Boost for residents on waiting list as work starts on £6m affordable homes scheme
Published by RichardBramwell for Symphony Housing Group in Housing
Building work is set to begin on a £6million scheme to provide dozens of affordable homes and help first-time buyers in Preston onto the property ladder.
Social landlord Contour Homes has completed a deal to acquire former industrial land in the city’s docklands area for the major development.
It comes as figures reveal a severe shortage of affordable homes in the central Preston area. Around 700 people are on the waiting list, with around half needing a two-bedroom or three-bedroom property.
Under the plans, a total of 56 houses and apartments will be available, including homes for affordable rent or shared ownership, once the project is complete.
Contour Homes’ Lancashire Regional Manager Janice Thompson said today: “These new homes will provide much-needed, high-quality accommodation at affordable prices and we anticipate that that there will be great demand.
“The development will not only improve the availability of homes for affordable rent in the borough, it will also allow us to help new buyers onto the property ladder, with some of the properties offered for shared ownership.
“We are also intending to work closely with our contractor to make sure that quality training and job opportunities are provided during construction, enabling us to make a real and lasting contribution to the docklands area.”
A planning application was unanimously approved by city councillors in July and construction is due to get underway this month.
The first phase of 40 two- and three-bedroom houses, on the land off Lockside Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, will take just over a year to complete. Thirty-six of the properties will be let at affordable rent, with four homes for sale under shared ownership.
Contour Homes owns and manages around 11,000 properties across the North West, including more than 1,000 in the Preston area.
It has acquired the land from developer Mulbury Homes, which specialises in working with housing associations to provide affordable properties.
Harbur Construction will be Mulbury’s main contractor, with architecture services from Lymm-based Eden and Preston-based Wood Associates.
Greg Mulligan, director of Mulbury Homes, said: “We’ve worked closely with Contour Homes to ensure these new energy-efficient homes help to address housing need in the local area and that they fully meet the needs of residents who will live in them.
“The development will also bring back to life a derelict brownfield site for the benefit of the wider community.”
Contractors will be working with local schools and colleges to encourage and support youngsters interested in the construction industry.
Meanwhile, Contour Homes – a member Symphony Housing Group – is also planning a number of community initiatives in the docklands area.
Jayne Entwistle, Employment Liaison Officer at Symphony Housing Group, said: “We will be working closely with local employment and skills providers to support tenants into work, helping to remove barriers and update their skills so that they can benefit from employment opportunities created through the scheme.”