£12 million housing scheme green light

Martin Williams.
Martin Williams.
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PLANS for a £12 million re-development of a Doncaster housing estate look set to go ahead.

Doncaster Council’s cabinet has agreed to hand over the Willow estate, in Thorne, to a housing association, which will build 111 new homes on the site.

The proposal submitted by Jephson Housing Association will need a £3.9 million grant from Homes and Communities Agency, the Government arm which provides money for social housing, for it to go ahead.

Elected mayor Peter Davies’ cabinet approved the scheme, after officers told them the scheme meets all the authority’s objectives for affordable housing.

The council will be giving the site away, even though it is valued at around £1.7 million by the authority.

The Jephson scheme was supported ahead of another proposal which would have seen St Leger Homes, which manages Doncaster’s council housing, develop 117 houses.

But the St Leger Homes scheme would have meant the council had to borrow around £7 million to fund the development.

The Willow Estate site had been identified as a priority for development within the council’s Housing Strategy for Affordable Housing

The move to go ahead with re-developing the site was welcomed by Thorne ward Coun Martin Williams.

Coun Williams said: “There was once a lot of vandalism on that estate, and there was a time when no one wanted to go on the Willow estate.

“We were getting a lot of houses on there boarded up.

“There has been a wasteland there where a lot of houses were demolished, and it needs to be developed,” he said,

“Residents in that part of Thorne have been waiting eight or nine years since they demolished council housing there.

“It has been an area of wasteland since then, and we have been working to try to get something sorted out.

“It is fantastic that it is now looking like it will be re-built.”