Bolsover District Council meets housing challenge head on

Bolsover District Council meets housing challenge head on

With the Government’s ambition to see a new generation of council housing built, Bolsover District Council is ahead of the game and tackling this issue head on by investing millions of pounds into building new properties.

In excess of £12m is being spent on two projects aimed at reducing the housing problem and providing good quality, modern council houses and family homes for market sale.

In 2015, the Council embarked upon its B@Home project at Hilltop, Shirebrook (pictured above) with Robert Woodhead to build 100 council houses over four-years, a 2% increase on their overall housing stock. The programme has already seen 33 new homes built in Creswell, Shirebrook, Tibshelf and Blackwell with a further 37 under construction in Shirebrook.

The Council is well on its way to achieving its own target of 100 new homes by March 2019 and is now looking at potential sites to ensure future generations have the ability to live in good quality affordable homes within the district.

Bolsover District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Councillor Mary Dooley said: “Instead of sitting back and not dealing with the problem, we did something about it. We have always been bold in putting our money where our mouth is and the delivery of 33 homes already shows that.

“These homes are not the ‘shoeboxes’ delivered by some housebuilders in recent years. But are large, high quality, family homes which meet the Lifetime Homes Standard meaning they’ll be suitable for all stages of a tenant’s life.”

These new council houses are all let on secure tenancies, at an affordable rent and for the first time include one bedroom houses, large four bedroom houses and fully adapted bungalows to directly meet the housing need in the district.

The Council has also agreed to build a further 28 new homes across eight sites, including for the first time, the delivery of high quality family homes for sale on the open market, through Dragonfly Development.

The Council established Dragonfly Development in 2017 to enable it to become more financially self-sufficient by developing commercial opportunities which make it less reliant on government funding.

The company’s first developments have received planning permission and use council land at South Normanton and Pinxton, with work due to start soon. The developments will see 10 properties at Meadow Lane, South Normanton and 10 properties at Park Lane, Pinxton which will be available to buy towards the end of 2018.

Bolsover District Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Enterprise, Councillor John Ritchie said: “Council funding is drying up and the private sector are not delivering at present. They buy up areas and land bank it for the future, but this does not help our local communities. So, we have to think outside the box, be imaginative and more business-minded, that’s why we have set up this company.

“Not only are we building good quality homes that we can then sell on the open market, but any profit that is made can then be re-invested to provide more high-quality developments and help secure the Council’s financial future.”

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