2,000 homes plan as Shropshire Council sets up its own housing company

Shropshire Council has set up a private company to build and sell about 2,000 homes across the county to meet the gap in the market for those who cannot afford to buy homes where they live and work.

Diggers could be on the first two sites, in St Martins near Oswestry, and Crowmoor, in Shrewsbury, next spring - with almost 50 other parcels of land already identified for developments in the future.

Cornovii Developments Limited, a private company wholly owned by Shropshire Council, will address housing market failures across the county, those heading up the organisation say.

The company says large numbers of local residents and people seeking to work and live in Shropshire cannot afford to own or rent a property.

At tomorrow's council meeting, Cornovii will be asking the council for a multi-million pound loan to set it up and allow it to start building houses for both sale and rent through social housing landlords.

The exact amount of money has not been revealed.

A report to the meeting says it wants to address the unmet housing need in Shropshire with innovative housing schemes, while also focusing on becoming a profitable company and generating value for the unitary authority.


Claire Nangle, who is leading the development of Cornovii, said that subject to planning permission the first two sites would be on the former primary school land at Ifton, St Martins, and Crowmoor House, a former home for the elderly.

The aim is to provide housing across the county using both the council's own land assets and purchasing land were there is a need.

"There are areas, particularly rural areas in the south and east of the county, where house prices are so high that local people and their families are forced to move away."

"We are hoping to provide more two-bedroom homes that in the commercial sector and with more space."

Mark Barrow, the council's director of place, said there would be a rolling programme of house building. It is hoped that about 2,000 properties - around 250 a year - could be provided.

Depending on local need, homes would include those for first time buyers, including shared ownership, key worker housing and those for older people.

"Cornovii has said that 85 per cent of those involved from architects to tradespeople will be local people and we hope to create apprenticeships for the young," added Mr Barrow.

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