New homes will be built across Worcestershire at three sites after Government funding was recently secured.
Housing Minister Dominic Raab announced that a £45 million cash injection into key community projects will help kick-start the building of thousands of new homes.
In total, 79 national projects will be funded through the Land Release Fund, which is being administered through a partnership with the Local Government Association and Cabinet Office’s One Public Estate (OPE) programme, and will see new homes built on council owned land. The Land Release Fund supports local councils to meet their ambition to unlock enough of land they own for at least 160,000 homes by 2020, and the money can be used to combat barriers which would otherwise make land unusable for development.
In Worcestershire, funding has been secured for new homes in Sansome Walk (£750,000); Kingfields, Droitwich (£150,000) and The Pines, Worcester (£180,000).
At Sansome Walk, the old leisure centre site will be redeveloped for residential housing, creating 50 new homes, including 30% affordable housing. It is proposed to use the funding to release the site for a mix of shared ownership homes as well as re-provisioning of YMCA services including affordable studios and apartments (for 18-35 years olds) and YMCA Hub (provision of work space and communal enterprise space). The proposal will address the need for sustainable affordable housing in the City, whilst at the same time providing young people with training and employment support.
At Kingfields and The Pines, the funding will be used to provide housing for vulnerable people in need of homes and environments conducive with their individual needs. The Kingfields redevelopment will mean the provision of specific accommodation for up to 10 adults with profound multiple learning difficulties, and The Pines project will provide accommodation for 12 adults on the autistic spectrum with challenging behaviours aged 20-35.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adults Social Care, said: "This funding announcement is great news for Worcestershire. In addition to delivering the increasing demand for more housing, some of these sites provide an exciting opportunity to make better use of existing local facilities to support better care delivery. We want to keep people living independently for as long as possible, and these new homes will allow them to do just that."
Work to develop each of these projects will now progress in order to deliver the new homes by 2020.
The One Public Estate programme is an established national programme delivered in partnership by the LGA and the Office of Government Property Unit (OGP). One Public Estate began in 2013 with just twelve areas, but today operates with more than 250 councils on projects transforming local communities and public services right across the country.
Worcestershire has been involved in the One Public Estate (OPE) programme since it began in 2013 and Partnership working across county wide public sector bodies remains very strong, and this collaborative approach to tackling the service delivery challenges facing the public sector is delivering more efficient and affordable services for the public. Earlier this year, Worcestershire was successful in securing more than £1m in government funding to progress a number of exciting projects across the county, and as such was one of the highest awarded local authorities on a national level.