Derelict site of former petrol station transformed into much-needed affordable apartments

A ribbon-cutting event this week celebrated the completion of a new development of 25 energy-efficient, affordable rental apartments at Goldcrest Court in Cowplain, Waterlooville.

Leading housing provider Stonewater has funded the scheme, which received a £569,457 contribution from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Stonewater has replaced a former petrol station, on the junction of Milton Road and Eagle Avenue, with 25 two-bedroom apartments, all for low-cost rent. Close to local shops and amenities, the new four-storey development has a communal garden as well as allocated parking and a bicycle storage area. Stonewater has delivered the scheme in partnership with Havant Borough Council and housebuilders Foreman Homes.

Stonewater commissioned artist Esther Coombs to provide artwork for the scheme which features her vibrant vinyl prints of goldcrest birds adorning the walls and ceilings of the stairwells. Residents’ door knockers have also been sourced by the artist.

“While everyone deserves to have a safe, secure and affordable place to live, the acute shortage of good quality, low-cost housing in the area is putting many people in housing crisis,” says Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “Expensive private rents and cuts to housing benefits means that many families and young people are increasingly at risk of rent arrears, evictions and homelessness. These new affordable Stonewater homes in Goldcrest Court aim to help tackle this problem by providing good quality, comfortable homes for those in the community who need them most. We hope new residents will enjoy living in these apartments and we look forward to building more affordable housing communities in the area in partnership with the Council.”

Each of the new homes has been built with gas central heating systems and a high level of thermal insulation to maximise energy efficiency and help keep running costs down.

Councillor David Guest, Cabinet Lead for Economy, Planning and Development, says:

“This development provides efficient, affordable housing for families within our community who may otherwise struggle to find appropriate accommodation.

“The location of this development also allows for its residents to have easy access to the local shops and conveniences which are key to family life.”

Stonewater currently owns and manages over 2,000 properties in Hampshire, and Goldcrest Court is one of seven current housing developments which will create an additional 262 affordable new homes in the area. Most recently, the housing provider started construction on a new community of 41 affordable homes off Auger Row which is part of the West of Waterlooville urban extension.