The largest Registered Social Landlord in Spelthorne - A2 - has sold a prime site in lower Sunbury for private housing. The site known as Church Villas at the South end of Green Street is only 200 yards from the River and until a couple of years ago was flats for elderly people.
When the flat complex was closed many of the residents were promised flats in a new complex that was to be built on the site. Spelthorne Council had the rights to "nominate" residents of the flats and they formed part of the social housing stock for the Borough.
Spelthorne Council has decided to release the nomination rights so that A2 could sell the land to an associate company and now 13 new houses are to be built on the site. The nomination rights were associated with the land, not the buildings, and so could have been transferred to any new dwellings on the site. In return for giving up the rights A2 has promised to reinvest the profits from the private development in affordable housing in the Borough.
The local Liberal Democrats were opposed to the sale of the rights as this was a prime site which had been affordable housing for a long time. The site would have been highly suitable for extra care housing, which will become a pressing need in the next few years.
Now that the development has been given the go ahead, Lib Dems will be paying close attention to how A2 spends the proceeds. We intend to make sure that every penny goes back into affordable housing within the Borough. Councillor Caroline Nichols said "We know there is a shortage of affordable housing in Spelthorne. The loss of the Church Villas site was avoidable and cuts affordable housing provision for older people when we should be increasing it."