Work is now well underway on a multi-million pound project that’s set to transform part of Stafford Town Centre and provide more than 60 affordable homes for the local community.
The development on Hesketh Road by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) marks a decade of investment by the area’s leading housing association. Completion of the scheme will also mark another important milestone for SARH, the landlord’s 500th new home build, and will dramatically update the area which is on a main route in to the town centre.
National housing developer Wates Living Space is now on site and the first of five apartment buildings are starting to take shape. During a recent site visit, Chris Poulton, Director of Asset Management and Development at SARH and Lee Sale, Business Director for Wates Living Space, updated local council officials on progress to date.
Chris Poulton commented: “These new apartments are replacing 54 flats that previously stood on the site; when complete they will totally transform the area into a neighbourhood where people feel proud to live.
“There has been a lot of excitement about this flagship project since we unveiled our plans for the site, which were designed to improve the appearance of the area and meet local housing needs.
“Planning permission was granted by Stafford Borough Council last year and it’s fantastic to see how much work has been done since then, with the old flats being taken down and the foundations of the new apartments, including our 500th new home, now firmly in place.”
When complete in January 2017 the £6.7 million scheme – supported by £1.26m of funding from the Homes and Community Agency (HCA) – will include 63 modern, energy-efficient homes for rent.
Lee Sale, Business Director for Wates Living Space, commented: “The team is making excellent progress on site at Hesketh Road where we have worked closely with our neighbours at Stafford Manor High School to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum throughout the project.
“Providing training and employment opportunities for local people is going to be an integral part of our work in Stafford as we progress with the delivery of new energy efficient and affordable housing for the area.”
The scheme is part of a wider, £40 million SARH programme to regenerate key neighbourhoods in Staffordshire and build over 300 new homes. In addition to meeting local housing needs, this and similar schemes across the area will also provide a major boost to the local economy through the creation of new jobs, training opportunities and the use of local suppliers.
Cllr Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities at Stafford Borough Council, added: “Stafford is recognised as being successful in developing a significant amount of inward investment and in creating a lot of new jobs, but having the right balance of housing of all tenures and types is critical to ensuring that Stafford remains a thriving and vibrant place for people to want to live and work in.
“This regeneration of land off Hesketh Road, close to the town centre, based on a significant investment by SARH, continues to support this drive and is one of many schemes that the housing association is working on across the Borough.”