Council takes ownership of 23 properties at Spitfire Green – taking its affordable rented homes total to 200

Thanet council has bought properties at Spitfire Green in Ramsgate

Thanet council has taken ownership of 23 new homes at the Spitfire Green development in Ramsgate this week.

The properties are a mix of houses and flats built by Barratt David Wilson Kent on the New Haine Road site.

It means the council has now secured 200 properties in less than 12 months as it works towards a pledge of providing 400 new affordable rented homes by 2027.

The homes will be rented to Thanet residents through the council’s housing register.

Under plans first unveiled in July 2023, two new projects were identified that would provide the first 51 properties. This includes 41 homes at the Spitfire Green development.

In addition to the 23 now in council ownership the authority is buying a further 18 homes at Spitfire Green, and expects the purchase to be completed within the next eighteen months.

Cllr Helen Whitehead, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This handover, and this milestone, marks an important step forward in our programme to deliver the new council homes desperately needed for our residents.

“We are tracking far ahead of our projected timeline for this programme and I’m delighted that we’re delivering faster than our initial plans indicated we would. Every home we bring onto the council’s books means that another family moves into secure and well-maintained housing.

“Housing is the very foundation of our community; when we provide the genuinely affordable housing residents need we know that we are providing far more than a roof and shelter; we are providing certain safety, security, and a solid base for residents and families to grow from in an often uncertain world. Our continual commitment to increasing the number of council homes available will relieve many of the pressures that residents currently face.

“To fully address our environmental commitments and the cost of living pressures on residents, only are these homes affordable, but they have also been built to stringent environmental standards. They all have energy performance certificates rated B, which minimises the ongoing cost to households of heating them, and very importantly, reduces their environmental impact. We have worked in close partnership with Barratt David Wilson Kent to both design and produce these homes, and I am extremely proud of everyone who has worked on our new housing strategy to deliver what our residents need.”

Spitfire Green

William Walsh, Managing Director for Barratt David Wilson Kent, said: “We are committed to building high quality housing for a mix of tenures in Kent, and are particularly proud to expand our partnership with Thanet District Council. The agreement will deliver much needed housing for affordable rent in Ramsgate, meeting key local targets, and crucially providing much needed affordable housing to the community.

“Spitfire Green is our flagship scheme in Ramsgate, and we are continuing to invest in the local community through our ongoing commitments, including through our Section 106 commitment to support key local amenities, alongside creating much needed housing available to buy or rent affordably.”

Residents who need affordable housing should register on Kent Home Choice, the council’s lettings system. Once registered, they can bid on suitable homes as they become available. Find out more on the council’s website.

37 Comments

    • The needs of the few are being placed above the needs of the many. The council is spending millions on providing homes for the few that the rest of us taxpayers in reality will be paying for. How many of these families are unemployed ? The tax payer will more than likely be paying for these homes if the new tenants are not working and it will take decades for these houses to be paid off let alone the maintenance costs that the council will have to pay for. The Labour council is well on its way to bankrupting our authority if they keep on spending frivolously on the few.

      • Suppose it depends on wether the HRA is ringfenced both ways, ie. There is no way that the council can transfer money or assets into it from the councils other accounts/duties that are funded by council tax.
        However it does seem as though someone has found a huge amontmof unallocated funds all of a sudden.
        There was a document that said that these new aquisitions would’nt wash their face for 18 years, which is a long time to forecast expenditure within a budget and equally a long time where other propertie sa re effectively subsidising the purchase, what happens if there’s the need to spend money elsewhere, what rlevel of reserves is being maintained?

      • Just after the war, with a new Labour Government in power, millions of council homes were built, with a 50 year mortgage, I believe. This is the way forward, this country bought thousands of slaves with a loan to end British slavery, which I think was only just paid off in 2005! Is there a chance Helen Whitehead TDC Cabinet Minister for Housing can be persuaded to stand as Labour MP for the new East Thanet constituency?

