Residents move into new council homes at Cambridgeshire village

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:07 19 October 2018

Gamlingay's first residents for its affordable homes scheme were welcomed by leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council and local member for Gamlingay Cllr Bridget Smith, Cambridgeshire county councillor for Gamlingay Cllr Sebastian Kindersley, SCDC's lead cabinet member for housing Cllr Hazel Smith and operations director at Taylor French Developments, Brian Ball.

Gamlingay's first residents for its affordable homes scheme were welcomed by leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council and local member for Gamlingay Cllr Bridget Smith, Cambridgeshire county councillor for Gamlingay Cllr Sebastian Kindersley, SCDC's lead cabinet member for housing Cllr Hazel Smith and operations director at Taylor French Developments, Brian Ball.

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Gamlingay residents delighted with affordable homes

Residents have moved into new affordable homes at Gamlingay's Robinson CourtResidents have moved into new affordable homes at Gamlingay's Robinson Court

Gamlingay has welcomed its first residents into a new affordable housing scheme.

The redevelopment of the South Cambridgeshire’s District Council’s Robinson Court site saw 32 old bedsits make way for 14 new homes – 10 of which are affordable.

It takes the number of new council homes built or under construction across the region to 100 since 2015.

The project is aimed at alleviating the shortage of affordable housing in Gamlingay with several one and two-bedroom flats for affordable rent, and some one and two-bedroom houses for shared ownership.

Council tenant Lucie Brown and her 11-month old twins Tommy and PatrickCouncil tenant Lucie Brown and her 11-month old twins Tommy and Patrick

The remaining four homes were made available for sale on the open market, which enables the provision of affordable housing on the bulk of the site.

Lucie Brown and her young family from Gamlingay, recently moved into one of the properties.

She said: “My family and I love the new home and are so pleased we got allocated one. The flat we live in is really big and my twins can have loads of fun playing in their walkers. The people we have living around us couldn’t be any friendlier and we absolutely love living here.”

Leader of SCDC and local member for Gamlingay ward, Cllr Bridget Smith, said the homes were helping local people find high Quality housing.

Cllr Smith said: “These are exactly the type of homes that we are working as hard as possible to deliver across South Cambridgeshire. Having a local home that is affordable to live in has a huge knock-on effect.

“It means residents like Lucie and her family, can remain in the communities where they have grown up. My administration is focussed on bringing forward homes that are affordable to live in, both when it comes to mortgage or rent and running costs. These new homes are energy-efficient, so residents will spend as little as possible on bills. For too many people, the bulk of income goes on rent or mortgage, then energy bills, leaving little left for them to live their lives, buy necessities and have fun. I’m thrilled that these new homes are helping local people find high-quality homes.”

The new, energy-efficient homes have solar panels to provide tenants access to free daytime electricity. They were built on the council-owned site that was previously made-up of buildings constructed in 1973 but became difficult to rent out due to the poor layouts.

The completion of the 10 new council homes on the site means that, since 2015, 84 new homes have been built in villages such as Gamlingay, Swavesey, Linton, Foxton, Great Abington and Waterbeach.

A total of 16 council homes are currently being built on sites in Longstanton and Balsham and a further 62 Council homes are planned in Waterbeach, Teversham, Caldecote, Great Abington and Hardwick.

In September, SCDC submitted a bid to the government to increase borrowing by £17 million to help deliver a further 149 affordable homes. This came after the government launched an initiative in June that allowed local councils to apply to borrow more money if they could show that affordable housing schemes could be delivered quickly. The council expects to find out whether its bid has been approved by the end of the autumn.

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