Partnership delivers new affordable housing - 15 August 2017

The ground-breaking partnership between Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset Councils is smashing housing records in both areas.

The councils’ housing enabling and development team has broken the affordable housing completion record by delivering 284 new lower cost homes for Taunton Deane against a target of 200, and exceeding the target of 40 new affordable homes in West Somerset.

The two councils created a single team of officers through their partnership and are reaping the benefits not just financially but also by national recognition of achievements with two departments gaining awards – the planning policy team and the One Team.

The partnership is delivering £1.8m of savings to the public purse every year.  The councils are now proposing to amalgamate to create a single, new, modernised council that will deliver a further £3.1m in savings annually.  The councils’ housing partners are supporting the proposal for the single, new council.

The joint housing enabling team works closely with housing associations to increase the number of new affordable homes in Taunton Deane and West Somerset and, in the past year, delivery has included:

Work is under way on a 66-unit extra care scheme and 12 units for people with learning disabilities in Parmin Close, Taunton.  Knightstone Housing is working in partnership with Taunton Deane Borough Council and the scheme is proceeding well with completion expected in summer 2018.

The Borough Council still owns its own social housing and is actively building new homes for local people.  Sixty affordable homes for rent at Creechbarrow Road in Taunton have recently been completed.  Knightstone Housing is providing a further 32 new homes on the site in partnership with the council.

Work is also well under way for 26 new affordable homes at the former Weavers Arms, Rockwell Green, Wellington.  The £3.6 m scheme to regenerate the area includes demolition of the former pub, the nearby public toilet block and ten of the council’s properties in Oaken Ground.