Sectors - Social Housing

Wigan Council delivers affordable housing to Thomas Street

Being developed thanks to Wigan Council through its housing arm Wigan and Leigh Housing, Thomas Street has seen the construction and delivery of 34 affordable houses and flats.

This project has helped to meet identified housing needs and priorities as part of Wigan Council’s Housing Strategy and is a mixture of 12 two-bedroom homes, ten three-bedroom homes and two two-bedroom apartments.

The site was previously used for a primary school but this was demolished during 2012. Properties comprise of facing brickwork because that matches not only Wigan, which as fantastic Victorian brickwork throughout the whole district, but also Hindley Green.

The Architect, NPS North West, worked on the detailing and the colours of the brickwork to include decorative features that relate to the Hindley Green area.

Foundations at the site are traditional and the structure is timber frame rather than traditional blockwork. Some areas of the site also required specialist grouting in the ground to safeguard against the possible effects of nearby shallow coal workings from the past that are nearby.

The development, which received some funding through the government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), has adopted the Lifetime Homes standard. This requires incorporation of features that make a home adaptable for anybody throughout the life of any resident there who could temporarily or permanently lose mobility.

These facilities are as much for a mother with a pushchair and pram as it is for a wheelchair. All homes are accessible, with a level access wet room and door entry systems being provided to the first floor flats.

One of the main requirements of the development was to make sure it meets the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, which covers energy and water resources. It also incorporates health issues such as natural light, as well as noise and wider landscape issues like ecology, waste, pollution and construction practice on site.

To achieve the required 25% improvement, a fabric first approach was used to provide high levels of insulation, and good quality sustainable components will be used.

The project was not without its challenges. It was necessary to provide a pumping station to deal with drainage at the bottom of the site, as well as ensuring the design of the site provides access to an area of land that is not part of the development.

Due to the adjacent primary school, traffic and safety issues had to be carefully monitored. All this has been overcome thanks to close liaison with the Council, the school and the local community.

The Main Contractor was Seddon Construction, and work completed in February 2014, costing almost £2.7M.

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