New council housing firm wants to start work on sites in the autumn
Shropshire's council-owned housing firm aims to start work on its first two developments this autumn, a company boss has told councillors.
Cornovii Developments Ltd was set up by Shropshire Council with a £14 million loan from the authority, and the company originally hoped to start work on two new estates this spring.
Business manager Lucy Heath told the council's borough’s housing supervisory board that planning applications for the homes, at St Martin’s, near Oswestry, and Monkmoor, in Shrewsbury, will be submitted in the summer, with construction now scheduled to start at the end of October.
A report from Cornovii to the board updated the nine-member panel on the company’s activity since its last meeting in November.
It said a new lead director of development, Harpreet Rayet, is due to start work on Monday, January 27, and Shropshire Council director of place Mark Barrow welcomed the appointment.
He said Mr Rayet had previously worked at South Staffordshire Housing Association, “so absolutely works in this world already”.
The Cornovii report also said Monks Estates had already been appointed to sell and market the properties, due to be built at Overton Road, St Martin’s, and Frith Close, Monkmoor.
Ms Heath acknowledged this was “an early stage” to make such an appointment, but said their involvement was “vital”.
Councillor Roger Evans said: “Thinking about the planning application, will the details be brought her before it is actually put in, for the contributions of the board?”
Mr Barrow said: “The outline will. I think it is right you should see it here before it goes into the public domain, which is, effectively, what happens in the planning process.”
Councillor Keith Roberts, who is also a member of the Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority, asked whether sprinkler systems were being considered for the new homes.
“They’re not a national standard, but it is a good practice to install them,” he said.
Mr Barrow said the company was “looking at it”, including what varieties of sensor would be suitable. He also said they were aiming to make the homes “carbon positive” and could provide key worker housing for some companies.
“We’re picking up a lot of need from employers, who are saying ‘I’m having trouble recruiting because people can’t afford to live on the patch’,” Mr Barrow said.