More social homes recommended for approval on ‘grot-spot’ former Kirkby garage sites

Two disused garaged sites plagued by anti-social behaviour could be brought back to life if Ashfield councillors give the go-ahead.

By Andrew Topping
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 6:00 am

It comes as part of Ashfield Council’s plan to build 100 council homes within the five years to 2023.

If approved at the planning committee meeting on June 1, eight council homes could be built on land in Darley Avenue and Spruce Grove, Kirkby, 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.

Land off Spruce Grove is earmarked for social housing.

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

The four sites were described by councillors in the January meeting as ‘grot-spots’ blighted by vandalism and drug use, with members from all parties welcoming the land being brought back into use.

Following the January approval, the council has now put forward planning applications for two of the Kirkby sites.

Members of the planning committee are recommended to give them both approval next week.

The Darley Avenue site, described by the council as ‘prone to flooding’, would become three two-bedroom homes.

The Spruce Grove site, on the Coxmoor estate, is earmarked for three two-bedroom and two three-bedroom houses.

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Coun Tom Hollis, portfolio holder for council and social housing, previously said the properties will help meet the council’s target of building 100 social homes by next year.

He said the design is expected to mirror recently-completed social housing in areas like Davies Avenue, Sutton.

The council has previously approved homes in sites across the district, including Warwick Close, Coxmoor, and 20 homes near the Maun Valley Industrial Park, Sutton.

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

Speaking at a January council meeting, Coun Keir Morrison said: “It’s a good use of land that’s there, rotting away. Let’s get that waiting list down.”

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

Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, previously said: “We’ve 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 also get rid of a grot-spot, anti-social behaviour magnets.”