A district council has moved one step further with their aspirations to reinvigorate a former Ministry of Defence (MOD) site in Ely, which is currently in disrepair.
The news comes after formal approval from East Cambridgeshire District Council’s full council this week to support the purchase of the site and its simultaneous transfer to one of the council’s commercial arms, East Cambs Trading Company.
The next step for the council is to negotiate with the Ministry of Defence to officially acquire the site.
East Cambs Trading Company hopes to see the site based at the Princess of Wales hospital, turned from 88 empty homes to 92 units, 15 of which will be affordable housing and shared ownership CLT homes, for the benefit of people who live or work locally.
Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, Councillor Charles Roberts said, “The vote to support the purchase of the site is great news. We know we have a big challenge to provide additional housing for working people across the district and its simply wrong that empty homes are allowed to sit there gathering dust whilst there is such high demand for housing.
“Understandably the empty properties have been a source of annoyance for many local residents and I’m glad that we’re now in a position to do something about it.
“This is yet more evidence of the role the Combined Authority plays as an enabler for our District. We simply wouldn’t be able to take the action we’re taking without the support of the Combined Authority.
“We now need to have a clear focus on securing the land and properties from the MOD, getting the homes into shape, and then getting them onto the market. I’m confident we can move at pace.”
The acquisition has been made possible by a £24.4 million loan from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
There is also a future opportunity to create a further 62 homes on the development, subject to planning.