Colchester City Council (CCC) is pleased to announce that it has taken possession of two new sites, enabling them to build seven more homes for those on the housing register, as part of the new council’s housebuilding programme.
The homes at Prospero Close and Veronica Walk will be allocated to residents on a needs basis, with priority given to applicants wishing to downsize their home, freeing up larger family homes in the area.
Local firm Rose Builders will be taking over the Veronica Walk and Prospero Close sites on 5 June.
In April, Rose Builders began work on another site at Cross Cottages, Boxted, and will soon begin the construction phase. The development at Cross Cottages will provide one 4-bed bungalow which has been adapted to be wheelchair-accessible alongside two 2-bedroom bungalows and four 1-bedroom maisonettes.
The development at Prospero Close will consist of four one-bedroom maisonettes, while the scheme at Veronica Walk will see the construction of one three-bedroom house and two two-bedroom houses.
These schemes are a significant milestone towards the council’s commitment to building 350 new council-owned properties in the city by the end of 2024, to tackle local housing need. The use of local contractors also supports employment opportunities for local people.
The ambitious building programme is led by CCC and is being delivered in partnership with Colchester Amphora Homes Ltd (CAHL), the council’s commercial housing company, and Colchester Borough Homes, the council’s housing management organisation.
Of the homes let to date, all were in the priority needs bands, while also meeting the needs of five applicants requiring an adapted property and six applicants transferring under the transfer incentive scheme, freeing up larger family homes within the CCC stock, to help house other families in housing need.
As part of the council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency the homes will be built to Future Homes Standard, to reduce carbon emissions, and feature air source heat pumps, double glazing, LED lighting and increased insulation levels.
Cllr Paul Smith, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “It’s brilliant to see the construction of more new homes for those who need them. I’m particularly pleased that this tranche of homes includes a fully accessible property, adding to the stock we have available for those who need homes with accessible considerations. We are working hard to stick to our housing targets, and these homes are an important contribution to our commitment to new homes in Colchester.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in this project, especially former Housing and Communities Portfolio Holder Cllr Julie Young for her work in bringing this scheme forward.”
The programme is being supported through grant funding from Homes England and the council’s Housing Revenue Account. This is a ring-fenced account that can only be spent on improving or increasing affordable housing.