Work starts on £10m housing development to transform Coventry hostel site

Work has started on a £10 million development of new homes which will transform the site of a former homeless hostel in Coventry.

A turf-cutting ceremony marked the start of work on land which was previously home to The Chace Hostel in Chace Avenue, Willenhall.

Leading Midlands housing provider WM Housing Group is working in a joint venture with national developer Wates Residential on Brooklands View, a development of 61 new homes – 41 homes for market sale and 20 for affordable rent.

Due for completion in spring 2019, the homes for sale comprise 18 two-bedroom, 17 three-bedroom and six four-bedroom properties, while the affordable homes include nine two-bedroom, eight three-bedroom and three four-bedroom houses.

Coventry-based Whitefriars Housing, part of WM Housing Group, will manage the homes for rent. They are being built to help meet the growing need for affordable homes in the area, backed by a £400,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Signature New Homes will market the homes for sale, with profits reinvested into WM Housing Group to provide affordable homes for people on low incomes.

Nick Byrne, Director of Development and Procurement at WM Housing Group, said:

“We are pleased to be teaming up in partnership with Wates to deliver these much-needed homes for the people of Coventry.

“Joint ventures are pivotal to providing quality developments in the region. The key advantages are that they offer access to wider markets and greater resources, supply chains and technical expertise for the delivery of affordable new homes.

“We are committed to delivering quality developments, in support of the government’s national housebuilding target. Our properties are of traditional design and construction with an enhanced specification, ensuring they meet customers’ expectations.”

He added:

“Brooklands View will transform a previously derelict site, contributing to a thriving community with an attractive new residential development.”

Joanne Jamieson, Managing Director of Wates Residential, said:

“It is a privilege for Wates to partner with WM Housing Group in transforming this historic site into a development that will help to address the ever-growing demand for new homes in Coventry.

“We are also determined to ensure the project provides a skills and training boost to Willenhall and the surrounding areas, and will be working closely with partners to ensure our supply chain includes local firms and staff wherever possible.”

The old Chace Hostel, which dated back to the Second World War, was demolished two years ago and replaced with a state-of-the-art homeless scheme, Gateway, in Hillfields.

Originally built in 1942 to accommodate the large number of workers moving to Coventry to help with the war effort, The Chace later housed people of over 15 nationalities who were either refugees or working to help rebuild the war-ravaged city.