Council to bail out Sleights affordable housing project

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The borough council is putting up £50,000 to make sure that an affordable homes project in Sleights doesn’t fall through.

Cabinet members are expected to give the spending the go-ahead when it meets on Tuesday.

Work is due to start later this year on building ten houses for rent and low cost ownership for local people at Hermitage Way in the village. But, the costs of re-locating a water pipe and other highway works are over and above what developer and registered social landlord, Home Group, thought that they would be, putting the viability of the project at risk.

A report being put to councillors admits that the actual costs associated with the pipe and highways isn’t yet finalised but it is suggesting the £50,000 to “give the developer the confidence to proceed”.

It says: “Should the council not make this commuted sum available, then there is a real risk of the scheme becoming unviable and not going ahead. If this is the case, then local people in housing need will miss out on new affordable housing, of which there is a shortage in Sleights.”

Agencies have been working since 2006 to find a site for affordable housing in the village. A planning application was submitted in March with a view to completion next year.