More than 30 new homes sold at city development which sparked controversy

Inside the homes at Rayne Park. Pic: Norwich City Council.

Inside the homes at Rayne Park. Pic: Norwich City Council. - Credit: Norwich City Council

More than 30 new homes on a housing development, which hit the headlines when it lost £6m on its first scheme, have been sold - with council bosses saying it should bring in more than £8.4m.

Inside the homes at Rayne Park. Pic: Norwich City Council.

Inside the homes at Rayne Park. Pic: Norwich City Council. - Credit: Norwich City Council

Norwich Regeneration Limited (NRL) was set up by the city council in 2015 to provide more housing and generate income for the council, which was being hit by budget cuts due to austerity.

But the first tranche of the housing at the Rayne Park development, in Three Score, Bowthorpe, did not prove profitable.

Council documents revealed it had been developed at a financial loss, with City Hall owed £6.4m, while a further £21m loan deal has been agreed.

However, 33 more houses at the Trinity Gardens part of Rayne Park have now been sold, subject to contract, with the city council saying that is expected to generate £8.4m by the end of the financial year.

Inside the homes at Rayne Park. Pic: Norwich City Council.

Inside the homes at Rayne Park. Pic: Norwich City Council. - Credit: Norwich City Council

And, to strengthen the NRL board, two non-executive directors have now been appointed. They are Paul Newbold, a director at Freebridge Community Housing in Kings Lynn and Anna Simpson, who has been executive finance director for a number of housing providers, most recently Midland Heart.

Mike Stonard, chairman of Norwich Regeneration Company, said: “It’s great to see the community taking shape at Rayne Park. The quality and eco-credentials of the new homes is excellent.


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“We’re also delighted that we’re helping first time homeowners to get on the property ladder by offering affordable homes.

“These sales demonstrate the huge potential and flexibility of the company, despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic.

Mike Stonard, chairman of the Norwich Regeneration Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mike Stonard, chairman of the Norwich Regeneration Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

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“I’m also pleased that two new non-executive directors with a track record in housing have been appointed to the board, which will further strengthen the company.”

The properties at Rayne Park have either been built to Passivhaus standards or been Passivhaus certified. Such homes are ultra-low energy buildings, which need very little fuel for heating or cooling.

Richard Wink, who has bought one of the new homes, said: “We are over the moon to have purchased a property at Trinity Gardens at Rayne Park. The opportunity to own a property that is a Passivhaus enables us to teach our son the importance of sustainable living, and looking after the local environment.

“As a family we are happy to live in a house which reduces carbon and will enable us to make savings in our monthly energy costs.”

Forty-nine of the homes have been let as council houses.

The company is now building another 74 homes, which are due to completed by August 2021. That would take the total number of homes to be built on the Rayne Park development to 153. The site has the capacity for 1,000 new homes in the coming years.

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