More homes in the pipeline

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Babergh District Council is looking at four proposals to build up to 149 new affordable homes.

Last year, Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils started to build homes again, and are on target to complete 65 new council homes by June 2017.

Now the councils are looking at four proposed schemes to build a further 149 affordable homes and are looking for suitable sites to build on. However, they say they are not able to reveal the locations of any sites because it is commercially confidential information.

A report about the councils’ joint affordable housing strategy went to a meeting of the Joint Scrutiny Committee in Hadleigh on Wednesday.

One of the objectives of the report, by corporate manager Anne Bennett, was to provide councillors with an overview of the affordable housing programme.

Councillors heard that work is under way to build 12 new affordable homes in Lavenham, and work starts on 15 new homes in Glemsford next month.

One of the eight development projects, in Great Blakenham, has been delayed due to archaeological finds.

“It is acknowledged that the councils no longer have all of the skills and expertise needed within the organisation to support the successful delivery of a programme of land acquisition and housing development,” said Ms Bennett in her report.

“A specialist property and investment advisor will be appointed during the next weeks that will provide the expertise to develop the strategy and framework required to ensure success.”

She added: “An interim development consultant has been working with officers since June, 2015.

“He has a significant experience in land acquisition, housing and commercial regeneration schemes for housing associations, and in a private commercial development environment.

“He has assisted by mentoring and skilling officers, highlighting opportunities for both councils for land purchase and land assembly.”