A MAJOR housing development got under way with a sod-cutting on land left empty for more than a decade.
The Tarran estate at Maltby was demolished over concerns including asbestos and 83 new properties will now be built on the site, off Braithwell Road.
The scheme is part of a £29 million development partnership between Rotherham Borough Council and Wates Residential for 217 homes across seven sites.
The authority’s £12.6 million contribution will mean that 98 of the properties will be added to the council’s stock.
Cllr Dominic Beck, Cabinet member for housing, said: “One-fifth of our residents live in social housing. Making sure these residents have access to affordable and warm homes is vital.”
Jo Jamieson, managing director of Wates Residential North, added: “Our team starting on site is a huge step forward for the creation of the new homes, as well as for the long-term benefits the community will feel.”
The first homes will be finished by spring 2019 with the rest completed the following year at sites in Maltby, Canklow, East Herringthorpe and Dinnington.
Meanwhile, the council has secured a £25,000 Government grant towards adapting some of its large three-bedroom flats into smaller homes.
And 20 new-build bungalows will be added to the council’s stock, helping to provide more single-storey, accessible properties.
The first four — to be built at Swallownest and Catcliffe — are expected to be ready by April 2018.
These will be jointly funded by the council and the Homes and Communities Agency, and built by O&P Construction.
O&P managing director Stuart Oxley said: “We are proud to be chosen as the main contractor to build these bungalows which are hopefully the beginning of a new era of new council housing in the borough.”
But Rotherham remains below its target of 641 new houses a year.
There were only 207 built in the first half of 2017/18, a report to Cabinet members showed.
Cllr Beck said: “This is something we are monitoring and, as a council, we are doing what we can to make this target come into line.”