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HCA rules on fresh wave of schemes

A raft of housing schemes in the North-east have learned their fate as the Homes and Communities Agency continues to make decisions on how to cut its spending.

The body handed out £4.8 million to three projects in the region and scrapped funding for three more. The HCA put funding for all its Local Authority New Build and Kickstart schemes on hold in May after the government slashed its budget. Last week it approved a plan to build 20 eco-friendly homes in South Shields by South Tyneside Council.

The £2m project, which will get £0.8m from the HCA, will create 20 bungalows in Druridge Crescent in the Horsley Hill area. They will be mainly for over-60s and others who need ground-floor accommodation.

“This scheme will be a real boost for Horsley Hill,” said HCA head of the north-east area Brian Peel. “The new homes will be ideal for downsizers who want a smaller home in their own community, and will also free up larger houses for local families.”

Funding of £1.4m has also been promised for the Levick House scheme in Middlesborough.

The scheme to build 20 apartments for older people and respite provision for adults with learning difficulties has a total cost of about £5.4m.

Muse Developments’ Home Zone scheme in Northshore, Stockton on Tees, has also had £2.6m confirmed via the Kickstart 2 programme, allowing work to start on the scheme for 50 homes this autumn.

The 3.4 ha project is intended to ignite the development of the wider Northshore mixed-use scheme, which could see the creation of up to 1,000 homes. The HCA had already invested more than £20m on preparing the site.

Cash will not be given to schemes earmarked for £1.63m of Local Authority New Build funding in the region - at Belsfield Gardens in South Tyneside and two sites in Northumberland.

The HCA said the funding was “not able to proceed at this time but we are continuing to work with the local authorities towards agreed local priorities”.

The HCA is still deciding the fate of funding for six other schemes in the region that have been earmarked for Kickstart cash, with announcements due in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the HCA’s North-west region has given the go-ahead for £2.15m for the Orchards scheme to build 35 homes in Wigan.

More than £145m of funding has been approved by the HCA since its budget was cut and spending was put under review, while about £90m of funding has not been approved, with those schemes waiting to hear decisions or looking for alternative funding routes.

The picture is complicated because where LANB schemes have been approved, funding from other HCA streams including the National Affordable Housing Programme and the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder has been diverted to progress the schemes.