A former empty office building and surrounding car park and land opposite Bracknell & Wokingham College in Larges Lane, Edenfield, is set to be demolished and transformed into 48 urgently-needed affordable homes in the town.
Leading social housing provider Stonewater has started demolition work this week at the new development which will create a mix of one- and two-bedroom residential apartments and townhouses. The scheme, which is close to Bracknell town centre and due for completion in November next year, will provide 35 homes for low-cost rent and 13 homes for affordable shared ownership.
The new homes, which are being built for local people, have been funded by Stonewater with additional £946,955 grant-funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.
“Replacing empty office buildings and brownfield sites like this one with much-needed affordable town housing brings huge benefits to the local community,” says Matthew Crucefix, Stonewater Regional Development Manager. “Our new Larges Lane scheme is a very sustainable housing development which makes the best use of redundant commercial space by bringing it back into productive use. It’s also helping to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing in the Bracknell Forest area which is a very expensive place to live. These new Stonewater homes will also stimulate the local economy by bringing more people into the high street boosting local trade and commerce and creating more jobs.”
Stonewater is working with Bracknell Forest Council and regional contractors PMC Construction on the conversion scheme which will see the redevelopment of a three-storey commercial office block into energy-efficient residential apartments and townhouses. The new apartment complex, which will staircase in height up to six-storeys, will offer 33 one- and two-bedroom apartments and eight two-bedroom apartments for shared ownership. It will also include two duplex apartments and an apartment above a mews.
Seven three-storey, three-bedroom townhouses with undercroft parking and private back gardens, are also being built on the one-acre brownfield site. Two of these will be available for affordable rent, and five for shared ownership sale. The two halves of the development will be separated with a large car park for the apartment residents.
Councillor Dale Birch, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing, says:
“We are looking forward to working with Stonewater on this project to provide 48 new affordable homes near to the heart of the new town centre for residents of Bracknell Forest. The partnership will make great strides into providing the affordable housing the borough needs and will offer people the chance to afford the home they want, in the location they want to live in.”
Stonewater’s Larges Lane affordable housing development comes at a time when average house prices in the area (£348,911) are 11 times the average income and 40% of earnings are spent on private sector rents.