Twenty one prefabs are expected to pop up in Brighton as the council prepares to do a deal with the YMCA.
The aim is to put 21 affordable factory-built homes for young people from the local area on a small council-owned garage site in Moulsecoomb.
The homes are known as Y:Cubes and the deal with YMCA Downslink was approved this evening (Wednesday 14 June) by members of Brighton and Hove City Council.
The land, in Eastergate Road, is next to the trading estate there and is regarded as unsuitable for family homes and hard to develop using conventional methods.
But members of the Housing and New Homes Committee unanimously backed the plans for the modular homes in a meeting at Hove Town Hall.
A final decision on whether to lease the land to the YMCA is due to be made by the Policy, Resources and Growth Committee in July. If a lease is granted, the YMCA will then have to apply for planning permission.
Another YMCA organisation, YMCA South West London, already has 36 Y:Cube homes in Mitcham. Other similar schemes are under way across the capital.
The council said: “The homes, which are delivered to their location by lorry and craned into place, are designed to provide high-quality accommodation and last as long as traditionally built homes.”
Former council leader Mary Mears said: “This is an excellent scheme. It’s a really challenging site. It’s an ideal scheme for young people moving on from hostels who need help and support with training and work options.”
A separate proposal to approve a scheme to build eight homes in Lynchet Close, Hollingdean, failed to win enough support at the meeting. The scheme consists of six large timber frame family houses and two flats.
Councillors were critical of the building costs and the rent levels and will return for a special meeting in the next couple of weeks to vote again on the scheme.
Councillor David Gibson said that the proposed scheme would make a hefty financial surplus for the council but he urged officials to explore ways to keep rents down for tenants.
Councillor Meadows said: “We should be treating all tenants equally with rent levels which is not what this proposal would have done.”
The council said: “Both projects are part of the council’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods building programme, which is working to develop at least 500 affordable new homes across the city on council land.”
Councillor Meadows said: “There is huge demand for housing in the city and we are looking at creative and innovative ways of putting small pockets of underused land to best use, to improve neighbourhoods for existing residents and provide more homes for local people to rent.”
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