New homes for neighbourhoods
Estate Regeneration Programme
What is the New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme?
Brighton & Hove City Council’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme is building much needed new council homes on council owned land. We work with local resident associations, ward councillors, council staff and partners to improve council estates and neighbourhoods, while making best use of council housing land and buildings to deliver new, affordable rented homes that the city needs.
Why does the council want to build new homes?
There are over 24,000 households on the Homemove register wanting to rent a council or housing association home in Brighton & Hove. Numbers on the register have been rising, while few council homes become empty. We need more new homes for local residents and to help council tenants who now need to move to a bigger or smaller home, or to a home that meets their mobility needs.
The council already works closely with other social landlords to help them increase the supply of homes across the city. Under the New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme, we are building new homes on our own land.
Where are the New Homes for Neighbourhoods homes being built?
We do not have big sites of unused council housing land available to build new estates, so we are developing small ‘infill’ sites on council land, such as former offices, garage and car parking sites.
We will also work with local communities to look at how we might regenerate council estates in the greatest need of investment, where there are opportunities to do so and to provide new homes. We will involve and consult local residents and provide opportunities for them to have a say in the design of new homes.
We welcome any suggestions of council sites we could include in the New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme. We work closely with local tenant and resident associations and won’t start any development without proper consultation with local residents first.
How can the council pay for new homes?
Most of the cost of building new homes will be repaid from rents from the new homes. We can also use some receipts from sales when other council tenants exercise their right to buy their council home and some of the savings we make by running council housing more efficiently. In addition, we have some grant funding from central government.
Some future developments might include a few properties for sale to help pay to build homes for rent. For example, homes for Help to Buy shared ownership to help residents buy their first home by part-buying and part-renting. Having a mix of housing types can also help to build sustainable communities.
Who is moving into the new homes?
New council homes for rent are advertised and let through Homemove, in the same way as other council properties.
Are new homes more expensive to live in than other council housing?
New homes are being let at ‘affordable rents’, like some housing association properties now let through Homemove. These rents help the council build many more new homes than would otherwise be possible. Although higher than current council rents, affordable rents are lower than private sector rents and are still within Housing Benefit limits for eligible households.
As well as being newly built and decorated, all new homes are very energy efficient, so tenants can save money on their heating bills compared to most other homes.
What sort of new homes are being built?
We are building a range of housing types, from larger family houses to one bedroom flats. It depends on the site and the needs of each area. Homes are easily accessible and adaptable to meet residents’ changing needs and some are designed specially for wheelchair users.
We are building new homes to high standards to help minimise residents’ fuel bills and carbon emissions. They aim to support people to live sustainable lifestyles and encourage sustainable neighbourhoods.
When will new homes be ready?
The first new homes were completed in 2015 and 2016. We have a programme of other sites in development, with completions expected later in 2017. You can check the schemes in the pipeline under ‘Latest News’ below..
How many new homes will be built?
That depends on finding suitable sites, on the amount of resident and local support for development, on funding being available and on meeting planning requirements. We are aiming to build at least 500 new homes on council housing land.
If you would like to download this information as a separate document, please download the New Homes for Neighbourhoods FAQ (PDF 113 KB).
New Homes for Neighbourhoods Update
Brooke Mead, Albion Street, Brighton – 45 new council 'extra care' flats
A show flat for this extra-care scheme, targeted at people with low to moderate dementia is now open and the scheme is expected to be completed in July 2017. Brooke Mead web page
Albion Hill Residents Association and local residents have been involved in plans for the new community garden next to the site.
Kite Place, Whitehawk Road - 57 new council flats
Work to build 57 new council flats in two blocks on the site of the former Whitehawk Library at the junction of Findon and Whitehawk Road is progressing well, in line with the Kite Place planning permission granted in November 2015. The Leader of the council and local ward councillor, Warren Morgan, marked the start on site of the largest scheme in the New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme so far and a topping out ceremony to mark the completion of the upper storeys on 4 November. We expect the new homes to be completed in autumn 2017 and to have a show flat open beforehand. The flats have one, two or three bedrooms and include flats designed for applicants in Mobility 1, 2 and 3 bandings.
The site hoardings featuring winning designs from an art competition for pupils of City Academy Whitehawk and Crew Club youth group members won runner-up prize in a hoardings competition run by the Considerate Constructors Scheme. Westridge Construction have also won a Considerate Constructors award for community involvement. Due East Neighbourhood Council are taking forward residents' feedback on other community issues and priorities for the area from the Planning for Real consultation held in March 2015.
Hobby Place, Whitehawk Road - 29 new council flats
This scheme of 29 council flats is now under construction on the previously empty site between Whitehawk Academy and the Wellsbourne Health Centre. Planning permission was granted on 27 September 2016 and work is expected to be completed in January 2018. There will be two blocks with flats of various sizes including flats suitable for wheelchair users and tenants with mobility issues.
This scheme was developed with feedback from local residents who were invited to a drop-in consultation event on 9 February at the Whitehawk Hub to look at a model and designs. Using the 'planning for real' model of the area, they commented on the proposed scheme and also gave feedback to Due East Neighbourhood Council about wider Whitehawk issues and opportunities to improve the area.
