Solini Court, Dover Road, Folkestone
A Local Property Developer has added a further 11 Affordable Homes to his property portfolio with Solini Court nearing completion.
NUE launched an affordable homes project in 2012 in response to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Affordable Homes Programme (2012-15) and delivered 42 units.
With no new HCA funds being available for empty properties KCC made additional funds available post 2015 to continue to assist with making homes available for local people at affordable rents.
With additional financial support from Shepway District Council’s No Use Empty Plus fund – a secured loan (5 years) to cover the refurbishment costs was provided.
This was on condition that the property was made available at an affordable rent (80% of the market rent) and managed by a registered provider for an agreed 5 year period.
The rent is guaranteed for that period of time and a management fee does apply.
The property was officially handed to AmicusHorizon to manage during Empty Homes Week .
The property is situated in a mixed residential and commercial locality close to the town centre. The building dates from around 1900 and previous uses include warehousing and more recently as a funeral directors. The site was empty for 2 years and suffering from internal damage caused by a leaking roof and burst pipes. The site was also a favourite location for anti-social behaviour.
Having delivered successful smaller projects with the help of NUE, the local property developer approached NUE to seek financial support if he could acquire the site and obtain planning permission for change of use including the provision of 11 self contained flats.
An agreement in principle was reached and following the successful purchase and approval from the local council a contract was soon in place.
There are now 6 x 1 bedroom units, 3 x 3 bedroom units and 2 x 2 bedroom units.
This project complements the wider regeneration aspirations for Folkestone. It is directly opposite a £7 million project now underway to create a new 1,000 square metre multi-storey skate park, which is being funded by Sir Roger De Haan’s charitable trust, which should be completed by the end of 2017. Access to the skate park will be heavily subsidised so young people from the area have a safe place to play.