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Construction of new affordable homes begins with appointment of local contractor

Council move forward on its commitment to build 350 new homes

Date issued: 23 September 2020

Colchester Borough Council is moving forward on its commitment to build 350 new, council-owned properties in the borough to tackle local housing need as work begins on the construction of new family homes in and around Colchester.

The council’s ambitious building programme is being delivered in partnership with Colchester Amphora Homes Ltd (CAHL), the council’s commercial housing company, and Colchester Borough Homes (CBH), its affordable housing management organisation.

This week saw the appointment of building contractor, Amplis Construction to deliver a total build of four houses and twelve flats across three former garage sites at Hardings Close in Aldham; and Buffett Way and Scarfe Way in Colchester.

Neil Coy, Managing Director of Amplis, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded these prestigious contracts, delivering high-quality affordable homes for local families. Against a backdrop of challenging times for the construction industry, Colchester Borough Council has given a significant vote of confidence with this investment in the local area and with local businesses.”

Construction has now begun at Hardings Close, Aldham, where 15 former garages will make way for two 3-bedroom and two 2-bedroom semi-detached homes with allocated parking for two cars at each property, a garden and a shed with bike storage. Completion is scheduled for March 2021.

With a second contract awarded, Amplis will shortly commence the building of six 2-bedroom flats in Buffett Way and six 2-bedroom flats in Scarfe Way, each with communal gardens and parking provision.

Cllr Adam Fox, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “Every day we witness first-hand the acute need for more affordable homes in the borough, with nearly 3,000 people currently waiting for affordable homes on our local housing needs register.

“That’s why we want to ensure council-owned assets are used in a way that best maximises their benefit to the community. Transforming underused garage sites, that increasingly no longer serve the parking needs of residents, into high quality family homes has got to be welcomed.”
This second phase of former garage site development follows the construction in 2015 of new properties at Wivenhoe, Greenstead and Old Heath, which added 34 new homes to the council’s housing stock, as well as several other projects that form part of the larger “New Council Housing Programme.”

Cllr Theresa Higgins, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, added: “Congratulations to Amplis Construction on its appointment. Through our competitive tender process, we saw a high level of local interest in affordable housing construction and look forward to providing more opportunities for companies to bid for future contracts as we continue to build more homes. Through our building programme we can help support local employment and boost the borough’s economic recovery.”

The programme is being funded through the council’s Housing Revenue Account. This is a ring-fenced account that can only be spent on improving or increasing affordable housing and has not been affected as adversely as the council’s General Fund by Covid-19.
 

 

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