Work has started on a 268 affordable homes at a development in Winsford, Cheshire.
The scheme – led by EQUANS, QWEST, Cheshire West and Chester Council, and The Riverside Group – is to be known as ‘The Woodlands’ and is located just behind the Verdin Exchange.
The development will see one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes constructed across 17 acres just north of Winsford town centre.
Homes will be made available for open-market sale, shared ownership, and affordable rent.
EQUANS, the new brand for ENGIE’s service and regeneration-led activities in the UK, has utilised Homes England Accelerated Construction Funding to deliver the project.
The £450m Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) programme was launched to help unlock public land and increase the speed of delivery on local authority housing schemes across England.
The Verdin Exchange scheme will include several features designed to optimise sustainability across each plot, with an energy strategy that is said to exceed Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning policy and supports their wider net-zero carbon ambitions.
This includes the use of enhanced building fabrics, energy-efficient heating systems, and photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
New ponds, ecological corridors, public open spaces, and seven new grass playing pitches will also be included in the scheme, as well as a new footpath that will link to wider areas of Winsford.
Steven Gregory, Construction director at EQUANS, said: “Our partnership with QWEST is already supporting the transformation of the area, with the Wharton Green housing development already progressing well.
“It’s great to have now broken ground on our second housing scheme with QWEST, which will see more much-needed affordable housing built that also meets the council’s sustainability needs.
“Focussing on carbon net-zero is at the heart of what EQUANS does, and using modern construction methods we can help our clients reach their goals.”
Councillor Matt Bryan, cabinet member for Housing, Planning, and Climate Emergency, said: “It’s fantastic to see work starting on site to build these energy efficient homes which will benefit local residents and families.
“Providing homes with enhanced insulation and efficient heating systems will help to reduce energy consumption, minimise carbon emissions, and help to lower household bills.”
Helen Reddington, director of Home Ownership at Riverside, said: “Riverside is delighted to have played a part in bringing these exciting new homes to Winsford.
“It will be one of our first developments featuring the new shared ownership product, which allows homebuyers to buy a share in a new home from as little as 10% of the open market value.
“We are also offering homes through our popular Rent to Buy option, which allows homebuyers to move into a new home now with a low rent so they can save a deposit to buy in the future.
“Rising house prices is a major barrier to home ownership and our homes will provide an affordable way to buy a home for lots of people.”
Image: Representatives from EQUANS, Homes England, and Riverside at the new development in Cheshire
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