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'Grot spot' Hucknall garages get the green light to be turned into council housing

'Grot spot' Hucknall garages get the green light to be turned into council housing

A ‘grot-spot’ disused garage site in Hucknall plagued by anti-social behaviour and drug use will be brought back to life after Ashfield District Council approved plans for new ‘affordable’ family homes to be built on the site.

By Andrew ToppingMonday, 31st January 2022, 12:01 pm

The project, on Oak Grove, is part of the authority’s plans to build 100 new council houses within five years and follows the approval of several other schemes across the district in recent months.

As well as Hucknall, plans for other disused garages at two sites in Kirkby-in-Ashfield were also approved for new housing.

The plans got unanimous, cross-party support at a full council meeting.

Documents published ahead of the meeting stated the homes would be created to address the high demand for affordable rented housing in the district.

Recent vacancies for a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom council-owned home attracted 124 and 191 bids respectively, the authority said, with only 21 homes becoming available in the past year.

The Hucknall site, which will accommodate three two-bedroom houses, is currently used ‘as an unofficial caravan storage’, according to the council.

The authority estimates the plans will cost about £2.1 million, although it will seek funding from Homes England to bring the costs down to £1.49 million.

'Grot spot' Hucknall garages get the green light to be turned into council housing

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The plans have been welcomed by Hucknall councillors.

Coun Keir Morrison (Lab), who represents Hucknall South, said: “It’s really good to see this report, it’s something I’m in full support of.

“I’m a big supporter of making sure there are plenty more council houses built across the district.

“It’s a good use of land that’s there, rotting away – let’s get that waiting list down.”

Coun John Wilmott (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North, added: “This will help in tackling the anti-social behaviour and drug-taking that’s been taking place in some of these sites.

“It seems any derelict area that is quiet, derelict, dark or hidden away, is a prime spot for these activities to take place.

“To develop 14 new council properties is a great opportunity to replace some of the Right to Buy properties we have lost.”

Coun Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), council leader, said: “We’ve got an enormous waiting list, and our houses aren’t houses – they’re peoples’ homes.

“This is a real win-win because they become family homes and they also get rid of a grot-spot, anti-social behaviour magnets.”

HucknallAshfield District CouncilJason Zadrozny