Affordable housing for

By Liz HearnshawHUNDREDS of low-cost homes will be built over the coming years to give “key workers” affordable places to live after a council agreed to sell-off its land for development.

By Liz Hearnshaw

HUNDREDS of low-cost homes will be built over the coming years to give “key workers” affordable places to live after a council agreed to sell-off its land for development.

The scheme will net Forest Heath District Council more than £13.5million - about £10m of which will be ploughed back into a seven-year construction programme to give nurses and teachers cheap housing.

Councillors voted last night in favour of the sell-off to the Flagship Housing Group, which will develop the land to provide 482 affordable homes before 2011.


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Some of the land included within the deal has already been given planning permission for development, while Flagship is in the process of applying for consent for a number of other sites.

The lion's share of the affordable housing will be in Newmarket, where 350 homes will be built in a parcel of land off George Lambton Avenue, while about 100 homes will also be built in Brandon and 22 in Mildenhall, with the rest elsewhere in the district.

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Launching the scheme, Tony Pierce, the council's strategic director, said the housing would benefit “key workers,” from the region.

He added stable staff involved in the horseracing industry could be included within that definition, as demand was greater for such workers within Newmarket than for nurses or teachers.

“There isn't a large hospital in Newmarket and there isn't a large educational establishment,” said Mr Pierce.

“This is something we have spoken to Flagship about and it could be that we determine the interpretation more locally. Therefore, the horseracing industry could be seen as a more prominent demand.”

Last year, in a separate deal, the council agreed to transfer its housing stock to Flagship's ownership for a multi-million-pound fee still to be negotiated.

liz.hearnshaw@eadt.co.uk

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