Cheshire East picks two for housing projects

Equity Housing Group and Harvest Housing Group have been selected by Cheshire East Council to deliver 50 affordable homes on four council-owned sites over the next two years.

Equity Housing Group was selected to develop three sites:

  • Oakdene Court, Wilmslow. A derelict sheltered block, which had been vandalised and had become an eyesore for the local community
  • Churchside Cottage, Macclesfield. A row of five terraced properties, which had been used as offices
  • The Moss, Congleton Road, Macclesfield. Two semi-detached properties used as offices, which will be restored to provide much-needed family accommodation

Harvest Housing Group will redevelop Westview, Crewe, a former care home, which was no longer fit for purpose.

All the properties will be allocated via Cheshire Homechoice, the system for allocating social housing in accordance with Cheshire East's housing allocations policy.

Cllr Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: "The provision of affordable housing is a key priority for the council and this announcement is really good news for the people of Cheshire East.

"This particular scheme enables the council to invest its assets in partnership with the housing sector, to provide much-needed affordable housing and provide an income to the council for re-investment in future housing provision.

"Following the success of the pilot, we can be confident that phase two of the scheme can proceed with the prospect of early delivery of further affordable housing provision across the borough.

"The 2010 Strategic Housing Market Assessment revealed that, across the Borough, there is an annual shortfall of more than 1,000 affordable dwellings. While this is not a target, it is a clear indication of the level of need across the authority.

"We have 8,000 people registered on waiting lists for affordable housing and the greatest demand is for family accommodation.

"The level of Government grants available to encourage the building of affordable housing has been reduced significantly and therefore we need to explore alternative ways in which to increase provision. Using some of the council's land for this purpose is one important way to address this problem."

The land will be leased to the successful bidders for a period of up to 125 years for the provision of affordable housing. The council will retain the freehold ownership of the land.

The procurement process for the four sites started in 2010.

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