North East Wales

Councillors agree to demolish Flint maisonettes despite re-think

The maisonettes behind St Mary's Church, Flint
Image caption The plans to flatten Flint's maisonettes do not affect the town's tower blocks

Flintshire councillors have agreed to push on with plans to demolish 240 maisonettes in Flint despite a rethink.

The decision was taken at a meeting on Wednesday after six independent councillors joined forces to force the issue back on to the agenda.

They said the original decision taken last month was premature as tenants will soon be asked to vote on the future of the council's housing stock.

A council report said such decisions can be "called in" and re-assessed.

A minimum of four councillors have to make a formal approach to ask for a re-think and in this case six banded together.

But, after looking again at the issue, Wednesday's housing overview and scrutiny committee decided they were happy with the original decision.

Under the plans agreed last month, part of the council-owned land currently occupied by the maisonettes would be sold for development to finance other parts of the project which includes a mix of social housing and other community facilities.

Meanwhile, Flintshire's 7,500 council tenants are also being consulted over the possible transfer of ownership of all council homes to a social landlord.

Residents have been told previously that the intention is to flatten the maisonettes regardless of the outcome of the consultation.

Deposit

But the six councillors, who are members of the "new independent" group on the council, say the two issues should not be considered separately and some question whether money for housing should be used to help regenerate Flint.

A report to the committee says decisions made by the council executive committee can be called in if requested by a committee chair or a minimum of four councillors within five days of that decision being taken.

The committee was able to question council officials and councillors who made the initial decision before taking their own view.

In a separate issue, the committee also agreed to support two schemes to help home buyers which includes setting aside £1m for a Local Authority Mortgage Scheme to provide an indemnity to a home buyer's lender if they are unable to raise a big enough deposit to obtain a mortgage.

Conwy council approved a similar scheme last September.

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