The first Cambridge council houses in over 20 years being built

PUBLISHED: 07:02 30 July 2017

Two new council homes being built on Uphall Road will be the first in recent times to be constructed by Cambridge City Council employees and apprentices, Councillor Kevin Price talks to carpenter apprentice. Picture: Keith Heppell

Two new council homes being built on Uphall Road will be the first in recent times to be constructed by Cambridge City Council employees and apprentices, Councillor Kevin Price talks to carpenter apprentice. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Two council houses being built on Uphall Road will be the first in more than 20 years to be provided using Cambridge City Council’s own workforce.

Two new council homes being built on Uphall Road will be the first in recent times to be constructed by Cambridge City Council employees and apprentices, Councillor Kevin Price talks to carpenter apprentice. Picture: Keith HeppellTwo new council homes being built on Uphall Road will be the first in recent times to be constructed by Cambridge City Council employees and apprentices, Councillor Kevin Price talks to carpenter apprentice. Picture: Keith Heppell

The three-bedroom, semi-detached properties are going up on a site that was previously occupied by 15 garages.

They are at an early stage, with the timber frame of the roof being put in place only last week. When they are completed later this year they will be let to people on the council’s housing waiting list who will rent them directly from the local authority.

The council’s own bricklayers, carpenters, electricians and apprentices are working on the two homes. They will have high levels of energy efficiency, with insulation and solar panels fitted to the roof that will help to reduce the tenants’ electricity bills.

Cllr Kevin Price, deputy leader of the city council and the executive member for housing, said that the council might be able to deliver 100 of the 500 Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority-funded homes earmarked for construction in Cambridge on small patches of city council-owned land, similar to the Uphall Road pair.

Two new council homes being built on Uphall Road will be the first in recent times to be constructed by Cambridge City Council employees and apprentices, the exterior. Picture: Keith HeppellTwo new council homes being built on Uphall Road will be the first in recent times to be constructed by Cambridge City Council employees and apprentices, the exterior. Picture: Keith Heppell

“That’s 100 families who’ll be able to live in an area where housing costs are very high,” he said. “And using our own staff and apprentices to build a few houses is great too. From my point of view it’s a good news story all around.”

The council says that small-scale, infill housing developments such as that in Uphall Road are less commercially appealing to developers, which gives the authority the opportunity to step in and do the work itself.

“We need to provide more homes for people to meet the huge demand and that means making use of all the opportunities available,” said Cllr Price.

“These houses at Uphall Road, and others on small parcels of land which are mostly council-owned sites, will become much-needed homes for people currently on our housing waiting list.”

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