DONCASTER is set for a housing bonanza that could see hundreds of cheap homes built.
An agreement has been reached by Doncaster Council to dispose of 47 plots land it owns to help tackle a growing waiting list for properties.
Experts believe they move could mean around 400 ‘affordable’ new homes in the borough.
The cost of the scheme will be assessed on a site-by-site basis as each plot is worked up for a specific affordable housing scheme.
The homes would be built on land already owned by the council, and will see old housing land and garage sites used.
The move comes at a time when Doncaster’s waiting list for council houses is on the rise, having gone up from 11,091 on October 1, to 11,300 on December 1.
Sites have been identified at locations all over the borough including Cantley, Askern, Carcroft, Mexborough, Rossington, Thorne and Sprotbrough. It follows a review of land by housing experts.
The biggest site which has been identified is four acres next to Harpenden Road, Dunscroft. Other large areas are 2.3 acres in Cherry Tree Drive, Thorne, and nearly three acres in West End Lane, Rossington.
Mayor Peter Davies said he was keen to see any housing build on brownfield sites to avoid developments eating into the borough’s countryside.
He said he had talks with 12 housebuilding firms over carrying out work at a meeting at Doncaster Racecourse this month.
Mr Davies said: “We are trying to facilitate the building of affordable homes and social housing.
“I’m keen to stop building in villages around the borough, although I think some schemes are already happening. That must stop because it is ruining the rural nature of parts of the borough.
“I’m particularly keen to get houses on brownfield sites in the centre of the borough for economic and environmental reasons.
“Affordable housing is a priority because we are getting a situation where people can no longer afford to buy.”
Some of the sites will be sold on the open market and will be built using private finance.
Others may go to housing associations who would use their own finance and other public sector funding, such as cash from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency to pay for the costs.
Some sites would be built on by the council and used as new council housing, which would be managed by St Leger Homes, the authority’s arms length housing management organisation.
The costs for any new council housing would be covered by borrowing, which would be repaid from the rental income from the new homes.