Work starts on new Letchworth sheltered housing scheme

Howard Cottage chairman Gary Grindal started breaking ground on the building site for new housing de

Howard Cottage chairman Gary Grindal started breaking ground on the building site for new housing development in the Jackmans Estate. Picture: Howard Cottage Housing Association - Credit: Archant

Work has started on a new housing development for over-55s in Letchworth which will provide 71 new homes.

The John Coxall Court development will be Howard Cottage Housing Association’s largest housing development for more than 40 years.

Outgoing chairman and long-standing Howard Cottage board member Gary Grindal broke ground at the building site on the Jackmans estate last week.

He said: “I’m delighted to be part of this celebration which signals the start of the construction work before I stand down from the board in September.

“This is such an exciting development for Howard Cottage.

“It will provide two-bedroom, affordable rented accommodation that will hopefully encourage some movement in our housing stock for residents wishing to downsize from larger properties.”

Costing £12.5 million, John Coxall will be the most expensive and technically complex building in Howard Cottage’s history.

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Chief executive John Welch said: “People’s expectations of high-quality housing in later life are rightly demanding.

“Our new development will offer fantastic home and lifestyle opportunities in a newly created community.”

The housing scheme will include a communal lounge with a kitchen, hair salon, buggy store, fire sprinkler system, lifts and the option for residents to add air conditioning to their rooms.

Plans are also underway to introduce an innovative mobility scooter scheme, along the same lines as Transport of London’s self-service cycle hire scheme for short journeys – known as ‘Boris bikes’.

To make room for the new development, demolition began on the former sheltered housing complex at Hamonte in October last year.

This followed unanimous approval from North Herts District Council’s planning control committee.

Mr Welch said: “We remain very grateful to the residents from our former Hamonte sheltered housing scheme, which was demolished to make way for the new development.

“Since we first put the idea of a new development to them five years ago, their co-operation and goodwill has been remarkable.”

John Coxall Court is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2020.

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