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Plans for 33 new council homes get government funding boost

Published on Thursday, October 14, 2021

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PLANS to build new council homes in the New Parks area of Leicester have had a boost with the award of over £440,000 of government cash.

Leicester City Council has successfully bid for £443,400 of cash from the Government’s Brownfield Land Release Fund to develop underused and derelict land and property on the site of former Forest Lodge Education Centre, on Charnor Road.

Leicester is one of 53 councils to receive a share of almost £58million from the Department for Levelling, Housing and Communities’ scheme.

The 2.25acre plot in New Parks plot has been earmarked for 33 high quality and sustainable new council homes.

Work to prepare the brownfield site for redevelopment is due to begin in late-spring 2022 at an overall cost of around £740,000. This will see the vacant buildings demolished, a large area of hard standing broken up and removed and existing services made safe. Additional costs will be met by the city council through Right to Buy receipts. Building work is then likely to begin in early-2023 and construction costs have not yet been agreed.

The council plans to redevelop the site to provide a mix of 10 one-bedroom flats, 18 two-bedroom houses and five three-bedroom houses. The houses are expected to be made available to people on the city council’s housing register from mid-2024.

Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, assistant city mayor for housing, said: “We welcome this new funding from the government that will help us bring forward plans for more new, high-quality and sustainable council homes in the city.

“It is absolutely vital that we explore the potential of all underused and derelict land with a view to bringing it back into meaningful use that benefit the city and local communities. This new funding is an endorsement of the need to redevelop this site for much-needed new housing.”

Forest Lodge Education centre has been vacant since 2018. It was originally built as a nursery school but was used as a training and conference centre in its latter years.