Approval needed to sell off Calderdale land for affordable homes and allotments

Cabinet will meet and decide if they want to sell of its land from developments
Cabinet will meet and decide if they want to sell of its land from developments

Calderdale Council leaders will be asked to support plans to develop land for allotments and also allow a chunk of its land to be developed for affordable homes.

Both items, to develop the land at Belle Vue, Shelf, at a one-off cost of around £15,000, and allowing Together Housing to build 25 new homes on land it owns at Whitwell Green Lane, Elland, will come before Cabinet when it meets on Monday, March 18, at Halifax Town Hall (6pm).

Appropriating the Shelf site will enable around 18 half-size allotments to be made, creating a green space and bringing in rent of between £377 and £627 a year.

The land currently houses six garages but the owners were made aware of the council’s intentions three years ago and no objections have been received since the council put up notices claiming it as open space late last year – the £15,000 would pay for readying the site for allotments.

The allotment rent would bring in more than the garages, which are in poor condition and currently bring in £525 per year.

If agreed, the proposal will also drive forward the council’s pledge to help make more allotments available for local families.

In Elland, the council would have to forgo the sum of about £50,000 – the difference between letting Together Housing have the land for £125,000 and what it might get if sold commercially, but it would reap the estimated benefit of around £26,250 per annum and £105,000 in total over a four year period in New Homes Bonus.

This would count towards the council’s overall target of £1.2m in New Homes Bonus in the next four financial years.

Also, based on the England 2018/19 Council Tax Average Band A, it is also anticipated that completion of the scheme would generate additional Council Tax in the region of £28,700 per annum, the briefing paper to Cabinet says.

By releasing the land at a below market price the council would effectively be promoting affordable housing as a priority – an aim of the authority – at an estimated subsidy of £2,000 per unit, says the report.