Published Friday, 28th September 2018
In an effort to tackle the impact of spiralling housing costs, the Council is investing £10 million to build 57 new homes to help first time buyers get on the housing ladder.
Of these, 41 homes are to be sold at a discounted rate to make them more affordable.
The two developments, at Pitwood Park in Waterfield, Tadworth and at Cromwell Road in Redhill will also help to regenerate these areas.
Twenty five new homes - a mix of two and three bedroomed houses and one and two bedroomed flats - will replace a long-vacant industrial building at Pitwood Park.
All 25 homes will be sold as shared equity homes, giving a generous 25% discount on the purchase price. The buyer purchases a 75% share of the property and the Council will retain a 25% share until the owner sells it or buys the remaining share.
In addition, the flats and two-bedroomed houses will also be ‘starter homes’, so the purchase price will be discounted by 20% from the market value or capped at £250,000, whichever is lower.
Shared equity homes
At Cromwell Road, outdated flats and shops will be redeveloped to create 32 one and two bedroomed flats above new shops that are more suited to current market expectations. Around half the flats will be sold as shared-equity housing, like those in Tadworth, at a discount of 25% on full market values.
In addition, the Council has contributed almost half a million pounds to fund affordable housing on a more suitable site. This exceeds the Council’s liabilities under national planning guidance and demonstrates the Council’s commitment to provide affordable housing suitable for a variety of needs across the borough.
The large retail unit at Cromwell Road has been designed to allow subdivision into smaller units, to provide the flexibility to attract modern retailers. The Council plans to retain the unit to provide an, ongoing rental income stream.
Each development will be cost neutral to the Council and the tax payer. To enable the Council to provide discounted homes and ensure construction costs are covered by sale proceeds, some of the homes at the Cromwell Road site will be sold at full market price.
Helping people remain local
Cllr Knight, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Housing and Welfare, said: “Reigate & Banstead is a great place to live and work but we are conscious that its popularity means that house prices are out of reach of many of our residents.
“These discounted price homes are designed for residents on lower to middle incomeswho want to buy their first home and remain living locally, but otherwise would not be able to afford to do so. To ensure these homes go to those residents they are intended for, there will be strict eligibility tests based on national guidelines.”
Cllr Mrs Bramhall, Executive Member for Property & Acquisitions, said: “It’s important that our residents can afford to live and work in the locality and that our services and businesses can attract and retain good local staff. These developments will enable the much needed regeneration of these two sites, whilst creating new homes that are more affordable for our residents.
“In the case of the Cromwell Road site in particular, the redevelopment will improve this run down part of the town centre, provide a valuable contribution to affordable housing and increase the value of, and income from, one of the council’s long-held retail assets. Once completed, the development will prove complimentary to the recently completed neighbouring Queensgate scheme.”
Construction tenders for both projects are expected to be let in the autumn, with construction work starting on site in early 2019 and completion of both schemes due in early 2020. The Council will appoint an agent to market the homes once construction is underway.