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Thumbs-up for £5.5m housing programme

by Jim Dunton Fri 18 October 2013, 6:01 pm

Medway Council has been given the go-ahead to build more than 60 new homes for social rent under new self-financing powers for council housing.

A full council meeting last week endorsed the authority’s proposed £5.5 million housing development programme, which will see it use housing-revenue account debt “headroom” to fund new building.

The council said that at least 40 of the homes were likely to be built on the former site of Gillingham Community College, with a further 22 properties on ex-garage sites in Gillingham and Twydall.

Medway said the number of homes constructed could be increased if it moved on to develop private land it was offered.

The new properties, which will be a mixture of flats, bungalows, and larger family homes, will be the first housing ever constructed by Medway. It inherited its current stock from predecessor authority Gillingham Borough Council in 1998.

Deputy council leader Alan Jarrett said the scheme was “a rare opportunity” to build new council housing by using the authority’s borrowing capacity, and one that had to be taken.

“The programme will in turn provide much-needed homes and jobs for local people,” he said.

Medway said the first planning applications for the homes would be submitted before Christmas, with building contractors due to be appointed in the spring.

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