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Significant step taken towards affordable housing plans

29/08/14

Proposals for new affordable housing developments in Aberdeen are about to be lodged with the planning authority.

Aberdeen City Council is preparing to lodge proposal of application notices for five sites across the city.

The council has committed to delivering 2,000 affordable homes and is in the process of identifying sites for these new homes. The provision of affordable housing is identified in the council's Strategic Infrastructure Plan as one of five key priorities required to secure the city's continued growth and economic development.

The authority is leading on the development of 1,026 affordable homes on council-owned sites. The remainder of the 2,000 affordable homes will be delivered by private housebuilders and registered social landlords.

The new homes will provide a broad housing mix, including social rent, mid-market -rent, shared equity/low-cost home ownership, and private sale. The precise mix of house types of tenures, and the total number of homes per site, will be decided in due course.

The council plans to enter into a joint-venture development partnership to provide the homes as quickly as possible and has approved spending 3million to finance preparatory work on the sites to ensure they are ready to be developed once the partnership is in place. The investment will be recoverable at a later date as sites are developed by the joint venture development partnership.

Proposal of application notices for new developments at: the former Tillydrone Primary School, the former St Machar Primary School, the former Aberdon Care Home, the former Craighill Primary School and the former Smithfield Primary School will be lodged in the coming days.

Council leader Jenny Laing said: "We have agreed a Strategic Infrastructure Plan to make sure Aberdeen remains economically buoyant and a city we are proud to call home. One of the main objectives in achieving this long-term plan is to deliver more affordable housing. We are leading in this objective by using Council land to deliver affordable homes.

"This move is the first, very significant, step in the planning process and a clear demonstration of our commitment to tackle the challenges facing Aberdeen. We are putting the mechanisms in place to ensure we provide these much-needed affordable homes as soon as possible, as we continue shaping Aberdeen for the future.

"The delivery of affordable housing will not only help to meet the housing demands of the city, but will also help to address the skills gap the city is facing, as the provision of new and affordable housing will help to bring skilled workers, who are currently priced out of Aberdeen into the city."

Lead councillor for regeneration, Ross Grant, said: "It is widely recognised that Aberdeen needs more housing, particularly affordable housing if the city is to continue to flourish.

"Our officers have identified a number of sites across the city, many of which are in regeneration areas, which they believe are suitable for affordable housing developments.

"It is absolutely essential that before we seek planning permission to develop sites that we consult with the communities where developments are proposed. The purpose of the consultation is to involve local individuals and groups to influence the shape of plans in their local area. I would encourage everyone with an interest in these proposals to attend the pre-application consultation events to find out more about what is proposed and to make their views on the proposals known."

Public drop-in events, staffed by council officers, will be held in three locations to present and discuss proposals with the public. These discussions and any comments made in writing will help to finalise proposals that are subsequently submitted for planning permission.

The consultation events will take place as follows:
•24 September, 4pm to 9pm at Kincorth Academy
•29 September, 4pm to 9pm at St George's Church, Tillydrone
•01 October, 4pm to 9pm at Manor Park Primary School (community centre).

Once the pre-application consultation process is complete, formal applications will be submitted for each of the sites. There will be a further opportunity to comment to the planning authority on the proposals at that stage.