New development boosts affordable home provision in Hampshire
Published by Karen Connell for Sentinel Housing Association Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Pictured from left to right: Martin Nurse, Chief Executive of Sentinel, David Issott, Deputy Managing Director of Wilmott Dixon and Cllr Pat Seward, Chair of East Hants District Council
Sentinel Housing Association yesterday celebrated the completion of its £9.5m development of much needed affordable homes in Alton, Hampshire. The site bordering the famous Watercress Line, off Chawton Park Road, provides 54 new affordable homes for local people.
It was formerly home to a Hampshire County Council day centre which closed in 2006 and was bought by Sentinel together with a strip of neighbouring land in the same year. The association worked closely with local planners and residents to develop plans to provide 54 new homes which were approved by East Hampshire District Council in 2009.
Martin Nurse, Sentinel’s Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted to see the completion of our first new development inAlton. At a time when affordable housing is in short supply we’re really pleased to be able to help ease housing waiting lists. And with people in East Hampshire having to borrow over 12 times the average salary to buy a home locally, we hope this development gives more people a chance to get into home ownership.”
Councillor Pat Seward, Chairman of East Hampshire District Council added: "Affordable housing is much-needed through-out East Hampshire but particularly in areas such as Alton. This development will be a real boost to the numbers of affordable houses here and Sentinel should be applauded for the work they have done to provide it.
"These are houses for those who need it most and I am very pleased for the families who have moved in to these homes. I am sure they have been made to feel welcome and that this development will quickly become an integral part of the community."
The project has been supported with an investment of around £3.6m from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the affordable housing and regeneration agency forEngland.
Kevin Bourner, HCA head of area, added: “Providing new affordable homes in this part of Hampshire is important to us because we know they are in high demand.
I am very pleased to see this scheme completed, and I’m sure local people will welcome this development too. It’s a testament to the work that Sentinel and its partners have put in over recent years to see the homes delivered and I’m very happy that we’ve been able to support this project.”
Built by developer Willmott Dixon the development includes a mix of two and three-storey houses with timber frames, in the local ‘brick and tile’ style, with some timber cladding for variation. Designed to reduce the incidence of crime, with Secure By Design Part 2 accreditation, features include chimneys, bay windows, and storage for bicycles. To help reduce household energy bills most of the homes also feature solar thermal panels, A-grade boilers and high levels of insulation.
Bordered with mature trees and complete with landscaped areas, the homes are built around a cul-de-sac, and feature 30 houses and 24 apartments, 30 of which are for rent and 24 for part own, part rent.
Just over seven miles away in the village of Lindford, Sentinel has provided a further 12 new homes for rent. The 0.77 acre site was previously a plant haulage and breakers yard and was bought from a private developer during the market downturn. Planning permission was granted in March 2008, before Sentinel bought the site. The project was supported by a £1m investment from the HCA and Sentinel has contributed £13,404 towards upgraded public open spaces in the area and another £12,540 towards transport improvements.