What is Council Housing? Some clarity is required or are we being misled?

On 7th March, I wrote a blog about the placement of an expensive Perspex sign on the hoardings around the Richmond Green development and questioned the priorities of the Council when the road/footpaths around the same development were being destroyed.

I pointed out in that piece that there was a web link on the sign referring people to and reflected that the previous September, Councillor Jayne McCoy, in Full Council, had been unable to indicate what proportion of the houses would be part owned and what proportion council rented.

Other Facebook users had said that similar signs were put up at the Fellowes Road site and the Ludlow site and had asked whether these were all Council Houses.  I said I didn’t know but would ask.  Today, I received the reply:

Dear Mr Foster

I acknowledge your request for information dated 9th March 2018 concerning Richmond Green.

Request: In reference to planning Application No: D2016/73695 – 23-50 Richmond Green – Demolition of 28 existing bungalows and construction of 21 new 2 and 3 bedroom dwelling houses, this build is currently in progress. Recently a large poster was put up on the hoarding surrounding the site that had stated “New Homes for Local People” and a website reference:

Please can you confirm what proportion of the 21 houses will be council rented properties and what proportion will be marketed under joint ownership with, for example, a Housing Association?

Response:  I am unable to provide at this stage the tenure split on Richmond Green because this is still being determined.

This was from the Head of Housing Enabling and Development – I still cannot understand who would authorise a business plan that involved an expenditure of £7+ million and have no concept of the end game – but that is not the object of this piece.

Council housing and tenancy types are simply explained on the Government website

Whilst I have no doubt that a proportion of the housing built in these three developments will be Council Housing, to create the grandiose impression that they have with their headlines and expensive posters, the current administration is creating an illusion – a confusing one for those in need and an expensive one for Sutton Council Taxpayers.


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