Celebrating the old and the new in Rayleigh
Published by Anonymous for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Communities
Ancient milestone replaced in garden of newly completed home.
Celebrating the old and the new in Rayleigh!
There was more than one reason to celebrate the completion of a new housing development in Rayleigh yesterday (Tuesday 13 August).
Rochford Housing, part of leading housing and care provider Sanctuary Group, has just completed the first phase of the Stratford House redevelopment in Hockley Road, which will provide a total of 13 apartments and houses for affordable rent or shared ownership. This includes one ground floor apartment specially adapted for tenants with disabilities.
Seven of these properties have now been completed under Phase One of the scheme, and while this in itself is fantastic news for the neighbourhood, local historians also have cause to celebrate, as an ancient milestone marker was formally replaced in one of the Hockley Road gardens at the same time. Milestone 34 was temporarily removed by the developers while demolition and building work was underway, but has been restored in its original position now that this part of the housing scheme has been completed.
Karen Johnson, Managing Director at Rochford Housing said: “This really is cause for celebration, with seven high quality new homes now finished, six more due for completion in the new year, and the local heritage of Rayleigh protected and respected throughout the project.
“And the benefits do not stop with the provision of much-needed affordable housing in the area,” she added, “Through our partnership with our contractors, DCH, there have been employment and training opportunities generated on site and these will continue as Phase Two gets underway.”
Fairview Pre-School in Victoria Road, Rayleigh, also had a classroom revamped over the Easter holidays as part of the agreement between Rochford Housing and their contactor to deliver benefits to the wider community.
Mike Davies from Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass explained that the milestone is more than 250 years old and carries an English Heritage Grade II listing. He said: “It is fantastic to see this historic milestone back in its rightful place and we’re grateful to Sanctuary for working with us to maintain, preserve and protect our roadside heritage in this way.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Chairman of Rayleigh Town Council, said: “This is indeed a double celebration. It is good news for the local area to have these seven new homes completed, with six more to follow early next year. We appreciate the care and efforts made by Sanctuary to ensure that Milestone 34 was kept safe until the day it could resume its place in the history of our town. Rayleigh has a very proud history and it is gratifying to know that others are prepared to respect the passion we have for our town.”
Phase Two of the re-development of the Stratford House site is expected to be completed in early 2014. The £1.7 million scheme has been funded by Sanctuary Group and supported with around £300,000 in investment by the government’s Homes and Communities Agency.
- Ends -
Notes to editors:
1) Picture caption: Cllr Ian Ward unveils the restored milestone in the garden of 30 Hockley Road, Rayleigh (Left to Right) John Nicholls (The Milestone Society), Councillor Ian Ward (Rayleigh Town Council), Karen Johnson (Managing Director at Rochford Housing) and Mike Davies (Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass)
2) Established in 1969, Sanctuary Group is responsible for the provision of social housing, care and management services across England and Scotland. It owns or operates over 94,000 units of accommodation and employs around 10,000 people.
The Group operates under a not for profit umbrella, with surpluses reinvested into the provision of affordable housing, the maintenance of existing properties, and the development of new services for customers.
Sanctuary is an Industrial and Provident Society, an exempt charity under the Charities Act 1993 and is regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency.
For more information, please contact Julie Wedgbury, PR Officer - Development, on 01905 34693 or Sophia Wolsey, PR & Events Coordinator - Development, on 01905 335318.