Colchester Borough Council is proud to unveil four new build houses, which will provide social housing for local families on the housing register.
The houses are located on a former garage site in Hardings Close, Aldham, which has been transformed into two three-bedroom and two two-bedroom homes. Each house has allocated parking, a garden and a shed with bike storage.
These new properties are a significant milestone in the council’s efforts to tackle local housing need in the borough. The council has committed to building 350 new, council-owned properties in the borough by 2024. Its 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), the council’s housing management organisation.
Councillor Andrew Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning, said: “I am extremely pleased that these attractive and sustainable new homes have now been completed. They demonstrate our commitment to tackling the housing crisis in Colchester.
“With nearly 3,000 people on our local housing register, the transformation of underused council-owned garage sites into high quality family homes is beneficial for everyone. Colchester Borough Council will continue to work closely with Colchester Borough Homes and Colchester Amphora Homes, to explore and develop more opportunities to expand our stock of affordable houses.”
The properties are built to enhanced accessibility standards. Further to this, the three bed houses feature a ground floor wet room, in addition to a family bathroom.
As part of the council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency, the homes have been built to Future Homes Standard Option 2, which will achieve a 31% saving on carbon emissions over the current building regulations Part L standard. The homes have also been designed to omit the reliance on gas and feature air source heat pumps to provide the space heating, so the homes will be 'zero carbon ready' when the grid is decarbonised.
This is the second phase of garage sites development, 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’.
Construction of the new homes, project managed by Colchester Amphora Homes Ltd, was undertaken by local contractor, Amplis Construction. Despite the challenges caused by Covid-19, the homes are now available and tenants from the housing register will move into the properties in the next week.
The programme is being supported 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.
Image, L to R: Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Dundas; Michael Manning, Contracts Manager at Amplis Construction; Dirk Paterson, Chair of the Board Colchester Borough Homes, and Adrian Pritchard Chief Executive Colchester Borough Council.