Agreement for 38 affordable Hatfield town centre flats approved
- Credit: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
A new property development in Hatfield town centre is set to include a number of affordable homes following a turnkey agreement between the developer and the borough council.
Planning approval has been achieved for the construction of 71 residential flats at 1-9 Town Centre and a further 80 units at Link Drive, with 25 per cent of those set to be affordable homes as part of the council’s housing policy.
An agreement to purchase 38 one and two-bedroom flats from developer Lovell’s, at a cost of £6.5 million, has been reached, with all homes to be located in the Town Centre site for ease of management.
Construction of the homes is set to begin next month, with work expected to be completed by February 2023.
The turnkey agreement - where the units are already designed, constructed and ready for occupation on a fixed date and at an agreed price - was unanimously approved at a council meeting last Wednesday after the proposal was put forward by Conservative councillor Duncan Bell.
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It was supported by Labour councillor Kieran Thorpe, who said: “This is a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. I am really pleased this is happening.
“When I look at the development going on around our borough, I understand that private homes are built privately owned land, but when it comes to publicly owned land, these should be all, or at the very least a majority of council homes.”
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Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Zukowskyj supported the proposal but raised concerns that the flats did not meet the needs of residents, with more affordable homes needed for large families.
“The only aspect of caution that I have to interject into this is that we are purchasing flats, one and two-bedroom flats specifically, which are not the majority need for housing. That, as I understand, is three and four-bedroom houses.
“That’s where the pressure lies, yet what we’re doing is purchasing one and two-bedroom flats.
“I’m just concerned that we are spending money that would otherwise be utilised to purchases the houses that are so desperately needed by the larger families that are currently in overcrowded council accommodation, and there are a lot of those.
“We will be supporting this because we support the idea of having more council houses, however, these are not houses they are flats, and that is the only aspect of this I have concerns around.”