New energy efficient housing plans set for approval

Cabinet members will be asked to approve investment in nine new energy-efficient council houses featuring solar panels, air source heating and no need of a gas supply at their next meeting on 12 January.

The nine new properties will be the first new buildings made possible thanks to more than £23.1m investment in Goldthorpe through the UK Government’s Towns Fund, an exciting and ambitious investment in the future of the Dearne approved by the government in March. It aims to enhance economic growth, environment and heritage, improve skills and transport connectivity.

Business cases for the main Towns Fund projects are still being finalized and will be published in the spring. However, an initial award of £500,000 was released by the government before the main £23.1m grant was awarded to allow some smaller and linked schemes to go ahead quickly.

This included demolishing the nearby derelict Horse and Groom public house to create a new Town Square and market for Goldthorpe. It also funded the preparation of the former market site for a new housing development.

The build costs will be funded through Section 106 money made available by private housing developers to fund affordable housing, and from the income generated by council houses sold through tenants’ right to buy.

The properties will include air source heat pumps to provide central heating and hot water without a boiler, solar panels with battery backup, and electric vehicle chargers alongside high levels of insulation and draught-proofing. This supports our ambition of reducing the council’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2040.

Cllr Alan Gardiner, a member of the Goldthorpe Town Board and its lead member for housing, said: “This is an extremely exciting time for the Dearne as we look forward to unveiling the Towns Fund projects we’ll be outlining in the coming months.

“It’s fantastic news that the early support we’ve received from the Towns Fund already is allowing us to move forward with these plans for affordable, well designed, spacious and secure homes which will help reduce fuel poverty and provide a shining example of the sort of homes we want for Barnsley.

“The government says that we must provide 21,524 new homes by 2033, and we’re determined that our borough will have sustainable, quality housing, so you can live in the right house for you. 

“This Towns Fund early investment will also allow us to begin work in the summer on a new town square and market right at the heart of Goldthorpe.”

This development supports the council’s 2030 vision of Barnsley as the Place of Possibilities, and its themes of Growing Barnsley, Healthy Barnsley and Sustainable Barnsley through providing safe, warm and sustainable homes.

Read the full cabinet report.

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