Essex County Council tackles the housing shortage
A new housing development in Chelmsford city centre is part of a wider strategy to develop brownfield sites and empty public buildings
The New Year looks set to be an exciting one for the Chelmsford housing market as new city centre housing development, Goldlay Gardens, nears completion.
The Goldlay Gardens development is the brainchild of Essex County Council’s in-house property developer, Essex Housing, which was set up to tackle the housing shortage by redeveloping brownfield sites and empty public buildings. In this case, the public building in question is the council’s former library storage warehouse which has been knocked down and replaced with three blocks housing 32 apartments in total.
These one and two-bed apartments, some of which have been designated as ‘affordable homes’, will all have balconies or terraces and roof-mounted solar panels. Residents will also benefit from dedicated car parking spaces and a courtyard-style garden. The new homes are due to go on sale shortly and Chelmsford estate agents are predicting that they will be snapped up quickly.
Tackling the housing shortage
Britain is in the grip of a housing shortage, and it is estimated that 136,000 new homes are needed over the next 20 years in Essex County alone. Goldlay Gardens forms part of Essex Council’s efforts to tackle this shortage and ensure a sustainable supply of quality housing in the area.
At a special topping off ceremony in December, Councillor Sue Lismore, Cabinet Member for Housing, praised the development and the role played by the Council.
She said, “By acting as a developer, Essex County Council has been able to quickly transform this surplus piece of Brownfield land into a collection of apartments in the heart of Chelmsford. The properties are of the highest quality and will bring much-needed housing stock to the market.
“Here in Essex, we are committed to finding solutions for surplus Brownfield sites across the county and the Chancellor’s recent £44 billion housebuilding boost will help that ambition. But it’s vital that we, and the rest of local government nationwide, view any new developments as strong, resilient communities, rather than just a collection of buildings.
“We must build the right homes in the right places with the right infrastructure – that’s exactly what we’ve done here in Chelmsford.”
Goldlay Gardens is just one of many developments in the pipeline for Essex County Council. The council is planning new properties at Moulsham Lodge, Chelmsford and Norton Road, Brentwood, 60 Independent Living properties at a vacant site in Hillhouse, Waltham Abbey, and will be redeveloping and restoring Colchester’s Essex County Hospital, which will result in 100 new homes. As well as these concrete plans, Essex Housing is also undertaking feasibility studies at a further 22 sites across the county.
These developments are all part of Essex County Council’s commitment to finding sustainable housing solutions, and the local authority has pledged to spend £42 million by 2020 on building new homes, and aims to deliver at least 150 new homes per year.
Councillor Lismore declared, “Speeding up housing growth is vital to driving economic growth, but more importantly to ensure Essex is a great place to live, work and grow up, and so future generations can get a foot on the property ladder.”