Aberdeen landowners could be asked to build council houses on their land

New measures are in the pipeline which would allow Aberdeen City Council to ask landowners about building council housing on their land.

The Press & Journal reports that members of the local authority’s strategic commissioning committee will be asked to approve “alternative mechanisms” to deliver council housing as they seek to build 2,000 homes over the next four years.

They will also be asked to approve a move to buy completed homes from developers or enter into agreements where the homes can be delivered at “commercially viable” rates.

The council house waiting list, as of April 1, was 6,236, including 1,455 on the transfer list, meaning 4,781 people were still looking for council properties across the city.

A report by Stephen Booth, corporate landlord at the local authority, said: “In order to deliver the level of units required officers recommend that a range of delivery methods will be required.

“While it is envisaged that the majority of units are likely to be delivered through a council build programme, there may be an appetite among landowners to provide units.

“There may be particular advantages to the council in this model if it can bring forward sites in high demand/need areas and if the construction risks can be passed to the developer/ land owner.”

Mr Booth’s report also says that over the past month the council has been approached by a “number of developers” suggesting such a solution.

Jenny Laing, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “I was proud at the council’s budget in March to set aside a capital sum of £250 million in order to proceed with a building programme of 2,000 much-needed council homes. It is clear that the majority of council homes will be delivered through a council-build programme however, if we are to achieve 2,000 homes within agreed timescales, it is important that we ask landowners if they have sites available in order that we can accelerate our building programme to meet demand.”

The strategic commissioning committee will consider the move when they meet on Monday.

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