Council sells off empty land to built homes for older people

Mel Speding.
Mel Speding.
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SURPLUS council land is to be sold off to make way for more accommodation for Wearside’s elderly population.

Sunderland City Council’s cabinet members have agreed to sell land at Aster Terrace, Philadelphia, and, Dene Street, Silksworth.

There is a confirmed need for this type of development in these areas.

Cabinet secretary Mel Speding

The authority has received offers, at market value, from Tolent Construction regarding the purchase of the freehold of both sites.

The Dene Terrace site is vacant, while Aster Terrace is let for grazing.

The proposed schemes provide a range of housing options for older people, including bungalows and extra care apartments, for residents who need more care support to remain as independent as possible.

Tolent has already delivered similar schemes on former council land at Dock Street, Roker, and Burleigh Garth, off High Street East, in the city centre.

“Providing housing options for older person households enables people to downsize and release family homes back into the wider housing market, reducing waiting lists and demand for the larger family home in all tenures,” the cabinet report read. Funding for part of the scheme is set to come from a share of the £160million Homes and Communities Agency Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund, for extra care developments outside London over the next five years.

The report, presented by cabinet secretary Mel Speding, said the proposals would secure further investment in the city and would help the council meet demand for extra care housing.

It would also provide a “significant” capital receipt, an increase in business rates and job opportunities.

Coun Speding said: “There is a confirmed need for this type of development in these areas, and Tolent have done this before.

“An external surveyor has said this offer constitutes best consideration.”

Coun Graeme Miller added: “I fully support this, we need more of these facilities.”