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Gravesend could get 100 brand new council homes in the biggest project for more than 30 years

Gravesend could get 100 brand new council homes in what is being dubbed the biggest social housing project in more than 30 years.

A housing regeneration scheme could result in the derelict Tenants’ Club in Whitehill Lane and existing unpopular bedsits in Valley Drive being demolished and 200 new homes built in their place.

Of those, 100 would be council houses and the rest for first time buyers, flats and houses with a mix of one and two bedrooms, plus a number of the up-to-date retirement homes.

Building bricks and mortar for future council housing needs
Building bricks and mortar for future council housing needs

There are currently 2,500 people on the council's waiting list for a home.

The plan for the energy efficient builds in the Valley Drive area will go before councillors at the Housing Delivery committee on September 28.

If agreed, the council will work alongside developers and architects to draw up a viable plan.

Cabinet member for housing Cllr Tony Pritchard said: “This would be the biggest programme for new council houses for nearly 30 years.

"Even after taking into account the units which will be demolished, we could still end up with 100 brand new council homes.

"I hope that this is the start of building more council homes in the future."

Cllr Tony Pritchard
Cllr Tony Pritchard

Although the council has built some social housing over the years, it has only been on a small scale, 10 homes here and there including some in Harden Road, Northfleet, a few years ago.

A council spokesman said it had not been possible to deliver a project on this scale until now.

It will be funded in part from money given in Section 106 agreements. House builders are obliged to build a certain amount of affordable homes within their developments. If they cannot, they pay the council the equivalent for it to use on relocated and building those homes.

The bedsits which are currently standing have been unpopular over the years and the council is now looking to build homes more suited to those in need.

Existing tenants have been told of the proposals and issued with demolition notices which removes the right to buy on existing council tenancies there.

Tenants will be given first refusal on any new homes if the scheme goes ahead.

If agreed and plans are drawn up, they will be presented in a planning application to the council's regulatory board in due course.

Cllr Pritchard added: “This is an ambitious project but shows that, even in these days of cuts the council is prioritising the creation of social housing in Gravesham for Gravesham people.”

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