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Further funding approved to build affordable homes in South Yorkshire

Further funding for housing aimed at first-time buyers and affordable homes for rent and shared ownership in South Yorkshire has been approved
Further funding for housing aimed at first-time buyers and affordable homes for rent and shared ownership in South Yorkshire has been approved

The Sheffield City Region Housing Investment Board has approved further funding to build homes for first-time buyers and affordable rent or shared ownership.

The approval sees another £717,000 of funding for homes to be built in Mexborough, Darfield and Sheffield.

To date, £1.23 million in loans and grants has been approved by the SCR Housing Fund, and will see 98 new homes built in the region.

25 of those houses and apartments will be aimed at first-time buyers in Mexborough, and 35 will be affordable homes for rent and shared ownership in Darfield.

The Board approved a grant of £367,000 in May for a 35-affordable home scheme to be built by the Together Housing Association on Nanny Marr Road in Darfield.

The work is set to start in September, with the hopes that the homes will be ready to move into by December 2020.

The City Region’s Local Growth Funding is providing £350,000, which comprises half of a grant and the other half of a loan, for costs in developing on Leach Lane in Mexborough.

Essential work includes diverting mains drains, clearing undergrowth, and raising the ground level near the canal bank to avoid the risk of flooding.

The 2, 3, and 4 bedroom homes will have good local transport links to employment, and Mexborough town centre, a regeneration area, that will also benefit from the development.

With housing a key priority for the City Region, the plans have been welcomed by Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones, who chaired the meeting of the Housing Investment Board.

Mayor Jones said: “These are exactly the sort of visionary schemes we want to see in this region. It’s providing the right homes in the right places to ensure we can underpin the economic growth of the region.”

Melissa Kroger, Director at the developers Fenwood Estates, said: “The Leach Lane site has been stalled since 2007 and it’s great that thanks to the backing from Sheffield City Region and Homes England, we can now finally proceed.

"Fenwood Estates recognise that this site will be a landmark waterside regeneration scheme for the area and we are very excited to finally break the ground and begin the development!”

Hilary Brady, Group Head of Development at Synergy Housing Solutions Ltd, a member of the Together Housing Group, said: “I am delighted that we have secured funds from the City Region which will allow us to build much needed affordable homes in the village centre of Darfield and bring a derelict site back into use.

"We have worked closely with the City Region and are grateful they have been able to make a swift decision to ensure additional housing can be delivered.”

The Mexborough and Darfield schemes follow the first project to be approved under the City Region’s unique £10million ‘fast track’ housing pilot in March.

Work is already underway on site to build 38 affordable flats close to the iconic Park Hill flats in Sheffield, with support of £517,000 from the City Region, with all three schemes co-funded by Homes England.

Mayor Jones added: “We’re working to complement and plug the gaps in current national housing investment programme, unlock development opportunities and deliver much-needed new homes across the city region.

“One of the main barriers to development across the City Region is challenging site conditions, and both schemes will develop brownfield sites. Both will also be providing new employment and apprenticeships.

“We’re delighted to be working with Fenwood Estates and the Together Housing Association.”

The funding from the Sheffield City Region is part of it's £380 million programme of investment. This includes a contribution from the Government’s Local Growth Fund which is part of the Government’s continued investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

The SCR pilot seeks to complement and ‘plug the gap’ in current nationally available housing investment programmes - unlocking development opportunities to deliver much needed homes. It offers a flexible approach to the allocation of funds to meet the requirements of individual schemes.

The first scheme was approved in March 2018, just four months after the initial application.