Sector - Housing

Construction on Affordable Homes Begins

Colchester Borough Council has moved forward on its promise to build 350 new, council-owned homes in the borough to help tackle local housing needs. The council’s ambitious building programme is being delivered in partnership with Colchester Amphora Homes ltd (CAHL), the council’s commercial housing company. It will also be working with Colchester Borough Homes (CBH), the councils affordable housing management organisation.

Amplis Construction has also been appointed to deliver a total of four houses and twelve flats throughout three former garage sites at Hardings Close in Aldham; and Buffett Way and Scarfe Way in Colchester.

Neil Coy, Managing Director of Amplis, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded these prestigious contracts, delivering high-quality affordable homes for local families. Against a backdrop of challenging times for the construction industry, Colchester Borough Council has given a significant vote of confidence with this investment in the local area and with local businesses.”

Construction has begun at Hardings Close, Aldham where 15 former garages are to make way for two 3-bedroom and two 2-bedroom semi-detached homes with allocated parking for two cars at each property, along with a garden and a shed with bike storage. The homes are scheduled to be completed by March 2021.

A second contract has been awarded to Amplis, which will shortly commence building works at six 2-bedroom flats in Buffett Way as well as six 2-bedroom flats in Scarfe Way, each with parking provision and communal gardens.

Cllr Adam Fox, Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “Every day we witness first-hand the acute need for more affordable homes in the borough, with nearly 3,000 people currently waiting for affordable homes on our local housing needs register.

“That’s why we want to ensure council-owned assets are used in a way that best maximises their benefit to the community. Transforming underused garage sites, that increasingly no longer serve the parking needs of residents, into high quality family homes has got to be welcomed.”

The programme is being funded via the Colchester Borough Council’s Housing Revenue Account, a ring-fenced account which can only be spent on improving or increasing affordable housing.

Cllr Theresa Higgins, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, added: “Congratulations to Amplis Construction on its appointment. Through our competitive tender process, we saw a high level of local interest in affordable housing construction and look forward to providing more opportunities for companies to bid for future contracts as we continue to build more homes. Through our building programme we can help support local employment and boost the borough’s economic recovery.”

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