Drive to recruit more small firms to build homes in Sunderland

Coun Graeme Miller
Coun Graeme Miller
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Small is beautiful for council bosses looking to encourage more firms to build homes in Sunderland.

Sunderland City Council is encouraging smaller firms to provide more new homes on Wearside.

The authority is holding a SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) Builders event next Wednesday, September 20, at Bede Tower in the city centre.

It is being held to provide smaller companies with the information, advice and practical support they need to access both the funding and available sites to build more new homes in Sunderland.

Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services Coun Graeme Miller will join Chief Operating Officer Les Clark and housing partners from the Government's Homes and Community Agency (HCA) and North East Property Fund from 10.30am to talk and listen to all those companies hoping to build on smaller sites in the city.

Coun Miller said: "We have organised this event to ask SME builders what are the barriers preventing them from building new homes, and what help and support they need from us to overcome them to deliver a wider range of quality housing within the city.

"We will be working together to provide them with the best information and practical support that we can in a range of areas such as planning, land availability and finance.

"Our smaller building companies can play a vital part in helping us achieve the aims of our new Housing Strategy, which is to offer new and potential home owners more choice and the opportunity for more individual developments, design and construction.

"What we all want to do is provide the smaller company with the encouragement, opportunity and support they need to begin building new homes again, and help increase the proportion of homes built by smaller builders in the City from its current 5% of all new build."

Advice on planning, property, building control issues at the event and available at (search planning, development management, property and housing development) will include

*advice on how the access to low interest rate finance available through the Government’s Home Building Fund to minimise investment risk

*the future availability of land and small development opportunities through Sunderland’s and Brownfield sites register and emerging small sites register

*and professional advice and guidance on the planning process.

Les Clark added: "The Council and its partners are aware of some of the major issues affecting SME house builders which can be a barrier to house building in the city, and this event and the housing services we provide is all about helping to overcome them.”

For further information on the event 20 Sept or housing/planning e-mail or telephone 0191 5611240.