IT's going to be one of the Winchester district's most visible council homes schemes.

Proposals for affordable housing for The Valley in Stanmore are making progress.

The city council, which already has planning permission for the 76-home scheme, is now seeking tenders for construction.

The scheme includes one, two and three-bedroom flats, two and three-bed homes and a three-bedroom with associated landscaping and parking.

It is the largest council house building project since the authority started to build again in 2012 and will be high-profile on the hillside overlooking Stanmore and St Cross.

The Cabinet Housing committee has now approved a business case and is seeking tenders from interested contractors.

The council will also submit a grant funding bid to the Homes and Community Agency to help with capital costs

Caroline Horrill, city council leader, said: "There is a huge problem of housing affordability locally and the council is committed to providing new council homes to tackle the problem

"The Valley is a key part of our strategy to double the number of council homes built between 2017 and 2020, and provide good access to affordable housing options for our residents.”

To minimise risk, and help ensure the scheme is delivered on time and on budget, a two-stage tender process is being used, meaning that contractors can price elements of the contract works at an advanced stage.

Once a contractor is selected they can tender the remaining contract elements with the council to establish a final price.

The council says this approach ensures it is fully engaged with the contractor from an early stage, and it allows for an early start on site, and means designs can develop and variations and changes can be negotiated.

Andrew Palmer, head of new homes delivery at the council, said: “This is the largest new homes project the council has developed to date and will provide modern, well-designed flats and houses with very low running costs for our tenants.”

The full business case is likely to go to cabinet for approval in February 2018.