New affordable homes boost for Southwold

Cutting the first sod at the site of new affordable homes at Southwold are (from left): Isobel Wrigh

Cutting the first sod at the site of new affordable homes at Southwold are (from left): Isobel Wright (Hastoe Housing Association); Southwold Town Mayor Ann Betts; Cllr Michael Ladd, Cllr Sue Allen; Paul Pitcher (Wellington) - Credit: Archant

Work has started on the first new affordable homes to be built in Southwold for many years.

Waveney District Council, Southwold Town Council, Hastoe Housing Association and Lowestoft-based developer Wellington Construction have come together to build the new homes. Southwold town mayor Ann Betts joined Southwold ward councillor and Waveney portfolio holder for housing, Sue Allen, as well as fellow ward councillor Michael Ladd, Isobel Wright from Hastoe and Paul Pitcher from Wellington to cut the first sod on the site in Blyth Road.

Four new affordable homes will be built, which will be offered for social rental on a local lettings basis – which means that priority will be given to applicants who live or work in the town, or have local connections.

The £500,000 investment will see two two-bedroom flats, a three-bedroom house and a two-bedroom house built on the site, which was formerly occupied by allotments.

A similar area of land has been allocated elsewhere in the town for replacement allotments.

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Councillor Allen said: 'It is fantastic to see this project finally getting started, because it has been a long time in the planning. Finding land in Southwold to build affordable housing is very difficult, and this site was made possible through the town council granting a 125-year lease to Hastoe.

'These will be the first affordable homes to be built in Southwold for many years, despite the fact that we know from the housing needs survey conducted by the town council last year that there is a huge demand for such housing in the town.'

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Ms Wright, senior development officer at Hastoe Housing Association, said: 'Housing in Southwold is extremely expensive, with lots of second homes and high land values. That means that rent levels are very high, which in turn results in many local people being priced out of the market.

'So it is vital that we push forward projects like this which will create affordable homes, and enable local people to remain living and working in the area.'

Paul Pitcher, managing director of Lowestoft-based Wellington, which will construct the new homes, added: 'We are delighted finally to be breaking the ground at this site and getting on with building the new homes. There is significant demand for housing like this in Southwold, and we continue to explore every avenue to bring forward new sites so that we can create more affordable homes for local people in the town.'

The new homes will be completed in July 2015.

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