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Kenilworth Close development is making good progress

The Kenilworth Close development, currently under construction, is making good progress with its approved plans 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, we will now see rapid progress onsite, as our contracted construction team - Hill Group, continue to make progress with building the new homes and accompanying infrastructure, such as roads, communal spaces and parking.

Summary:

  • 16 general needs rented homes to be demolished, there are plans to replace these with 148 new modern homes that will be available for private ownership as well as council rent.
  • 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 (1 and 2 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 that benefit from their own private terrace gardens.

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 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 local community service shops such as hairdressing, café/eatery and hot food takeaway. The marketing of the new shops will start this year and there has already been interest 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. 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 alone in the last month, 11 local apprentices were employed on the site in roles including bricklaying, carpentry and electricians providing vital skills to future generations in Stevenage.

All of Stevenage Borough Council’s housing developments follow the 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.

Cllr Jeannette Thomas, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Older People at Stevenage Borough Council, 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.”

Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “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.”

This project is just one of multiple projects Stevenage Borough Council is overseeing to deliver more social and affordable housing for the town.