        • The difference being that the vast majority of those post war council homes were allocated to working families ( my maternal grandparents were the forever grateful recipients of one , they were also more than happy to downsize once their kids had left home) , these days 65% of the tenants in the socoal sector are workless households, so the financial burden is often borne by the taxpayer in full, which obviously makes a huge difference to the economics of supplying additional homes.
          Pointless to keep providing homes for so many that don’t work and have little intention of doing so, you just create mever ending expensive to meet demand.
          Far more effort needs to be put into getting people back into work, training, and not a little stick to go with the carrot.

    • Council housing is funded from council rents (including borrowing against future rents), right to buy sales (if any) and government grants (via Homes England), all of which money is ring fenced for that purpose. You cannot use that money to clean streets and open toilets (but we’ll do more of that too!). It’s against the law.

      • As no-one at TDC can tell me how often my street is currently supposed to be cleaned, how can I judge any “improvement”?

      • Very good.

        But Ms Pink is making a point about perennial problems.

        Our streets in Ramsgate are filthy, covered in dog poo, trash and pavements blocked with parked cars. There is a revolting rash of graffiti and you can’t keep relying on volunteers to improve our street scape.

        I am delighted that in respect of housing that TDC has finally bought the Glendevon Guest House for much needed temporary accommodation. However, the fact of its ownership being that of an RTC employee has remained unstated and just reinforces the community’s lack of confidence in a Council that is shy of much needed transparency.

        • I’m afraid you’re wrong. if you watch the cabinet meeting where this purchase was discussed – you’ll see that the property’s previous ownership was declared and the cabinet member who is also chair of RTC withdrew from the meeting for this item.

          • But it does suggest an air of collusion in processes as similarly occured in respect of the Old British Legion in margate and the way works were done there with no planning or listed building consent, then waved through retrospectively, the council had to be fully aware as the project had been planned by them, but seemingly the council doesn’t feel it needs to follow the processes the rest of us are expected to.

      • I am in favour of Council housing but only if it’s “mixed tenure” and not a ghetto of the benefit dependant. Such social apartheid is bad for the dependant and bad for all of society. Whether mixed tenure or purely council housing.. All such estates/housing require good management.

        • Needs based allocation so likely that the majority of these homes will go to the benefit dependent ( but in this age of universal credit / tax credits , LHA etc etc, huge numbers that work are effectively benefit dependent)
          So council housing is generally not attractive to live next to or amongst, the idea of having a social/affordable percentage of housing in developments was partly meant to help create more balanced communities.
          It all went that way when “needs based “ allocation came in in the late 70’s it was at that point that the sink estates started to be created. Also why ex right to buy properties often end up in the hands of landlords , owner occupiers just aren’t interested.
          Part rent part buy , by housing associations is another attempt at creating more balanced communities.

      • Mr. Everitt – we heard this tosh before about extra street cleaning staff, clamping down on litter/ fly tipping etc. Housing is more of a headline grabber for you. Lets hope your money tree continues to bear fruit or I can see bankruptcy on the horizon or a Brighton Council situation.

      • Rick, when I visit other parts of Kent and beyond, I often have to pay to use the toilets (usually 40p, cashless) TDC are missing an opportunity to raise money from this.

  1. Excellent news.Can only urge more please.

    For those on the housing list or desperate for transfer, these new homes will seem like winning the lottery. This is what Councils should be doing. In the long run it will save money on housing benefit, free up a few properties and give decent homes to families who would otherwise require support.
    Let’s hope this is the first of many!

    • How is it going to save money on housing benefit? The housing benefit paid to anyone is (or at least should!!) be used to pay rent. And how many years of rent will it take for the outlay of buying these homes to be paid off?
      Not that I disagree with these homes being purchased as they are much needed.

      • It won’t save a penny as TDC have stated they will be rented at LHA rates, in fact seeing as the council will receive grants from central goverment these properties actually cost the tax payer more than just “housing benefit”. Plus of course no tax is paid back to central government.

