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Plans for the next phase of an ambitious programme to build hundreds of new council homes in Leicester have been given the green light.

Leicester City Council has appointed award-winning developer Robert Woodhead Limited to build 38 new affordable, low carbon and energy efficient homes on the site of the former velodrome off Saffron Lane, to the rear of Hawkins Road.

Picture: Leicester City Council

The £12million scheme help will increase the council’s stock of much needed affordable housing. It will be funded through the council’s housing revenue account and with money raised from the sale of council homes through the government’s Right to Buy scheme. 

The city council will also provide land which is currently in use as a small part of the car park at Saffron Lane Athletics Stadium for the new housing development.

The new homes and will include a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses, and ten wheelchair-accessible bungalows.

All of the new homes will be built to high environmental standards. This will include solar PV panels, very high levels of wall, floor and roof insulation, triple glazed windows and air source heat pumps. The homes will cut carbon emissions by around 75 per cent compared to a typical new home – equivalent to a carbon saving of around 67 tonnes per year.

All homes would also have a private garden and off-street parking.

Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, assistant city mayor for housing, said: “This ongoing programme of house building is an important part of our wider strategy to prevent homelessness and overcrowding by provide some of the new homes that are so badly needed in the city. 

“By building new council houses ourselves, we can focus on areas of particular need, such as wheelchair accessible homes, and play an important role in helping ensure that growing demand for affordable housing is a priority.

“The development will also feature a range of measures to ensure that these new homes are highly energy efficient which will cut their carbon cost and help future tenants save on their energy bills.”  

Award-winning construction company Robert Woodhead Limited have been appointed as the council’s contractors on the ambitious scheme, following a competitive tendering process.

Michael Broadhurst, Head of Commercial at Robert Woodhead Limited said: “We are delighted to be back building for Leicester City Council again, bringing high quality, sustainable homes forward to meet local need.  We are looking forward to starting on site this summer.”

Work to build the 38 new homes off Saffron Lane is expected to be complete by Spring 2024.

Leicester City Council is also planning to build an additional 37 environmentally friendly new homes on Lanesborough Road, in Rushey Mead.

The council last year completed construction of 29 new council homes at six sites across the city. These feature roof-mounted solar panels and other energy efficiency measures to help cut carbon emissions and reduce household bills

In total, Leicester City Council is planning to invest up to £50million to create an estimated 350 new council homes across the city over the next few years. 

Building more low carbon homes is one of the actions resulting from the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy. The strategy sets out an ambitious vision for how the city needs to change to move towards becoming carbon neutral and adapting to the effects of global heating by 2030, or sooner.

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