Delighted residents now have “a lovely place to live” after the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Peter Adams, welcomed families to the first set of new, energy-efficient council homes to be built in the town for two decades.
Responding to the demand for more affordable housing in the town, Borough of Poole, PHP and construction firm C.G. Fry & Son have worked together to transform a previously underused site at Bearwood into a development of six modern, family homes. Each home benefits from three bedrooms, a back garden and an allocated parking space.
The former garage-block site was identified as having excellent potential for redevelopment, particularly as the new homes, which have taken just 12 months to build, set a new standard for council-rented dwellings in Poole.
The properties benefit from a contemporary internal and external design, attractive landscaping, and exciting energy-efficiency measures designed to reduce carbon emissions and help residents save money on their energy bills.
The new homes:
• Meet ‘Code 4’ of the government’s national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes, meaning the properties have been built above the current minimum standards set out by the building regulations.
• Have been thoroughly insulated to minimise heat loss and carbon emissions.
• Feature air-source heat pump technology which provides heating and hot water (this is a forward-thinking move to reduce residents’ dependence on gas).
• Enjoy good-quality fencing, ground anchors and potting sheds to enhance residents’ external living environment.
The Mayor of Poole handed over the keys to the first family – Rebecca Lennard, 33, and her children Keeleigh, 12, and Oakley, 11, during a special launch event. Cutting the ribbon, Cllr Adams said: “What is important is not the houses but the people who now have a lovely place to live, provided by Borough of Poole and PHP.”
Joe Logan, Chief Executive, Poole Housing Partnership, said: “These fantastic homes set a new standard for council-rented properties in Poole. Built to a high specification and featuring state-of-the-art energy-efficiency measures, the homes have been developed with a sustainable future very much in mind. The project is just the start of an exciting programme to bring more much-needed affordable housing to Poole.”
Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, Borough of Poole, said: “We have many residents in need of affordable housing, so it’s great to see this development finished and ready to welcome local families. The council and PHP will continue to explore ways to provide much-needed housing across Poole.”
Andy Durant, Contracts Manager, C.G. Fry & Son, said: “We are delighted to have been part of this project, which will provide much-needed affordable housing in the local community. The project was challenging as the site is located in a dense residential area; however, we liaised with residents throughout and kept disruption to a minimum. We are delighted to be awarded a Considerate Construction Certificate for the site.”
PHP has worked with the community to minimise the impact of the building works. Following consultation with local people in late 2013, the plans were revised to incorporate more parking spaces to satisfy the needs of new and existing King John Avenue residents. Residents were also invited to an exclusive ‘open house’ event to see inside the new homes, meet the project team and tell us about their experiences during the build.
Watch our news report from the launch event, and a time-lapse film showing the project from start to finish, below.