PLANS to build new council homes in Winchester have not stalled, according to officers.

An overview and scrutiny meeting last Monday (July 1) examined a report of last year’s housing revenue account which showed the council spent just £341,000 of a budgeted £657,000 on the new homes programme.

Councillors asked why there was an underspend but Simon Eden, chief executive, said the council house build programme would start to accelerate now sites had been identified.

He said: “The programme needs to be properly planned in terms of searching for appropriate sites and going through the proper procurement process. The bulk of our spending will come a bit further down the line.

“We expect spending to go up significantly over the next couple of years now we have sites going forward, and even on some of the controversial ones.”

Meanwhile a council house condition survey is still ongoing, with any works needed to be carried out next summer.

Amber Russell, tenancy services manager, said: “Works are planned for next summer and should take four months to complete. We have surveyed the majority of homes but not quite all. What comes out of it will inform how the budget is set out next year.”