West Dorset District Council

Council to launch housing company



West Dorset District Council has announced plans to set up a local authority trading company to deliver affordable homes to the region.

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This comes after members of its strategy committee approved the recommendation and suggested it could be set up with £4m of funding from council reserves.

The funding will be used to operate the business, acquire sites and fund the development of new homes.

The new company will:

  • target areas of need that are not currently being served by the locally based housing developer
  • work with community land trusts to deliver smaller sites
  • acquire new land as well as developing the council’s own
  • acquire sites that have been granted planning consent for housing, but not brought forward
  • work with other developers and housing associations where its involvement can unlock development that would otherwise have not taken place.

Cllr Tim Yarker, housing portfolio holder at West Dorset District Council, said it was determined to do everything in its power to tackle the housing shortage.

“More good quality homes of all tenures are absolutely vital for the future of our communities and the strength of our local economy.

“A local authority trading company will give us greater control over the tenure and location of housing developments, while also offering significant potential to help ameliorate housing shortages.

“In addition to increasing the supply of housing locally, receipts from the sale of properties and rents would create revenue streams that in the longer term could be reinvested in further housing provision.”



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