Kensington Street, Brighton
Planning permission for 12 new homes on three small sites in Kensington Street in the North Laine was granted has been submitted, following earlier consultation with local residents and businesses. The sites are being prepared for construction which is expected to start late spring 2017.
We held a competition with the Royal Institute of British Architects for architects to design new council homes at small former or under-used garage and parking sites at Hinton Close, Rotherfield Crescent, Natal Road and Frederick Street in Brighton. Local residents around each site were consulted on the shortlisted designs in the autumn and have been informed of the winning designs. We are working on the plans and local residents will be consulted again before a planning application is submitted.
Former Selsfield Drive housing office site, Moulsecoomb
Bates Estate residents and community representatives met the council's architect and gave their views on a proposed new block of 27 flats on the site of the former Selsfield Drive housing office at a drop-in consultation on Saturday 6 February at Moulsecoomb Hall, Lewes Rd. Most of their feedback was supportive of the development and the design and Housing & New Homes Committee approved the development on 2 March 2016. We have been liaising with Planning and will keep the resident association updated on changes to the design.
Plumpton Road, Queens Park
In January 2017, Housing & New Homes and Policy, Resources & Growth Committees agreed to lease a small, overgrown former garage site to a self-build housing co-operative to build two family homes for rent. The site has very long, narrow access and self build seems the only viable way to bring the site into use for affordable rented homes.
Land and funding for new homes are in short supply, sites are often small and very challenging, but many more affordable rented homes are needed. So we are also working with development partners to deliver affordable rented homes on former or underused garage sites using modular homes. These would be built in a factory and delivered by lorry, but be designed to last as long as traditionally built homes.
Proposals for four new modular homes on two of the four small underused council housing garage sites at Patchdean were presented to residents and local ward councillors at a consultation event in February 2017. The council would let and manage the new homes if this pilot gets approval. The architects are investigating adjustments in light of residents’ feedback.
Buckley Close, Hangleton
Designs for more modular homes are being worked up for the site of 51 empty council garages in Buckley Close, Hangleton which are no longer safe to use. A drop-in consultation event will be held in April 2017 for local residents to see the plans and give us their comments.
Eastergate Road, Mouslecoomb
Modular Y:Cube homes for single young people may be built on this partly cleared council housing garage site next to the Housing Centre in Moulsecoomb. The Homes & Communities Agency has allocated funding for this scheme. We will arrange a consultation event in the Housing Centre for local residents and businesses when the plans are ready for their feedback.
Robert Lodge North, Manor Way – 6 new council flats
The 6 one and two bedroom flats in the Robert North block were completed 11 days ahead of schedule and handed over on 5 December. Working with Robert Lodge Resident Association, a public art work was produced for the communal garden. Residents helped to plan new landscaping and trees in the communal garden, and they also have the opportunity to rent the newly installed stores for mobility scooters and cycles.
Pierre Close, Foredown Road, Portslade-4 new council houses.
Four 3 bedroom family houses were built on the former council housing garage site at Foredown Road and were completed on 6 December 2016. All the homes were let through Homemove.
Preston Road, Brighton - 2 new council family wheelchair bungalows
The council rebuilt former temporary accommodation units in the grounds of two villas as two new 3 bedroom wheelchair accessible bungalows with private gardens. Work started in January 2015 and finished at the end of July last year. Both the homes were let through Homemove at affordable rents to households who needed to move to a fully wheelchair accessible home.
Robert Lodge South , Whitehawk Road – 9 new council flats
The Robert Lodge South block of nine 1 bedroom flats on the site of the former Manor Place Housing Office was completed on 7 March 2016. One is designed for a full time wheelchair user and the others for residents with other mobility issues. The council has let all the flats through Homemove at affordable rents. The Chair of Housing & New Homes, Councillor Anne Meadows, opened the new scheme on 10 March, thanking the Robert Lodge Resident Association Committee and residents for their support for the development and welcoming new tenants.
Aldwick Mews, Hangleton – 4 new family council houses
Four new 3 bedroom family houses were completed on the former Hardwick Road garage site in August 2016, and let through Homemove. One of the homes is fully wheelchair accessible.
Flint Close, Portslade – 4 new family council houses
Two 2 bedroom and two 3 bedroom family houses on the two former garage sites at Flint Close were completed in September 2016. All the homes were let through Homemove at affordable rents.
Darwell Court, Kemp Town – 5 new council homes
Less than 11 months after work started on site, three 1 bedroom flats, a 2 bedroom maisonette and a 2 bedroom fully wheelchair accessible ground floor flat were completed on 14 July 2016. This small, cleared site had previously been used for car parking. The scheme was officially opened on 18 July.
Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of Housing and New Homes, had visited the site to see the foundations work in late September 2015. Hear Cllr Meadow's comments on the importance of making the best use of small infill sites to help meet the city’s housing needs.
Who can I contact for more information, to make comments or to suggest a site for development?
You can contact the Estate Regeneration Team with any questions or suggestions by:
Phone: 01273 290591
Post: Estate Regeneration Team, Brighton & Hove City Council
1st Floor, Hove Town Hall, Hove, BN3 3BQ