Scarborough Council’s cabinet is set to approve a consultation in the potential sale of a number of parcels of land it owns in order to meet the goals of its Better Homes project.
Last year, the cabinet gave the green light for the scheme which will work with providers of social housing and private developers to address a homes shortage due to the average house price in the borough being nine times the local average wage.
As eight pieces of the land under consideration are classed as public open spaces the cabinet will be asked when it meets next Tuesday to advertise their potential sale in order to allow a public consultation to take place.
The consultation will run for longer than the statutory two weeks due to the pandemic.
The 12 sites include a parcel of land that encompasses two holes of Whitby Golf Club that could provide up to 60 homes.
The golf club site is adjacent to a separate parcel of land, also part of the course, that is currently going through the Local Plan process and could also one day have houses on it.
More than 1,000 people have signed a petition against the second piece of the course in Sandsend Road being included in the next Local Plan. The site is not one of those classed as a public open space.
Two large areas at Musham Bank in Eastfield are also in the scheme and are earmarked for up to 600 homes.
The sites classed as public open spaces, which will go out to consultation, include two pieces of land at Rievaulx Road and one in California Road in Whitby. Land at Prince of Wales Terrace, Sandybed Lane and Sandybed Crescent in Scarborough and open spaces in Clarence Drive, Filey and Moor Lane, Newby are also included.
Land at West End View in Cayton has also been earmarked for housing but is not a public open space.
The council sees the Better Homes project as critical to addressing the borough’s shortage of quality housing for local people, which is also affordable.
Approximately 37 per cent of jobs in the borough are paid below the Real Living Wage and around 41 per cent of employed clients of the local Citizens’ Advice claim in-work benefits.
This has resulted in 2,000 households on the waiting list for social rented housing.
Demand for affordable homes is therefore high and the council estimates that around 220 are needed per year. With the borough’s ageing population, there is also a need for 4,000 specialist and adaptable homes.
A further report to Cabinet to consider the Better Homes project’s full business case and potential delivery mechanisms will be considered in June and will include any objections made during the consultation.
Cllr Carl Maw, Scarborough Council Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and Housing, said: “In order to deliver this hugely important, ambitious and above all essential project to the best of our ability, it is prudent for officers to recommend all available options for land that could be used.
“It is Cabinet’s role to consider whether these sites should be put forward for public consultation, based on their current merits and whether we think they are likely to help achieve our ambition of a quality home for all.”
The Better Homes project is linked to the council’s economic development plans for the borough, including stimulating recovery following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr Liz Colling, the Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, added: “Providing quality homes that people can afford, in the right locations, is part of our overarching strategy for boosting the local economy.
“We expect the works to generate local jobs and apprenticeships, to use local suppliers where possible and stimulate investment in new sustainable industries to help us on our journey to carbon neutrality, as well as providing well paid jobs for the future.”