Housing to net council £6million?
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 September 2018
Scores of homes could be built in Nailsea and Portishead netting North Somerset Council millions of pounds.
North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) councils are considering teaming up to build around 50 homes at The Uplands in Nailsea and 18 at Downside in Portishead. There are also plans for 44 homes in Churchill Avenue, Clevedon, and 46 in Selworthy Road in Weston, although these may not be carried out through the joint venture.
The scheme would see BANES’ own property management company, Aequus Development, carry out the work on the North Somerset Council-owned land.
While North Somerset would spend around £10,000 to set up and finance the arrangement, it is proposing to receive 75 per cent of profits from land value and sales.
The authority says feasibility studies show this could raise up to £6million for ‘community benefit’.
Cllr David Pasley, North Somerset’s executive member for finance and property, said: “Taking this approach allows us to move quickly and generate much-needed income to use to finance future developments and reinvest in valued local services.
“This is the latest example of commercial thinking by this council to ensure that, where possible, we retain as much value as we can from developments, retaining profits for local communities’ benefit rather than private shareholders.”
North Somerset Council is setting up its own development company, Wyvern SW, but admits it does not yet have the ‘resources and expertise’ to carry out the project.
Cllr Pasley added: “In due course we intend to establish our own development company so we can retain 100 per cent of the profit on future developments, but this arrangement with our neighbours in BANES allows us to make swift progress and learn from the approach they are already taking.”
The council has been offered a £2million grant from the Local Authorities Accelerated Construction Fund to bring forward three of the sites for development by 2021.