Derelict buildings to become starter homes

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A Government initiative to convert derelict buildings, abandoned shops and industrial premises in Chesterfield into much needed starter homes will benefit local people looking to take a first step on the property ladder, says town planner Paul Barton (pictured) of property agents Bruton Knowles.

Chesterfield has been selected as one of the first 30 local authorities to take part in a scheme aimed at delivering starter homes at key sites.

Aimed exclusively at first-time buyers between the ages of 23 to 40, new homes will be sold at least 20% below market value with support from the Government’s £1.2 billion Starter Homes Land Fund.

Paul said that the initiative will help revive brownfield sites not ordinarily considered viable for the building of homes because of the costs involved making them suitable for housing.

He said: “The fundamental misconception is that every piece of abandoned or derelict industrial land is ‘shovel ready’ for new housing. But while brownfield land with planning permission for housing can generally be bought more cheaply, sites have been slow coming forward as they often need expensive remedial works before they are ready for the bulldozers.

“Starter homes are specifically aimed at first time buyers between the age of 23-40, who will be able to purchase the property at 80% of the market value, so it should be very attractive to people in the Chesterfield area.”

As one of the first 30 local authorities chosen, Chesterfield Borough Council will work with the Homes and Communities Agency to identify the best sites for the new homes.

This can include derelict or abandoned shops, offices, industrial buildings or retail centre.

The HCA received 79 expressions of interest from 120 local authorities across the country.