Amber Grove 1

Launch of first local council houses in over two decades for Derbyshire borough

Council housing is back in Amber Valley in a move that reverses two decades of policy. 

For the first time since 2003, Amber Valley Borough Council has become a stock holding council, and the first affordable homes are now ready for local residents to move into. 

Today, (Friday, March 15, 2024) four brand-new properties in Bayley Close, Kirk Langley are being handed over to Amber Valley Borough Council from developer Cameron Homes via a negotiated Section 106 agreement.

It is the first phase of a long-term council housing initiative across Amber Valley. 

Cllr Chris Emmas Williams, leader of the council, said: “Today represents a huge step forward in terms of meeting the needs of local people.  

“For a long time, I have felt strongly about the need to supply decent council housing for people in our area. The first four homes are now being handed over from the developer with three more to follow at their site.” 

There will be a total of seven homes handed over to Amber Valley Borough Council at this stylish development off Moor Lane, in Kirk Langley. 

The council-owned affordable housing will be released in two phases with the first residents expected to move in during April.  

In total, there will be two one-bedroom homes, three two-bedroom homes and two three-bedroom homes. Among the designs will be one bungalow.  

All properties will have driveways and gardens, and some homes will include solar panels to help reduce energy costs. 

Properties released in the first phase include two one-bedroom properties and two three-bedroom homes. They will be advertised on the council’s Home Options allocation scheme and offered at an affordable rent.  

To be eligible to apply for one of the homes within this new community, house hunters must have a local connection to the area or one of the adjoining parishes. 

The last time the council was a stock holding authority was in 2003. While the last council homes in Amber Valley were created in 1985, all-but-one of the stock were sold off to Futures Housing, leaving the council with just a single direct housing tenant.

A total of 2014 households are currently on the waiting list for affordable housing.   

Cllr Emmas Williams said: “We are very aware that it is a drop in the ocean in terms of fulfilling the housing need in the area, but we must start somewhere.   

“We are delighted to see the hard work of all those concerned in this project come to fruition and to have the first four homes ready for residents.  

He said that a further 21 homes are being acquired in Belper. 

“It is so important for communities to be able to stay together if they wish to and stop the heart-breaking situation where grown up children of long-standing residents have to leave the area they grew up in because they can’t afford to live in the district,” said Cllr Emmas-Williams.  

Funding of £8.96 million has been allocated for housing in Amber Valley and will be used flexibly over the next three years. 

Affordable homes will be acquired through a variety of mechanisms, and it is expected that the investment will generate income in the long term.