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A council-owned building in Preston Road which is currently unused is to be leased to a housing association to provide over 30 homes, 40% of them affordable

At a meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee on Thursday, 16 January, councillors decided to dispose of 251-253 Preston Road to Southern Housing Group on a 150 year lease.

The property near Preston Park Station has been used in recent years by children’s services. The city’s children’s services were brought together at the end of 2012 and have moved to Moulsecoomb.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, chair of the Policy & Resources Committee, said; “As a council we no longer need this building and we are committed to making the best use of our assets. The proposal will bring the property back into beneficial use, providing much-needed homes and investment for the council to spend on improving services.”

Southern Housing Group emerged as the recommended bidder in a competitive tendering process that attracted 13 bids. The housing association plans to convert the building to provide 24 flats and build seven new houses in the rear gardens. Forty per cent would be available at low cost.

The council would use the capital from the disposal to reinvest in council services and to make the best use of existing buildings. Previous investment has included the new customer centre at Hove Town Hall which opened in February last year where the council and Sussex Police have combined to provide a range of services for the public.

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