Bumper harvest of town halls to be built in the Sandwell district

Depending on planning permission, a large number of social housing units will be built in various boroughs in Sandwell. Documents to build town halls in Rowley Regis, Smethwick and West Bromwich were discussed at a cabinet meeting this week.

The majority of social housing is financed as ‘affordable rent’, which can be as much as 80% of the market rent. There are currently more than 9,800 people on the Sandwell council’s housing registry, about a third of whom are existing tenants seeking real estate transfers.

Those areas subject to new council housing include Whitgreave Street, in West Bromwich, where 2,355 sqm of land will be used to create six four bedroom semi-detached houses.

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The land in the Greets Green area of ​​West Bromwich was once occupied by the ‘Dunkirk Brewery’ in the 1930s, before being replaced by the Ryder House high-rise which was demolished in 2002. The land is often associated with the Ryder family of the 16th century.

Land in Higham’s Close, in Rowley Regis, will be used to create twelve homes, evenly distributed between six four-bedroom semi-detached houses and six four-bedroom detached houses. West End Avenue, in Smethwick, will have seven two-bedroom semi-detached houses, six four-bedroom semi-detached houses and six four-bedroom detached houses.

The council had initially considered selling both plots on the market for an estimated £200,000, but noted that “very difficult land conditions” and “inflationary costs” would yield a negative result.

It comes as a supplementary document has been presented to the Cabinet, entitled ‘Council House New Build Programme’, outlining a new strategic approach to the construction of town halls. It includes the use of Homes England grants and Right to Buy 1-4-1 substitutions.

But the report also admitted that many of the plans, including the aforementioned social housing plots, had not yet been fully budgeted for. It noted: “As many of the schemes lack detailed design and building permit assumptions, assumptions have been made about the number of units delivered, so an element of overprogramming has been included.

“Schedules pending approval once the detailed design is complete and there is more clarity on the true costs of the developments and the number of units to be built will be subject to a strategic financial assessment.

“There is therefore a risk that schemes may not go through (if they do not achieve a satisfactory assessment value of 65 or above for strategic investments) as they are dependent on the outcome of the financial assessments of the individual scheme designs. and financial models.”

Housing Councilor Charn Singh Padda said: “This proposal will create a new, affordable, high-quality housing stock that will help replace the social rental housing that has lost the right to buy due to the development of vacant, underutilized land. I recommend that this report be adopted in line with the recommendations.”

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