Funding worth £3million secured by Cheltenham Borough Council to develop 200 town centre homes on the site of Portland Street car park will have to be handed back to Homes England as the plans have fallen through.
The funding was secured to help facilitate the delivery of around 200 homes, 40% of which would have been affordable, on the site of the town centre car park - which would not have happened without this funding due to the potential additional costs of developing on this site.
But after the developer who owns the site, MF Freeman, put the site back on the market as a car park and little prospect of work beginning before the funding deadline of March 2022, we had to withdraw from the agreement and give the money back because the conditions attached to the funding could no longer be met.
This is a disappointing result for what looked to be an ambitious scheme to transform this part of the town centre and provide much needed affordable housing in a popular location.
But it is not all doom and gloom for affordable housing in Cheltenham.
The Lib Dem run Borough Council is investing £180million in new homes – primarily aimed at young people and families. This follows an important investment we've made in creating homes for retired members of the armed forces, giving people who have served our country a decent place to live.
Council cabinet member for housing Cllr Pete Jeffries said: “When the pandemic has gone, we will still have the housing crisis. That’s why we are investing record amounts of money in housing for Cheltenham people – at Golden Valley, but smaller developments too like Ingleborough Mews and Monkscroft.”