New 30-year plan to improve Melton's council housing

Melton councillors have pledged to put a stronger focus on improving the hundreds of homes it rents out to tenants across the borough.

The Fairmead Estate (above) and the Gretton Court extra care scheme, which are both part of Melton Borough Council's housing stock
The Fairmead Estate (above) and the Gretton Court extra care scheme, which are both part of Melton Borough Council's housing stock

The authority has set out a 30-year plan to ensure properties are safe, comfortable and energy efficient, as well as buying and building new houses to cater for those on the waiting list and the increasing local population.

Cabinet members backed the new Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business plan 2022 to 2052 at their latest meeting after it was drawn up following feedback from tenants and a comprehensive survey of the housing stock.

An average of £796,670 is available every year to invest in priorities, which include improvements to the Gretton Court extra care residential complex and homes on the the Fairmead Estate, and also fixing issues with garages, fences and paths plus installing CCTV where it is needed to deal with anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Ronan Browne

Councillor Ronan Browne, portfolio holder for housing and landlord services, told cabinet members at the meeting: “It is important we look after our housing stock because a council is no longer viable without its housing stock.

"For too many years our council housing has been put to one side and tenants have been disregarded but this is the point where we say that this changes and they are now at the forefront.

"We are going to be engaging with our tenants more robustly so they can hold us more to account.

"This new framework will also ensure that we look after our housing stock in the years ahead.”

The new HRA document shows that the council now owns 1,801 homes, of which 70 per cent were built before 1974.

A survey shows 128 properties fail the ‘decent homes’ standard, which mean that some will need new kitchens and bathrooms

Upgrades for many homes involve replacing metal windows with upvc ones to increase their energy efficiency.

A particular focus of the new plan, which will evolve each year, will be the Fairmead Estate, where the council is considering reconfiguring areas where there are narrow alleyways and some pathways where residents may feel unsafe.

Some garages in the borough are said to be in a bad state of repair or too small for modern cars and they will be repaired or demolished with some land used for new housing.