Planned new development could provide accessible and affordable housing

Published: 2 January 2024

aeriel view of land near Grange Avenue that is to be developed for social housing

Aerial view of the land near Grange Avenue where the proposed homes could be built. Image: Google Maps

Plans to develop a former school playing field for accessible, affordable housing are to be discussed by Cabinet in January.

Derby Homes secured full planning permission to build 36 new bungalows on land near Grange Avenue in the Sunny Hill area of the city in 2022. Now Councillors are to be asked to approve budget for the proposed homes, which will be funded through the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme and subsidised by Right to Buy (RTB) receipts.

Situated behind Akaal Primary School, the new development will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes with a communal, landscaped garden at its centre.

All 36 buildings are designed to meet improved standards of accessibility, which means the homes will have step-free access as well as facilities and other features to make them more easily adaptable over time.

Most will be suitable for a wide range of tenants including older people and those with reduced mobility, while three bungalows will meet a fully adaptable and accessible standard to be suitable for all wheelchair users.

The homes would all be owned by the Council, managed and maintained by Derby Homes and let according to the Council’s Allocations Policy through Derby Homefinder. 

To keep running costs as low as possible and support the Council’s commitment to tackling climate change, the houses will be fitted with solar panels, air source heat pumps with underfloor heating and EV charging areas.

Plans for the development also include its own electrical substation to help power the air source heat pumps and charging apparatus.

The entrance to the development will be from Blackmore Street, close to the Sunnyfields Extra Care facility and residents of the new development will have easy access to a hairdresser, a restaurant and the facility’s communal space.

Providing new council homes is a key priority for the Council to address the large numbers waiting for suitable properties. As of 31 March 2023, 8,300 applicants were actively looking for affordable homes through Derby Homefinder.

This is one of a number of sites being progressed as the Council and Derby Homes work together to build or acquire an average of 100 homes a year to meet local housing needs.

Councillor Shiraz Khan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regulatory Services, said:

Part of our manifesto is for everyone to have a decent place to live and our goal is to deliver accessible, affordable and high-quality homes for Derby residents.

Making best use of council land to increase the number of new affordable homes is a key part of that.

We’re also committed to improving the sustainability of our council housing, which will reduce bills for tenants and contribute to the city’s net-zero ambition.

If the plans are approved, work on the site could start in early 2024, with the new homes completed by late 2025.

At the same meeting, Cabinet will also be asked to approve plans to buy 13 new properties to let to families registered on Homefinder.

Cabinet will meet to decide on the proposals on Wednesday 10 January at 4pm. The meeting is available to watch live on the Council’s YouTube channel.

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