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Affordable housing at Watling Gate in Sittingbourne

Published Friday 6 May, 2022
Last updated on Tuesday 18 October, 2022

Swale Borough Council’s cabinet and deputy member for housing visited one of Sittingbourne’s housing development’s last week to see the progress of 140 affordable homes.

The development at the old cement factory off Cooks Lane was purchased by Sanctuary in 2016 and work to build the 155 houses and 87 apartments is due to be complete next year.

Of the 242 homes being built, 140 of them will be affordable housing, with 73 shared ownership and 67 homes for people on the housing register made up of one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom houses.

Cllr Ben Martin, cabinet member for housing at the council, said:

“We’ve seen a boom in affordable housing being delivered in recent years, in part thanks to a change in the availability of grants from Homes England.

“We would only have had six per cent of the development for affordable housing through s106 planning requirements, which would’ve been just 15 homes at Watling Gate, but thanks to a Homes England grant, we’ll now have more than 50 per cent.

“Half of the affordable homes on this site will be for people on the housing register and in temporary accommodation, and the other half will be for shared ownership, helping people to get onto the property ladder.”

Cllr Ghlin Whelan, deputy cabinet member for housing at the council, said:

“We’ve delivered 600 affordable homes in Swale in the past three years.

“Delivering affordable housing and tackling homelessness is a priority for us and we’re pleased to see more housing options being available with easier access to Homes England grants.

“We have around 1,300 on the housing register, so while these homes are a step in the right direction, they will only go so far, and we need to continue working hard to provide affordable homes for local people.”

Sarah Brind, Sanctuary’s Head of Development – South, added:

“It was a pleasure to show cabinet members the progress on this important local development.

“We’re committed to developing much needed affordable homes in line with our social purpose and this project is another example of our work to deliver high-quality housing for local people.”