said:

"These two schemes are providing urgently needed homes for rent and, as part of our Housing Strategy, we have plans to deliver shared-ownership properties in the future, making provision for those who would like to buy a property but can't afford to do so. 

"Providing more affordable homes for local people is one of this council's key priorities. The completion of the 35 new council homes at Brook and Bartley Court, as well as the 20 on the Stocklands site due to be finished over the summer, marks an acceleration in our council house building programme. We are now making real progress towards addressing the district's affordable housing shortage, by providing a range of housing options that are affordable and sustainable.

"In addition to the 55 homes on these two sites, since 2017 we have provided a further 55 new council homes, as well as buying properties to replace those lost through Right to Buy. We have provided temporary accommodation for people who have found themselves homeless; and we are working with developers and housing associations to ensure that good quality affordable housing is provided in a range of tenures including social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership."

Brook and Bartley Courts have been built on land we owned next to the existing Compton and Sarum House council housing blocks. The £4 million project has been fully-funded from our housing revenue and is the largest new build we have embarked on in around 25 years.  The new homes have been allocated to residents on our Homesearch housing register.

The development on the site of the former Stocklands care home at Calmore Drive was made possible through a land swap with Hampshire County Council, who owned the care home. The £2.8 million cost is being met with an £800,000 grant we secured from Homes England and our housing revenue.

Published: 17 Jul 2019
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