Cambridgeshire County Council to launch own property company - and it could build 2,000 homes over next 10 years

Cambridgeshire County Council is looking to launch its own property company - first task build 2,000

Cambridgeshire County Council is looking to launch its own property company - first task build 2,000 homes on land it already owns. - Credit: Archant

A housing company targeted with building 2,000 homes over the next 10 years on land it already owns is to be set up by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Councillors have been told the company – with the county council as sole share holder- has 25 sites in mind that will be developed for a mixture of market sale/rent and social rent/share ownership schemes.

An officers’ report shared with councillors before Christmas says the revenue will help plug some of the gaps left by “unprecedented financial pressures” as government funding dries up but demand for services is on the increase.

“The council is looking to alternative means of supporting the delivery of front line services from rationalising and commercialising its own resources, including the use of its property assets,” says the report.

As well as residential house building, the council believes it can establish a toe hold in the commercial world with “mixed use schemes where appropriate”.

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Detailed figures are awaited but officers believe the property company can create “significant revenue and capital income for the council to support services and communities”.

The council will create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to deliver its ambitious building programme with rental incomes approaching £11 million a year predicted after 10 years.

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One advantage, says the report, of the council acting as developer is speed which means a quicker provision of affordable homes.

Another plus, identified by the council, is the provision of key worker housing as well as creating “new sustainable communities, supporting economic growth and regeneration”.

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