Affordable Homes for Wiltshire

Hundreds of affordable homes a step closer for Wiltshire

Conservative Wiltshire Council’s proposals to provide around 350 new affordable homes in west Wiltshire have received Government backing, signalling a significant boost for the project.

Wiltshire Council’s case for £77m in investment through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme has been supported by the Housing Minister following a value for money review, meaning the final business case can now go to the government for approval.

If the contract is approved, the first phase of around 240 homes would be built in Trowbridge, Warminster, Westbury, Melksham and Hilperton by Devizes-based Sarsen Housing Association with Persimmon Homes and Westbury Partnerships. Plans to build a further 100 homes would also progress with the backing of the PFI investment.

The housing PFI allows local authorities to work with private sector partners to build, improve and manage housing. It is administered in England by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which has been working with the Council in support of its bid.

This scheme is one of 13 that the government signalled continued support for, subject to a value for money review, in November last year.

Cllr John Thomson (Cons), cabinet member for housing, said: "I am really pleased we have been able to work with the government to ensure these 350 much-needed affordable homes can be built, despite the difficult financial times.

“It is especially important during the economic downturn that we are able to provide enough good quality accommodation for Wiltshire's residents.”

The next step will see the council produce a final business case for the project, which must be signed off by the HCA, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Treasury.

HCA executive director for the south and south west, Colin Molton, said: “It’s great news that the government has signalled its continued support for this project, which has the potential to make a huge difference to local communities across Wiltshire.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the council to finalise the agreement and move this through to the next stage.”

For more information please contact Ben Lowndes from the Homes and Communities Agency on 0117 937 7209 or 07795013981 or ben.lowndes@hca.gsx.gov.uk

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