Basildon councillors to discuss plans for 30 new council flats in Wickford

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BASILDON Council is considering turning a derelict hostel in Wickford into 30 council flats.

Documents published today show councillors will meet next week to discuss the proposal.

The papers say the council will discuss giving a £2.32million grant to the Peabody Trust – one of the council’s partner housing associations – to turn the former Rylands Hostel in Nevendon Road into 30 ‘social rented homes’ and a commercial unit.

The money would be taken out of a pot of money which the Government allows local councils to keep from right-to-buy sales, in order to spend on replacement social housing.

The Peabody Trust already owns the hostel and has planning permission to turn the premises into flats.

A report, which will be considered by the Housing and Communities Committee next week, said: “In order to provide the apartments as affordable housing, the trust has submitted an application for a grant to enable this…

“As affordable housing developments often require subsidy to ensure viability, it is proposed to provide a grant to the trust to the level required to ensure the project provides additional affordable housing in the borough.”

The council’s £2.32million grant would amount to 30 per cent of the overall development cost, said the documents, and the council would be able to choose who got the properties.

A commercial unit is included in the proposal to help generate money for the accommodation, meaning the council would have to vary a covenant on the land which currently says it can only be used for social housing.

The Housing and Communities Committee will discuss the proposal in a public meeting at the Bas Centre next Tuesday, September 17, at 7pm.

Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]