A South London borough will get 1,000 new council homes after switching from Tory to Labour control for the first time in 44 years in May.

Wandsworth Council’s new Labour administration will make all homes in the authority’s 1,000 homes programme available for council rent.

The original scheme approved under Conservative leadership promised to build 1,000 homes on council land by 2027 across different tenures, including 442 council rent homes.

But Wandsworth Labour pledged to make all homes in the programme available for council rent at the local elections in May.

The move was approved by the council’s executive on Monday (October 10) after being green-lit by the housing committee in September.

Labour councillor Aydin Dikerdem, cabinet member for housing, told the housing committee on September 29 the authority wants to make sure all public land in the borough provides a public good.

He said: “We see that as an investment in the future and we see it as a way of protecting that public land to make sure that it isn’t privatised.”

He added: “For us it was dangerous and frankly kind of unacceptable to see very precious limited public land, of which there is very little in London left now, ending up on a private market.”

But Conservative councillors raised concerns about the authority needing to borrow more cash for the programme and whether the administration is doing enough for private renters or people wanting to own their homes.

Conservative councillor Daniel Ghossain said: “What hope do you offer to people who come from families like my own who don’t aspire to live in social housing all their life, who may want the security of their own home, who may want to buy their own council home?

"Is there any hope for those families under this Labour administration?”

Councillor Dikerdem said: “It’s not that this is a council against aspiration. But the reality is that we have 3,500 families who are in temporary accommodation, bad-quality, private-rented accommodation often – that comes at huge expense to all of us and providing them a safe, secure home I think is an amazing aspiration.”

He said the previous administration created opportunities to own and privately rent homes “at the cost of social housing” and that the authority was now rebalancing that using public land.

Andy Algar, assistant director of regeneration and development at the council, also said: “Whilst it might be borrowed money, these are fixed assets that produce income and provide homes and borrowing to build is a model that most local authorities adopt in one form or another.”

Almost half of the 1,000 homes promised had been completed, were being built or had planning approval in January this year.

The council will now switch existing sites that are being built to council rent and identify new sites for the programme.

This includes switching all 41 homes on the new Kersfield Estate in Putney to council rent, instead of the 14 originally planned.

The scheme was approved along with other measures at Monday’s executive meeting, including the council maximising the number of affordable homes on private developments and acquiring more homes.