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Council's private homes scheme on the market

New council-developed private homes, which are expected to be among the most prestigious properties being built in in Mansfield, are now available to buy.

The 23 executive four and five-bedroom detached houses are being developed by Mansfield District Council's property development company Mansfield Homes Ltd. 

The venture was set up by the council as an arm's length private company to build homes on surplus council land as a way of generating income to help support services for local people in the face of a dwindling Government grant.

In its first scheme, Wildflower Rise, on old nursery land owned by the council near Carr Bank Park, the luxury properties range in price from £415,000 to £540,000 and are expected raise £900,000 for the council.

The decision to build for the executive end of the market has been based a need to improve the supply of aspirational housing in the district, and in order to maximise the income generated by development. 

Separate to this private housing to buy, the council also has plans to build new social housing to rent. Over the next five years, more than 100 new council homes will be constructed in the district. This comes on top 218 new council homes built in the district between 2011 and 2018.

Executive Mayor Kate Allsop said: "We are very excited to see these beautifully designed homes taking shape in Wildflower Rise.  

"We know there is a market for this kind of housing in the town and it is part of the council's wider strategy make this district more ambitious in its aspirations and a place where people are proud to live.

"It is also part of the council's innovative approach to generate new streams of income to pay for services at a time when our central Government funding is shrinking considerably.

"Around a third of local authorities have also adopted this approach as a way of generating income."

Mansfield Homes Ltd was set up in 2014 with the aim of building about 220 two to five-bedroom homes to sell on the open market to help meet housing demands in the district as identified in the draft Local Plan. 

The Plan recognises that 1,767 new homes are needed by 2033 in addition to the 5,733 dwellings that are already approved for planning and development. 

Mansfield Homes' sole shareholder is Mansfield District Council. The council directors of the company are the Executive Mayor, Kate Allsop (who is also the chair of the board) and Hayley Barsby, the council's Chief Executive. Neither are paid a fee for this work. There are also two independent directors with financial and housing skills who are each paid £4,000 per annum.

The company has been started using an £8.8m loan from the council to fund the first project. The company pays the council a commercial rate of interest on this loan, which is expected to be repaid in full once the 23 homes in Wildflower Rise are sold. 

The company operates by developing surplus council land. It pays the council for this land along with a share of the profit from the sale of the properties. The remainder of the profit is retained by the company to facilitate further schemes. 
 
All of the company's activities are rigorously held to account under statutory requirements that govern companies, as well as being accountable to the council as its sole shareholder. 

Work on the Wildflower Rise homes is scheduled to be complete in September. A show room is due to open in May. The houses are being marketed by Burchell Edwards estate agents in Mansfield and potential buyers can now reserve a property. Contact the agents at Mansfield@burchelledwards.co.uk or call 01623 627727.

Published on 7 January 2019
 

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