Thursday, February 22, 2024

News: Investment continues into new council housing across Rotherham


Rotherham Council has committed £126m for hundreds more Council homes by 2026.

It comes at the same time as planning applications are submitted for council-led housing developments and the authority makes moves to purchase homes built by commercial developers.

Despite the council owning 20,127 homes, which puts it in the top 20 local authority stock owners in England, there were over 7,000 individuals and households on the Council’s Housing Register.

The Right to Buy initiative has also seen 956 Council homes sold between January 2018 and November 2023 with just over 500 affordable homes delivered by the council in that time and 104 acquired from developers. The aim is to deliver over 1,000 homes by 2026.

Plans are being advanced for a number of construction projects across the borough including Canklow, Eastwood, and Maltby, with £430,000 of funding secured to redevelop brownfield land owned by the council. Future sites could also inlcude Boswell Street near Herringthorpe Playing Fields and the site of the former Thornhill School, both of which are in the pre-planning stage.

Reaching planning application stage are proposals for former council care home sites at Addison Road in Maltby, where 27 dwellings (a mix of flats, houses and dormer bungalows) are planned, and at former Netherfield Court in Eastwood, where 19 affordable dwellings (a mixture of 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom housing) are planned (cgi, below).

Also at Eastwood, the prominent council-owned former car park on York Road is set to be transformed with 12 new affordable house on what is considered to be a gateway site into Rotherham town centre. Here four 2-bedroom accessible flats, six 3-bedroom dwellings and two 2-bedroom dwellings are planned (cgi, top).

Plans for residential developments have also been submitted by the council for the site of the former Parkhill Lodge care home and at Elm Tree Road in Maltby, the site of the former Ship Inn in Swinton, and on land at Princess Street / Albert Road and Princess Street / Winterwell Road in West Melton.

With only limited land in council ownership, homes have been bought in developments such as Harron's "The Paddocks" in Wickersley and Redrow's "Poppyfields" in Ravenfield. Acquisitions are expected at Brecks, Parkgate and Waverley.

Cllr. Sarah Allen, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member Neighbourhood Working and Acting Cabinet Member Housing at Rotherham Council, updated councillors on the completed developments, a mix of sizes and tenures, saying that she would be proud to live in any of the houses she has had the privelige to see.

Looking ahead Cllr. Allen said: "We do still have a high demand for council homes, with around 7,000 people on the housing register. Our ability to meet that demand is still being eroded by the Right to Buy initiative. We have, however, just bought back our "first refusal" on a Right to Buy property but one house is only the start of that initiative."

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council called the first refusal scheme "completely nonsense," adding: "The Council were forced to sell Council housing stock under the Right to Buy Scheme at a massive discount. Although the receipts were kept by the Council, they do not cover the cost of replacing those properties. Further, buying those same properties back later, at an inflated value from a private owner, is a waste of public money."

Cllr. Read said that the Council was doing the things possible within the legal framework but stated that the legal framework had to change.

Images: RMBC / Race Cottam


Anonymous,  February 22, 2024 at 10:58 AM  

I've said this many times, council are wasting land building houses virtually in town centre,should be building blocks of apartments, therefore getting many more homes on available land,fair enough some might say people want House's...well if land is short , they'll eventually have to live in flats...or under cardboard or in tents!

Anonymous,  February 22, 2024 at 11:07 AM  

Investments like these worry me given the hole many councils have found themselves in, especially when having to write off the value of multi million pound spends.

Anonymous,  February 22, 2024 at 12:18 PM  

Give it a rest fgs.

Anonymous,  February 22, 2024 at 2:37 PM  

Let’s build loads of high rise apartments that nobody wants and they can stand empty. A great use of land.

Anonymous,  February 22, 2024 at 2:38 PM  

Out of interest Captain High Rise, Do you live in a flat or a house?

Anonymous,  February 22, 2024 at 5:43 PM  

I live on the 7 th floor of Rotherhams only tower block.As for the standing comment,well I don't think so,if people want places to live ,then they shouldn't be choosey, especially when the reality is(seems to go over your heads),we can't continue to build millions of house's with gardens,we have not got the land,baring in mind we will need more land for food production as the population grows, especially with food security issue's and possible war looming,and wildlife needs homes too.Think some people need to face reality and get there heads out of there a***s!

Anonymous,  February 22, 2024 at 5:45 PM  

Have to agree with first comment, Rotherham dose seems to waste land in town centre,even Barnsley now as high rise apparments.

Anonymous,  February 27, 2024 at 4:07 PM  

As Chair of the Beeversleigh residents Association can I ask if someone would like to swap my flat for a bungalow?

Anonymous,  February 27, 2024 at 7:17 PM  

I think some of the criticism of the council only building houses and wasting town centre land are pretty breathtaking. With the exception of a few riverside dwellings opposite New York Stadium all of the building has comprised large apartment blocks (Westgate, Keppels Wharf and Wellgate) or the conversion of existing premises (Imperial Buildings, the Wellington, H Samuel building and potentially Millgate). I applaud the council for refusing to build high rise blocks which are in most big cities breeding grounds for crime, drugs and antisocial behaviour. Well done Rotherham.

Anonymous,  February 27, 2024 at 11:21 PM  

I agree, while the town is in desperate need of improvements, I personally don’t want to see it become an identikit version of everywhere else.

Anonymous,  February 28, 2024 at 2:13 PM  

There is no way I would like to live on the top floor of somewhere like Beeversleigh and have to look down on all those poor people hanging around Tesco. I am quite happy with my six bedroomer at Whiston.

Anonymous,  February 28, 2024 at 3:09 PM  

That would be the Chequers then?

Anonymous,  February 28, 2024 at 6:47 PM  

I'll give you an old garden shed for it, but I'll also need a financial adjustment in my favour

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