Cheshire West and Chester Council is to become one of the leading housing developers in the North West for the next two years.
The council has started an ambitious housing and regeneration plan outlined in their Housing Strategy. More than 500 new affordable homes will be completed in the next two years - 230 new council owned homes are being built across eight sites including two major sites at Woodford Lodge in Winsford and the former Greyhound Stadium plus another six sites in Ellesmere Port and Neston.
A further 117 homes will be built in partnership with registered providers, on the Sutton Way extra care site in Ellesmere Port, Leaf Lane, Winsford and the Meadows, Barnton.
Two hundred homes are planned for Winsford and Ellesmere Port using a land lease arrangement, 75 of which will be affordable units which are to be let on behalf of the council.
Cllr Angela Claydon, Cabinet member for housing, said: “Our vision for housing is to deliver homes of the right type, quality and cost in the right locations in line with the current and future needs of the population to ensure West Cheshire remains an attractive location to live and help ease affordability pressures.”
To build upon this success, it is now proposed to create a Housing Investment Model. This operates by working in partnership with housing developers who, instead of paying a capital receipt for the land, gift units to the council generating income for the council.
Ambitious plans are set to deliver around 900 sustainable mixed use units spread across five different tenure types which include around 500 units for sale (which the developer will be obligated to sell on a freehold basis only) and around 100 starter homes built and sold by developers, plus around 300 affordable rent and shared ownership built on behalf of the council.
The 300 affordable homes, which deliver a ground rent income to the council, will be managed through a lease with a registered provider.
The market units would be largely delivered by the developer and will be covenanted to be sold on a freehold not a leasehold basis.
The recommendations will enable the development of the sites to be progressed through the Housing Delivery Model. As each individual site is considered to be brought forward for development appropriate consultations will take place.
The council is one of the first boroughs to be appointed as HCA “partner” to unlock key sites to facilitate regeneration through the development of discounted starter homes for sale.
The proposal is to release the Phoenix Depot site in Winsford by relocating two key council service providers to upgraded depots which frees up the site for residential development. This will greatly help in the regeneration of Winsford Town Centre.