'Rapid progress' expected on Stevenage housing development
- Credit: Hill Group
A housing development which has seen the demolition of 48 existing homes is set to make rapid progress following the removal process, according to Stevenage Borough Council.
The Kenilworth Close development, currently under construction, is set to deliver 236 homes, with 118 being retained by the council.
The scheme has already undergone significant demolition works with the removal of 48 homes that were unsuitable by modern standards.
With this upheaval out of the way, rapid progress onsite is expected, as contracted construction team - Hill Group - continues with building the new homes and accompanying infrastructure, such as roads, communal spaces and parking.
Work still to be done includes the demolition of 16 general needs rented homes, with plans to replace these with 148 new modern homes that will be available for private ownership as well as council rent.
A further 62 unsuitable supported sheltered homes comprising mainly of bedsits and one bed flats will be demolished, and replaced with 88 newly built Independent Living homes - one and two-bed apartments with recessed garden balconies.
Six one-bedroom supported bungalows will be demolished and replaced by nine level access and larger ground floor apartments, complete with private terrace gardens.
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The new ‘Independent Living Scheme’ will feature a rooftop garden, and extensive communal areas including a library and cinema room.
The building also has air source heat pumps, and solar panels to meet some of the energy requirements of the homes, as well as to continue the council’s commitment to tackle climate change.
Alongside the new homes at the site, there will also be four new retail units and enhanced community spaces to help create a new neighbourhood centre at the site.
It is hoped that the new retail shopping offer will be significantly enhanced through the provision of fresh produce, and community service shops such as hairdressing, a café/eatery and hot food takeaway.
The marketing of the new shops will start this year and interest has already been expressed.
The Kenilworth Close development forms a key part of the council’s own housing development programme, which to date has delivered 300 new homes, and is currently on site delivering 300 more.
Councillor Jeannette Thomas, executive member for housing, health and older people, said: “This new development, which I visited at the end of 2021, will provide the residents of Stevenage with over 100 more social homes, as well as a number of private sale homes to help fund the scheme.
“Housing is in short supply across the UK and especially so in our region, but the Kenilworth Close scheme will help bridge the gap by delivering more housing for our residents.”
Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor added: “It’s clear from my visit to Kenilworth Close late last year that the development of these new homes will provide a great place for residents to live and thrive.
"It gives me great pleasure to see the progress on the site, especially the work on the new Independent Living Scheme which will provide high quality, and genuinely affordable accommodation for the elder generations of our town.
“I really look forward to revisiting the site this year and seeing further progress.”
In addition to the council building hundreds of new homes in Stevenage, they are also generating local prosperity by creating new jobs on the development sites and offering professional training.
On the Kenilworth Close site in the last month, 11 local apprentices were employed on the site in roles including bricklaying, carpentry and electricians.
All of Stevenage Borough Council’s housing developments follow five guiding principles stipulated in their ‘five star quality programme’.
This is to ensure that all developments are sustainable, genuinely affordable to rent, tenure mixed in design, make best use of land and are backed up by a community-led consultation process.