A multi-million pound taxpayer-funded plan to replace inefficient 1960 style bungalows with modern homes has been approved ending the state of “limbo” felt by residents over their futures.

Waverley Borough Council has signed off on two developments worth a combined  £17 million.

They will  tear down 10 homes in Springfield, Elstead, to create space for 26 new properties, at a cost of £10.1m.

The council also agreed on December 12 to build 20 affordable homes in Ockford Ridge, Godalming, at a cost of £7.3m. 

The new-builds, the council said, would be of a “variety of homes of varying sizes” with Cllr Nicholas Palmer (Labour, Godalming Binscombe & Charterhouse),  co-portfolio holder for housing delivery, saying the will be “genuinely affordable housing”.

He added it would help to “meet the challenges that the council faces in continuing to provide housing that people can afford to live in”.

Issues raised during the debate included whether the council was getting the best monetary value for the land, and whether there had been enough consultation over the proposals.

Cllr Jerry Hyman (Farnham Residents, Farnham Firgrove) said the council had not taken into account the value of the 10 bungalows on the Springfield site.

He said: “The value of those is millions of pounds and it hasn’t been considered. So when you’re being told here about the viability… you are not actually being told the whole story.

“There is a million pounds awry.”

However, the meeting heard  the council was duty-bound to consider value beyond simple financial measures and that both neighbourhoods had played leading roles in developing the plans.

The council also said it would “ensure the new homes are designed to be environmentally sustainable and look for opportunities to lower the carbon footprint when selecting construction materials”.

The two sites still require planning permission and will be the subject of drop-in consultation events in 2024 to allow residents to give their views.

Councillor Mark Merryweather (Lib Dems, Farnham Moor Park), portfolio holder for finance, assets and property, said: “Our role as a council is to deliver social value in line with our corporate priorities.”

Cllr Gemma Long (Lib Dem, Elstead and Peper Harow) said: “Demolishing the existing bungalows at Springfield will allow better use of the space, permitting additional homes to be built on that site.

“These are numbers that Waverley badly needs at a stage, where every unit counts.”

She added that the net gain of homes without losing a greenfield site was “an opportunity we can’t afford to pass up” and help put an end to people living “in limbo” as they waited to hear whether they would have new, efficient homes.