environment and housing
environment and housing
More homes needed Stockton Borough’s population is continuing to grow. By 2026 it is expected the current 82,500 households will increase by a further 10,000. That means the Council has to work with housing developers, housing associations and residents now to make sure the Borough continues to have sufficient homes as Stockton Council’s Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood Services, Paul Dobson, explains. “Our Borough is a fantastic place to live and work, consequently an increasing number of people are deciding to remain in the area or relocate here so we need to ensure we can provide enough homes. “Many successful housing schemes are already under way, like on the banks of the Tees at Northshore. 50 new homes have already been built with stunning views of the river and planning permission was recently granted for an additional 76 properties. Meanwhile, the £100m regeneration of the former Hardwick Estate, now called Meadow Rise, is continuing. It will provide 800 homes for rent and sale surrounded by high quality PAGE 38
open spaces including football pitches, multi-use games areas and cycleways.” Why not just build on brownfield sites and protect greenfield sites? The Government stipulates local authorities must annually review their five year housing supply. The requirement to demonstrate a five year housing supply is set out in the Government’s ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ which was introduced in March this year. Due to the current weakness in the housing market, the Borough Council only has sufficient deliverable sites allocated for housing to satisfy the demand required for the next 4.1 years. Consequently we need to identify more sites for housing to meet the five year demand. Three years ago the Council identified brownfield sites for housing development, however, the current economic situation means these sites are no longer viable as there is no Government funding to bring them up to a
suitable standard for development. There is also a lack of interest from developers to build on brownfield sites in areas of low housing market demand and the banks and mortgage companies are reluctant to support this type of development. This means we are being forced to consider difficult options like non-urban areas. However, in the last eight years there has been a significant increase in the number of homes built on urban sites, rising from 147 in 2004/5 to 452 in 2011/12. What if the existing roads can’t cope with the extra traffic generated by new housing sites or if facilities like schools and hospitals run out of places? We carry out detailed assessment surveys of the roads and amenities surrounding any potential housing schemes and the developers will be required to invest significantly to improve the existing infrastructure and facilities where necessary. What about all of the empty homes across Stockton Borough? The Council’s Private Sector Housing Empty Homes Team is reducing the number of long-term empty private homes. Through tackling this wasted housing, we will increase the supply of accommodation that is available both to let and buy.
The Council is offering the owners of empty properties a loan of up to £30,000 to bring properties back into use. You can find out more by visiting www.stockton.gov.uk/emptyhomes Will any more Council houses be built?
developers are also hoping to assist buyers through the use of NewBuy, the Government backed ‘mortgage indemnity’ scheme. To find out more visit www.newbuy.org.uk New home sites across Stockton Borough include:
In December 2010 the Council’s 10,250 homes were transferred to Tristar Homes, part of the Vela group. As part of the transfer the housing association agreed to spend £103m over the next five years on improving homes. At the end of this year £38m will have already been spent on a range of improvements including new kitchens, bathrooms and double glazed windows and plans are well advanced for the programme over the next couple of years.
Meadow Rise – the £100m regeneration is transforming the former Hardwick Estate.
Is there any financial help available for people who are looking to buy a house?
Former Derwent House site, Billingham – Erimus Housing is building 12 bungalows and six houses. A small number of the homes will be for people with learning difficulties.
Mandale Park – A range of new homes for rent, outright sale and shared ownership. It also encompasses Linear Park with cycleways, footpaths, art features, seating and football pitches.
Queensgate – Bellway is building up to 474 homes on the former Visqueen site in Stockton. Whitewater Glade – Persimmon Homes are building 375 new homes. Northshore – a mixed development of two, three and four bedroom homes each incorporating features to reduce carbon emissions and harness natural resources. Kingsmoor – Bellway is offering a range of two bedroom apartments and three and four bedroom houses. The Vela Group also has 21 properties on the site for rent.
Parkfield and Mill Lane – 82 homes have been Pottery Wharf – two and three bedroom constructed to date. Once complete the £30m homes for sale and shared ownership on transformation at Nursery Gardens will see the Riverside. 110 new homes built by Dunelm, for sale and Planning committee has also been Last year Tristar Homes bought 19 new rent in its first phase. minded to approve: flats in Victoria Park and 41 new, affordable Swainby Road in Norton and the homes are under construction. They are 845 homes on Allens West in Eaglescliffe Victoria Estate in Stockton – the major also a key partner in the regeneration of the Swainby Road area and Victoria Estate redevelopment of the area is providing new 68 homes on the former school site Red House School site in Norton where further new homes will be provided. homes for both rent and sale.
There are a number of options including FirstBuy, which is the Government backed equity loan scheme. Time2Buy delivers the scheme in Stockton Borough. For more information visit www.time2buy.org.uk Some
Up to 350 homes at Morley Carr Farm, Yarm. To find out more about housing regeneration visit www.stockton.gov.uk/ housingregeneration
The Winter 2012 edition of Stockton News