Several award-winning council homes in Norwich could be sold at a discount just five years after they were built, it has been revealed.

Seven city council-owned properties in the Goldsmith Street development, off Dereham Road, are already subject to Right to Buy applications - despite having only been completed in 2019. 

Norwich Evening News: The award-winning homes in Goldsmith StreetThe award-winning homes in Goldsmith Street (Image: Newsquest)

The news - revealed as part of a Freedom of Information request submitted to Norwich City Council by architecture magazine Dezeen - means the homes could be sold off to tenants at a significant discount. 

It comes as the controversial Right to Buy scheme once again faces fresh criticism after chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced as part of his spring budget that councils would no longer receive 100pc of revenues from the sale of council homes.

Norwich Evening News: Chancellor Jeremy HuntChancellor Jeremy Hunt (Image: PA)

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis said: "Trying to provide much needed social housing only for it to be sold off almost as soon as it's built is like trying to run a bath with the plug out. 

"Councils are stuck between a rock and a hard place and this Tory government has made it even worse by just this week deciding to prevent councils even keeping the proceeds from council house sales."

Norwich Evening News: Norwich South MP Clive LewisNorwich South MP Clive Lewis (Image: PA)

Mr Lewis has previously hailed Goldsmith Street - which is a £17m social housing development of 105 homes - as an example for the government to follow.

In 2019, it became the first social housing project to win the Stirling Prize - an award which recognises the UK's best new buildings.

Alex Catt, deputy leader of the Green Party Group at City Hall, said it was "sad to see the iconic council houses on Goldsmith Street are at risk of being sold off".

He added: "With 4,000 people on the waiting list for council housing, as many homes as possible should be made available for those who need it.

Norwich Evening News: Alex Catt, deputy leader of the Green Group at City HallAlex Catt, deputy leader of the Green Group at City Hall (Image: Newsquest)

"The forced sale of council houses has already seen the loss of over 5,000 council homes in the city, and it is disappointing to see that the national Labour leadership seem wedded to a policy which has helped to create such a serious housing crisis in the city.

READ MORE: 'I don't understand it': Pleas to save bowling alley amid supermarket plans

"While councils don’t have the power to prevent this, if the Green Party were in charge at City Hall, we would be loudly lobbying the government for an end to this policy, prioritising the building of new council properties across the city and getting the basics right in taking care of the council homes we do have."

Labour-run Norwich City Council confirmed the homes were subject to Right to Buy applications, but declined to comment on the issue.

Right to Buy explained

Right to Buy is a government policy that allows council housing tenants in England to purchase their homes.

The policy has been highly contentious since it was first introduced in the 1980s by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government.

Norwich Evening News: The scheme was first introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980sThe scheme was first introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s (Image: NQ)

Tenants in a council-owned property can buy at a discount of up to 70pc of its market value, depending on how they have lived there, up to £96,000 or £127, 900 in London.

Criticism has stemmed from the potential to turn a profit and the loss of social housing across the UK.

READ MORE: Expansion of Lotus site could be slowed by flooding concerns

Labour's shadow housing minister, Matthew Pennycook, has said his party intends to "slash the discounts" if they do return to power as widely predicted later this year.

However, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner has been accused of hypocrisy by the Tory government after it was revealed she purchased her ex-council house in Stockport in 2007.

Norwich Evening News: Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour PartyAngela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party (Image: PA)

Ms Rayner reportedly bought the property at a 25pc discount and realised the increased return when she sold it at the market rate eight years later.

However, the MP hit back at criticism, arguing: "I worked hard, saved and bought it by the book.

"I'm not ashamed - but I am angry that the Tories have since put the dream of a secure home out of reach for so many others."