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States spends £6.5m on housing site

BBC News logo BBC News 10/14/2021
The States of Guernsey is putting up £6.5m to fund the purchase of the Kenilworth Vinery site © BBC The States of Guernsey is putting up £6.5m to fund the purchase of the Kenilworth Vinery site

The States of Guernsey has agreed to provide £6.5m to buy a housing development site that will provide some affordable housing.

The States said there could be up to 135 housing "units" on the Kenilworth Vinery site.

The Guernsey Housing Association will develop "a significant number" of those units as affordable housing.

The States said urgent action was needed to tackle the affordable housing waiting list.

'Much-needed housing'

The site will be a mixed development with some properties available for part-ownership along with social rental housing and key worker housing.

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The purchase was approved by the Policy and Resources Committee following a recommendation from the cross-committee Housing Action Group (HAG).

HAG is responsible for finding quick and innovative solutions to what the States describes as "the current increase in demand and shortage of supply for suitable and affordable accommodation".

Deputy Peter Roffey, chairman of the Housing Action Group, said: "The purchase of Kenilworth Vinery offers an immediate opportunity to get the development of much-needed housing stock progressing quickly."

The site already has an approved development framework which is a prerequisite to planning approval for a development of this size.

It is also hoped the land to the western end of the site, which is designated as a protected open space, can be developed into some form of public amenity.

Deputy Peter Ferbrache, president of the Policy and Resources Committee, said the Housing Action Group was trying to "redress the current imbalance" that exists "in affordable housing, private rental and property purchase".

He said: "Our initial work has had a particular focus on identifying potential sites where more affordable housing can be developed.

"By addressing pressures on affordable housing - the island currently has a waiting list of about 500 - it is anticipated that this may also reduce pressure on the private rental market, which we know currently has far more demand than supply."

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