£40m invested by councils to buy 230 new homes for low-income house-hunters

A computer generated image of the Walnut Tree Walk development on the site of the former Stowmarket Middle School Picture: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

More than £40 million has been invested by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils into buying 230 new homes for low-income house-hunters.

This multi-million-pound investment in social housing will see new properties added to their existing council house stock of more than 6,000 homes, or made available to buy as shared ownership homes.

The purchases include 97 new-build homes from developments at Haughley, Stowmarket and Woolpit for Mid Suffolk, and 117 new properties for Babergh from developments at Lavenham, Wherstead, Wolsey Grange and Sudbury.

These homes are being built thanks to section 106 agreements – a condition imposed by the local authority requiring developers to provide a certain number of affordable homes as part of their scheme to help the local community.

A further 15 properties have been snapped up in Mid Suffolk with nine more expected to complete soon, while in Babergh, three more sales have completed with a further nine in the pipeline. These properties are available immediately for occupation by our council tenants.

These properties are in addition to construction already underway on council-owned land.

This includes the transformation of the former Angel Court care home in Hadleigh, bought from Suffolk County Council when it closed in 2014.  The site is now being transformed into 21 new one and two-bedroom flats to help those struggling to find suitable homes in the town.  There are 17 affordable homes also under construction in Shotley and Brantham.

Meanwhile, in Mid Suffolk, work is underway transforming the former Needham Market Middle School site and the council’s former headquarters to provide a further 130 homes.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for housing Lavinia Hadingham, said: “As a local authority we have a responsibility to plan and invest in our districts to ensure people have the homes they need, and our communities can continue to thrive.”

And Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for housing Jan Osborne, said: “This isn’t just about bricks and mortar. These new homes provide families somewhere affordable that they can be proud to call home. I wish all our future tenants and new home-owners across our district every happiness in their new homes.”

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