BROMSGROVE District Council is forging ahead with plans to set up its own housing company, starting with the development of its old headquarters in Burcot Lane.

Cabinet members voted last night (Wednesday) in favour of establishing a firm to manage retained housing stock in an effort to provide affordable housing and generate income to the council.

Members heard how the council had been successful in its bid for funding from Homes England - expected to be in the region of £1m - to fund the planned development of 61 new homes at the former council site.

Outline plans would see 18 properties sold to a housing association and six sold on the open market, leaving 37 homes to be privately rented from the district council.

Councillor Luke Mallet raised concerns over the 'scale of ambition' of the council housing company and whether specific areas had been considered for future development.

But Cllr Kit Taylor said it was only the principle of the housing company being agreed - a full business case for the firm would be brought before the Cabinet in due course.

Cllr Karen May, deputy leader of the district council, said: “Residents who have grown up in the Bromsgrove district struggle to get on the housing ladder and the 30 to 39 age range are leaving the district.

"We need to try to prevent this and provide a sustainable community for our residents.

"This includes making sure that there are jobs and homes for young working residents.

"The progress we've made on Burcot Lane is a key step forward in our council plan to secure a future for Bromsgrove."