        • It’s difficult to measure but the cost of homelessness far outweighs that of providing decent homes to our residents.
          Homelessness places strains on the NHS and on mental health services. Children growing up in housing need are less likely to attain good qualifications and become economically productive.
          People who are in housing need find long term employment more difficult to secure.
          Investing in homes isn’t just the morally correct thing to do – it’s economically right too.

          • And what is the percentage of those in TDC ‘s overall housing stock who are in full time employment and not in receipt of any benefits?
            The post was directly related to housing benefit.

  2. For the gender fluid Pink correspondent, all monies used for this comes out of the HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT. You cannot spend it on bins or bogs which are paid for out of the General Rate Fund. A basic understanding of municipal funding would be useful – engage brain before operating mouth!

  3. How much did you pay Rick. Was that council own land. Part of some deal of land banking. You seen the state round there. Plus traffic congestion.

    How much Rick. When the port runs a debt you created

    • Have a bit of a look into the East Kent Oportunities ( iirc) escapade, it never was revealed what really happened, but doubts around council decisions resulted in the then chief executive and leader of council ( McGonagle and Hart, excuse spelling if incorrect)being suspended and then eventually cleared of any dodgy dealing but for some reaso meither returned to their previous positions.
      Just another piece of possibly murky tdc activity.

  4. Hope the prospective tenants drive and can afford to run a vehicle, Spitfire Green has no public transport nearby. Great idea to increase TDC housing stock but how is housing people way out of any town helpful. It will mean even more cars on the road.

  5. I don’t agree at all with the Labour administration anti Manston Airport at TDC. However I do think they are a million times better than the Tories in trying to bring down the housing waiting lists for a home. All our residents and children should have access to decent housing. The Tories the nasty party would sell their grandmothers rather than go to the expense in looking after them.

    • And the die hard socialist would happily sell my grandmother to pursue their goals, no problem with anything they do so long as it’s sustainable in the long run and they’ve complied with all their responsibilites in respect of the rest of the councils housing stock. Which as they haven’t you have to hope all the finacial projections are properly costed.
      Have all the works at Royal Crescent been completed?
      Do all the councils properties comply with the various fire safety legislation?

  6. Rick Everitt is correct about the housing revenue account which means it cannot be used for general expenditure.
    Building or buying housing and renting it out at social rents not affordable rents cuts housing benefit expenditure because it is not chasing market rent, the difference being substantial.All we to do now is stop or halt the sales of social housing to reduce the burgeoning housing benefit budget.
    The design and likely build quality of Spitfire green will cause pain down the road unless TDC have surveyed and snagged the buildings carefully.A worker lost his life there unnecessarily last November,so if H&E was amiss, what other corners were cut.
    That said TDC is on the right track, if only slightly.
    With Glendevon and RTC employee might have owned it, but it was disclosed and the Nolan principles would have been upheld if I know the Chief Exec.TDC may not be my favourite organisation, but even they are not as bad as the decaying shambles at Westminster.By the way RTC and TDC are distinct entities and should be treated as such.

    • If the housing is rented at LHA rates then it is receiving exactly the same amount of housing benefit as any other similar property in the private sector. But the tax payer has to stump up the central government grant and the council won’t be paying any tax on the rental income or capital gains tax if the property is ever sold.

      So no savings in terms of housing benefit unless the council rents at less than LHA, extra cost to the tax payer and no taxes paid. So no savings at all.
      Then not forgetting any future tax payer bungs to cover additional expenditure, such as the 40 billion for the decent homes standard, necause councils had no reserves in the HRA’s to maimtain their housing stock properly.

  7. Hopefully the well dressed elderly man and woman that reside in the port area, get accommodation.

    Hopefully, right to buy is abolished.

  8. All that aside get rid of the tents from the shelter by the clock tower, the area is a disgrace , how do we expect people to visit Margate when the town is just one big toilet. It’s like weeding if you don’t clear them more will grow.

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