Mayor Palmer puts a dent in Fenland’s housing crisis as he agrees 11 ‘quick wins’ including 36 affordable homes at Whittlesey

Mayor James Palmer with colleagues announcing 11 affordable homes projects across the county

Mayor James Palmer with colleagues announcing 11 affordable homes projects across the county - Credit: Archant

Mayor James Palmer has moved swiftly to make a two per cent dent in Fenland’s housing crisis.

With 2,160 households looking for an affordable home – according to latest figures from Fenland Council- Mayor Palmer has authorised spending £4.46 million as part of a ‘quick wins’ policy to build social housing across the county..

Included is agreement to fund 36 new homes for Cross Keys Homes on the Snowley Park estate in Whittlesey.

“The homes will be allocated in accordance with the allocations policy for Fenland,” said a district council spokesman.

The homes will be owned and managed by Cross Keys Homes through entering a development contract with the house builder for the affordable homes.

The Snowley Park scheme is one of 11 across the county that will provide 253 affordable new homes.

All schemes are expected to start on site before the end of March 2018, with a number of projects commencing before the end of this year.

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An authority report says: “The Quick Wins programme is solely granted based to achieve the required scale and pace of early delivery.

“Lessons from the Quick Wins programme will be assimilated into the authority’s future housing investment fund objectives.”

Critical criteria for the raft of schemes unveiled was that work must begin no later than the end of this financial year – the authority selected the final 11 from an original list of 186 sites.

Councillor Will Sutton, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for planning, said: “Following on from the grants awarded to progress the Wisbech Garden Town proposal and other projects across the county, this shows the positive impact that the Mayor and the Combined Authority are having on our community and those throughout Cambridgeshire.”

Mayor Palmer said: “Housing is one of the most important elements of my 100 day plan. I wanted to ensure that we hit the ground running with vital provision and funding so that local people can see how seriously we are taking the problems they are facing today.”

The combined authority received a £100m housing and infrastructure fund from Central Government to deliver new affordable homes over a five-year period in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. This includes the delivery of affordable rented and shared ownership housing.

Cambridge has received a separate ring-fenced £70m grant fund to build more council rented homes in the city.