Woolpit affordable housing scheme gets a hearty reception
Newly completed affordable homes in Woolpit received a warm welcome from the local community at a special open house event.
Organised by Orbit Homes and housing developer Lovell, it enabled representatives from Mid Suffolk District Council and Woolpit Parish Council to take their first look inside the new Orbit East development on land off Steeles Road.
Villagers also came along to find out more about the scheme which has created 25 energy-efficient, modern properties (made up of four one-bedroom flats: eight two-bedroom, 10 three-bedroom and three four-bedroom houses) for new and existing residents in place of outdated post-war, prefabricated concrete Unity Homes.
The Woolpit scheme is just one of three sites on which Mid Suffolk District Council is working in partnership with Orbit and Lovell to replace old Unity houses with brand-new, energy-efficient homes.
The joint project will see 92 concrete homes in Woolpit, Stowmarket and Haughley replaced with 164 new affordable homes, increasing the provision by 72 extra homes.
This project illustrates Mid Suffolk District Council’s clear and determined commitment to delivering the housing priority in its Joint Strategic Plan – to ensure there are enough good quality, environmentally efficient and cost-effective homes with appropriate tenures and in the right locations.
Councillor Nick Gowrley, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, says: “Everyone at Mid Suffolk is delighted to see the first phase of this project become reality. The Unity Homes are the last significant concentration of non-traditional houses in the Council’s ownership and were not fit-for-purpose.
“We know that affordable housing is desperately needed and wanted in our communities and vital for the future sustainability of our towns and villages. Mid Suffolk is committed to providing the right properties in the right places and now more families, and those in need of affordable housing, can benefit from this fantastic development.”
Christine Sutcliffe, resident liaison officer at Orbit Homes, adds: “It’s great to see the new homes finally ready for customers to move into. It has been a long journey for some, and we would like to thank them for their patience and co-operation. Orbit has worked closely with Lovell and the councils on this project, and reaching this stage has been down to true partnership between us. We are committed to building more homes and improving communities for our customers, and the difference being made to people’s lives here is plain to see.”
“Affordable homes help communities to survive and thrive”
“We’re proud to have completed work on the first phase of this project which is providing urgently needed high-quality affordable rented homes for Mid Suffolk,” says Lovell regional director Simon Medler. “Affordable homes help communities to survive and thrive, enabling young families, first-time buyers and other people on modest incomes to stay close to their roots, jobs, friends and families.”
With the first phase of homes now complete, Lovell recently started on the second phase of redevelopment work for Woolpit’s Unity Homes.
This will create a cul-de-sac style development of 31 new homes including 27 one, two, three and four-bedroom houses and four one- and two-bedroom bungalows as well as 60 parking spaces.
The phase two homes will also be highly energy-efficient, with environmentally-friendly features including solar photovoltaic panels keeping energy bills down.
Lovell has just started construction of the first six homes to be built on the second phase and demolition of the next 16 units is due to begin in September.