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Costa del Old

PUBLISHED: 12:41 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:01 03 July 2010

Council tenants in London are being invited to enjoy a slower pace of life and cheaper rents in the borough as well as £4,000 if they downsize to flats and bungalows by the sea.

Council tenants in London are being invited to enjoy a slower pace of life and cheaper rents in the borough as well as £4,000 if they downsize to flats and bungalows by the sea.

Thousands of people have already moved out of the capital to various resorts under the Seaside and Country Homes scheme, which aims to free up accommodation for families across the country.

The scheme is aimed mainly at people approaching retirement whose homes have become too big for them. Tenants in some London boroughs aged 60 and over

are offered up to £4,000

in cash plus help with removal costs and new carpets and curtains to move to places including Gorleston, Cromer and North Walsham.

Brent council in London wrote to all its over-60s tenants suggesting the option in an attempt to free up housing there and offer older people the taste of a new life.

A spokesman said the pressure on social housing in the London borough was immense, with 20,386 people on its waiting list.

So far they had not relocated anyone to Yarmouth but they had several people interested. Dozens of London boroughs have signed up to the scheme.

On its website, Brent Homes Partnership states: “London is not always ideal for everyone. Even people who have grown up in the capital seek an alternative from the fast pace of city life as they approach retirement.

Brent council is working with Seaside and Country Homes to help you find homes outside London in the country or on the coast.”

One man who moved to Yarmouth from Harrow was quoted in a national newspaper as saying: “They paid my first month's rent, deposit and removal costs, which came to about £3,000. I couldn't have afforded to do it myself. I picked the property that I wanted and the council sorted everything out. Now I'm a five-minute walk to the beach and people actually stop and say hello.”

Gorleston is marketed on the site as “part of the borough of Great Yarmouth on the east coast, although it has retained more of its Edwardian charm that its famous neighbour.”

Head of housing manage-ment at Yarmouth Borough Council Denis Gilbert said the council had decided against introducing an incentive scheme of its own to encourage people to move out of homes that might be considered too large for them.

He added that those who needed to downsize because of frailty did get help but otherwise people generally wanted to stay in their family homes.

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