A £4.7m scheme to build the first council houses in Norwich for two decades has been hailed by council leaders as just the start of a new wave of such construction.

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Norwich City Council, through a team-up with the Homes and Communities Agency, is looking to develop land at Three Score in Bowthorpe for up to 1,000 properties. And, at a meeting of the controlling Labour cabinet tonight, councillors agreed that, as part of the first phase of that scheme, the council would take on 47 of the homes.

The £4.7m project would be partially funded through the sale of eight more homes as shared equity, the use of capital receipts, borrowing against the rent generated by the new homes and borrowing against existing revnue.

The cabinet also agreed that a further seven council homes would, dependent on planning permission being secured, be built at land at the end of Pointers Field, off Aylsham Road in the north of the city.

Victoria MacDonald, cabinet member for housing, said the potential to build new council homes was made possible after the previous housing subsidy funding system was replaced.

Council leader Brenda Arthur said it had been a long-held hope that the authority would once again be able to build council houses and that she was delighted it was set to happen.

She said: “This is a small number, but this is just the start and from small acorns more will grow.”

Bert Bremner, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: “I was brought up in a fantastic council house in Tuckswood and I think this is a fantastic start.”

The mix of the affordable homes - the council homes and the shared equity homes - at Three Score is planned at six one-bedroom flats, six two-bedroom flats, 16 two-bedroom houses, 22 three-bedroom houses and five four-bedroom houses.

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