Take a look inside Norfolk's new £780,000 council houses
PUBLISHED: 16:11 10 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 10 January 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
A £780,000 project in Gorleston has created six new council houses and two permanent jobs.
The new homes were unveiled to the public today with everyone involved giving themselves a pat on the back.
Built on the site of a former housing depot on the Magdalen Estate off Hertford Way they are the first council houses to be built for around four years.
The development has been named Robinson Close after Robinson College Cambridge, chiming with the college theme running through the estate.
Borough councillors Brian Walker and Trevor Wainwright whose council wards include the estate said they were pleased with the quality and design of the new homes.
Tenants have already been allocated and will be moving in soon.
Mr Wainwright stressed that under the right to buy scheme they would not be eligible for large discounts for about 15 years.
At the ceremony which saw the council officially receiving the keys to the properties, their “sympathetic” design was hailed.
The post-war housing estate was once described as “bigger than Beccles,” with its own pub, parade of shops, and community.
It comprises several thousand homes, some 25-30pc of which are now privately owned.
With just five affordable homes built in the borough last year a council spokesman said the council was keen to add to the supply of housing and was looking at more pockets of land to launch other small-scale developments.
In 2014 some nine council houses were built, the first ones for 30 years.
Andy Grant, chairman of the housing and neighbourhoods committee, said: “The whole communtiy has been watching this development take shape over the months and I’m pleased that this once redundant space has been replaced with six fantastic new homes for our tenants.
“We anticipate that this is the first of several small-scale council house developments over the coming years as the council is continuing to explore other potential sites across the borough to help meet local housing needs.
“It is also great that local people have had the opportunity to be involved in the contruction, with one unemployed person even finding a job a result.”
The borough council’s housing department has about 6,000 homes across the borough.
New jobs created
Two people from Gorleston have secured permanent jobs thanks to the Robinson Close scheme.
Scott Bullen, 29, who grew up in Fastolff Avenue on the estate but now lives in Bells Road has been taken on as an apprentice brick-layer by Lowestoft-based Wellington Construction who built the homes.
Having already got his “foot in the door” as a labourer he said he was delighted with his new role which was giving him a “trade for life.”
Meanwhile Patrick Bell, 49, of Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, had been unemployed for two years when he was offered a 13 week work experience place which lead to Wellington offering him a job as a labourer.
After many years in catering he started his new job as a decorator and labourer on December 11, which will see him work on other construction projects in the area.
A local apprenticeship and work placement were part of the construction contract.