£2.2m of taxpayers money for 62 new Hanley homes
MORE than £2 million of taxpayers' cash has been earmarked to help build dozens of new houses on the site of a closed-down factory.
A total of 62 family homes could be built under plans to rejuvenate the former Ivy House Paper Mills site, in Hanley.
The plot, off Commercial Road, was among a series of areas identified for redevelopment under the now-defunct Renew North Staffordshire housing programme.
The doomed scheme ended in April last year after more than 2,000 homes were demolished, 7,500 properties were refurbished and just 676 houses were built.
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Now Cheshire-based developer Seddon Group is set to receive £2.2 million from the Government's Homes and Communities Agency to help transform the site into a housing estate.
A meeting of Stoke-on-Trent City Council's cabinet will tonight discuss approving the grant, which is set to be handed over subject to planning approval to help meet demand for housing in the city centre.
Seddon Group has already purchased the land and was previously given permission to build a row of terraced housing on the site and convert the large warehouse into apartments. But the extra funding will allow it to build large two, three and four-bed homes, most of which would be semi-detached, as part of council plans to create "aspirational" housing for working families.
The report to the council says: "Whilst due to location it is believed that there is latent demand for such housing in this area, it is not a mix that a developer would independently submit in the current economic climate."
The news has been welcomed by nearby residents, who say the plot has been left to become an "eyesore".
Twenty-four-year-old carpenter Sam Rennie, who lives in nearby Tintern Street, said: "This sounds great and it's certainly something people here will welcome.
"The land has a lot of potential. If they're going to do something with the warehouses then even better. They are impressive buildings so they should turn them into something people can benefit from."
Full-time mum Ina Kwiatkowska, aged 28, of Tintern Street, said: "The place is a dump. Our house and street is OK, but further at the bottom of the road is an eyesore.
"There's plenty of room so they should even look at making a new playground."
Documents prepared for tonight's cabinet meeting say the scheme "will have a positive impact on confidence levels in the local housing market, support the city centre regeneration programme and reaffirm to the local community the city council's commitment to regenerating the wider area".
The cabinet will also discuss selling other sites to developers, including plots in Hanley's Bucknall New Road, Dresden Street and Ludlow Street clearance areas.