New council homes approved for ‘grot-spot’ former garage sites in Ashfield

‘Grot-spot’ disused garage sites plagued by anti-social behaviour and drug use will be brought back to life after Ashfield Council approved 14 new ‘affordable’ family homes.

By Andrew Topping
Monday, 31st January 2022, 6:58 am

It comes as part of the authority’s plans to build 100 council houses within five years and follows the approval of several other schemes across the district in recent months.

The new properties will be based on Central Avenue, Darley Avenue and Spruce Grove in Kirkby, as well as a site in Hucknall, after the authority’s plan won cross-party support at the latest full council meeting.

Documents published ahead of the meeting state the homes will be created to address the high demand for affordable rented housing in the district.

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Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader.

Recent vacancies for a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom council-owned home attracted 124 and 191 bids respectively, the authority said, with only 21 homes becoming available in the past year.

The Central Avenue garages were previously demolished by the council leaving just scrubland, with three two-bedroom homes planned for this site.

The Darley Avenue garages, based on Kirkby’s Coxmoor estate, are described by the council as ‘prone to flooding’ and would need to be demolished to make way for the homes.

The authority plans three two-bedroom homes on the land.

A further five homes are planned on the Spruce Grove site, also on the Coxmoor Estate, including three two-bedroom and two three-bedroom properties.

The authority estimates the redevelopment plans will cost about £2.1 million. However, it will seek funding from Homes England to bring the costs down to £1.49m.

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The project was welcomed by councillors during the meeting.

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

Coun John Wilmott said: “This will help in tackling the anti-social behaviour and drug-taking taking place in some of these sites.

“To develop 14 council properties is a great opportunity to replace some of the right-to-buy properties we have lost recently.”

Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, said: “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.”

The council must now draw up planning applications to bring the homes to life.

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