NEW council houses could be built in Kirklees – for the first time in years.
Kirklees Council has bid for £4m of Government funding to try and build a development in Batley and Heckmondwike.
And if it goes ahead, it could pave the way for more schemes in the coming years.
The new homes would be the first to be built by the authority since 2000, when five were completed at Marsh.
Prior to that, the last major housebuilding scheme was in 1983, when 200 were constructed in various locations.
Now council house building could return in Kirklees if the council is successful in a bid for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
Under a new government initiative announced earlier this year, Kirklees
Strategic Housing Service has made a bid to the HCA for £4m of borrowing and grant funding.
If the bid is successful the funding will be used to build the first new council houses to be seen in Kirklees for many years.
Successful bids will be announced by the HCA at the end of September.
The bid could see at least 36 new council houses being built by the council and managed by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing.
The council aims to make a start on site in Spring 2010 with the new houses being available to rent from Summer 2011.
The plan is to build all the houses on council-owned land, keeping development costs to a minimum and helping to making the homes more affordable for tenants.
This approach is part of the council’s drive to increase the delivery of much needed affordable new family homes to rent across Kirklees.
Funding for the project would come from a combination of borrowing and grant monies provided by the HCA.
The Kirklees Cabinet has given approval to submit the first planning application on council-owned land in the Batley and Heckmondwike area and to explore other options to develop the project further.
Leader of the council, Clr Mehboob Khan, said: "I am delighted that we have the opportunity to look at new ways of providing affordable family homes to Kirklees residents given the current economic climate.
"This is a new approach to an old idea and by using council land we can make real cost savings in providing the new homes. If we are successful this will be a significant milestone as these will be the first council homes built in years".
Clr Shabir Pandor said: "As the development industry has slowed down during the recession the council has to look at new ways of providing new affordable homes.
"This project is at a very early stage and is
exciting new territory. We still have some way to go but this is a real opportunity to make a difference".