Construction starts to convert pub site into homes

06 Mar 2017

Stevenage Borough Council begins work this week to build 14 quality affordable homes for local people.

The £1.2 million scheme will transform the site of the former Twin Foxes pub, on Rockingham Way, into much-needed council homes for local residents.

The Council has appointed a local company, Westhouse Contractors Limited, to build the council homes.

With this and other schemes, the council is aiming to provide 500 new homes over the next 10 years to meet demand for social housing in the borough.

Already it has built eight new council homes at Archer Road, and 22 more are underway on the site. Five new homes for affordable rent in Kilner Close were finished last year, and the council has bought 28 flats and houses on the open market to add to its stock of 8,000 council houses.

Councillor Jeannette Thomas, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Older People, said: “Stevenage was developed as a New Town because people desperately needed homes. We are determined to keep innovating and building to replace those lost under Right to Buy. We are working hard to find new sites and develop them quickly to create the homes local people need.”

Melvin Marks, Managing Director of Westhouse, explained that he was delighted to be working with Stevenage Borough Council to deliver new affordable housing for the town. “This is the first of two schemes we are delivering for Stevenage and we look forward to working with local companies, where ever possible, to bring a boost to the local area.”

Westhouse have already secured the support of two local schools to design artwork that will be displayed on the site hoardings later in the year.

St Nicholas Church of England Primary School & Nursery and Broom Barns Community Primary School will engage some of their pupils via a completion to design some art work. Some of the winning entries will then be selected to be manufactured into displayable art work. 

Scott Crudgington, Chief Executive of Stevenage Borough Council, said this is an excellent example of where the delivery of housing can achieve so much more than just the end product. “We are hopeful that the £1.2m contract awarded to Westhouse will benefit local companies as well. Estimates by the Confederation of British Industry show that for every £1 spent on construction the wider benefit to the economy is equal to £2.84. Clearly this and other construction activity in Stevenage will begin to lay the foundations for the towns future prosperity.

“By engaging the local schools we are also trying to make sure we capture the imagination of the town’s younger generation to ensure they feel they can shape and influence their surroundings.”

Next week, on Thursday 9 March, the council will be consulting with local residents about another proposed scheme, for the former March Hare pub site, before a planning application is submitted. There will be two drop-in sessions  at 9.30-11.30am and 4.30-7pm, at the Phoenix Group’s premises – The Hydeout Centre, 2-6 The Hyde. Local residents are welcomed to pop in and give their views on the scheme and designs.