Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Social homes approved for two garage sites plagued by anti-social behaviour

Two disused garage sites plagued by anti-social behaviour will be redeveloped into social housing after councillors gave plans the go-ahead.

It comes as part of Ashfield District Council’s plan to build 100 new council homes within the five years to 2023 and follows the approval of several other schemes across the district in recent months.

Eight new council homes will be built on the disused garages in Darley Avenue and Spruce Grove, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, with five of the houses earmarked for Spruce Grove.

The plans follow the unanimous approval at January’s full council meeting for 14 social homes to be created across four garage sites in the district.

Central Avenue, in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and Hucknall’s Oak Grove make up the remaining two sites.

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The four sites have previously been described as “grot-spots” blighted by vandalism and drug use, with members from all political parties welcoming the land being brought back into use.

Now the council’s planning committee has approved two separate applications for the homes in Spruce Grove and Darley Avenue.

The plans, approved on Wednesday (June 1), will see the Spruce Grove garage land, on the Coxmoor estate, become three two-bedroom and two three-bedroom social houses.

The Darley Avenue garages, described by the Ashfield Independent-led authority as “prone to flooding”, will become three two-bedroom council properties.

Speaking in Wednesday’s meeting, Christine Sarris, a senior planning officer on the council, said: “It makes the area more attractive as a whole and there is less opportunity for anti-social behaviour that can be associated with garage courts.”

Councillor Tom Hollis (Ash Ind), portfolio holder for housing, previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that all new properties will help meet the council’s target of building 100 social homes by next year.

He added the design of new homes built by the authority is expected to mirror recently-completed social housing in areas like Davies Avenue, Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Speaking in Wednesday’s meeting as a substitute member, he added: “It’s certainly exciting to see the council making use of some ground spaces within the district and turning them into some much-needed social housing.

“It will uplift the area as well. I think it’s an exciting project and I’m looking forward to seeing them constructed.”

The council has previously approved more homes in other sites across the district, including recently in Warwick Close, also on Kirkby’s Coxmoor estate, and 20 further homes near the Maun Valley Industrial Park in Sutton.

The homes come in response to council documents stating there is a high demand for affordable rented social housing in the district.

Vacancies for two and three-bedroom council-owned homes can attract hundreds of bids, with just 21 homes becoming available in 2021.

Cllr Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), leader of the council, said in January: “We’ve got an enormous waiting list, and our houses aren’t houses – they’re peoples’ homes.

“This is a real win-win because they become family homes and they also get rid of a grot-spot, anti-social behaviour magnets.”

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