CIVIC chiefs have approved plans to sell a piece of land in Kings Worthy to housing developers aiming at first-time buyers.

Winchester City Council’s housing committee supported the proposals for Mountbatten Place.

The land, which is currently occupied by 20 garages, is now set to be sold to Footstep Living Limited, who plan to build eight affordable homes.

A council report said: “The disposal of the land (including garages) will generate a small capital receipt for the Housing Revenue Account,” although the amount is yet to be confirmed as negotiations are ongoing.

However, any money from the sale could be cancelled out by the loss of rental income generated through the garages, depending on the agreed figure. Initial predictions estimate a £30,000 profit for the city council.

The move comes after Winchester-based firm Footstep approached the council in May 2014. It proposes building homes through reduced construction cost, meaning the home can be sold at a lower price to first-time buyers.

A covenant would also be placed on the properties restricting the future resale price to 75 per cent of the market value.

The development would consist of two two-bedroom houses and six one-bedroom flats, and come as part of the city council’s push for more homes in the district.

As previously reported, Cllr Caroline Horrill made a pledge to increase house building targets to 600 new homes by 2021.

The sale of the land will need to go to the Secretary of State for approval, as Footstep is not a registered affordable homes provider. They would then submit a planning application for the scheme, with no risk to the council if it were rejected by planners.

The move comes after last week’s report on an affordable homes plan in South Wonston. As reported, angry residents have launched an action group to fight the development of 16 properties, which they feel are not suitable for the village.

Following the completion of an affordable homes scheme in Alresford last month, city council leader Cllr Caroline Horrill said: "The council recognises that Winchester district is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK and, as a result, places a real emphasis on providing affordable homes in the district to ensure it is one in which residents can comfortably live and work.”