The council is forking out £30m to buy houses that it used to own.

Waltham Forest’s cabinet has agreed to repurchase 66 homes on Marlowe Road in Walthamstow.

They were once council owned, but were sold to private company Countryside some years ago.

Now, the council plans to buy back the properties as part of a regeneration of the estate there.

The plans include building new library facilities and 436 new homes, 150 of which will be for social rent and one flat that will be fully adapted for disabled accessibility.

Cllr Simon Miller, cabinet member for high streets, presented the plans for the cabinet’s approval yesterday afternoon.

He said: “We are doing this to optimise a good scheme as a council so as many people as possible in our borough have access to high quality housing as soon as possible.”

Nancy Taaffe, chairman of the Waltham Forest Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, said: “From the outside looking in, we seem to be in this bizarre situation where we are buying back something that the borough already owned.

“It just shows you the parasitical nature of private housing. Why didn’t the council just renovate Marlowe Road when it owned it originally? This makes a nonsense of them.

“This situation tells the story of the demise of council housing, we stood for the rehabilitation of council housing, we need 3 million new council houses, not these hybrids that the council is signing up to.”

Cllr Clare Coghill, leader of the council, praised the scheme saying she completely agreed with everything Cllr Miller had said.

The cabinet unanimously agreed to pass the plans.