The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Cllr Heather Taylor, joined forces with eight-year-old Bethany Beard to officially open a £3m housing scheme in Herne Bay on Friday (5th July) supported by funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
They were joined by Bob Heapy, Chief Executive of Town & Country Housing Group, to cut the ribbon on the development which provides 20 new homes in total.
Bethany lives in two-bedroom house with her father Leonard, who is delighted with his new home. He said:
“Walking into my new home now, I couldn’t be happier if I won the lottery. The house is fantastic and all of our neighbours are so friendly. We both absolutely love it here and feel lucky to have found such a great new home.”
The development is a partnership between Town & Country Housing Group, Canterbury City Council and the HCA who provided a grant of £245,000 towards the homes. It provides 14 x two bedroom houses, 4 x three bedroom houses and 2 x two bed flats.
The homes are located on Dence Park and the newly created Lavender Grove. Of the 20 homes ten are for affordable rent and 7 are for shared ownership.
The remaining three homes have been provided for intermediate rent to be let to key workers. These homes were funded, in part, by the ‘Lavender Legacy’. Kenneth Harold Lavender was a former teacher who left his Herne Bay home to Kent County Council (KCC) to provide housing for key workers in the area.
As the home itself had deteriorated in condition whilst it was vacant following Mr Lavender’s death, KCC agreed it could be sold. This was as long as the proceeds were used in accordance with the spirit of Mr Lavender’s bequest. The new road has been named ‘Lavender Grove’ after Mr Lavender.
Colin Lissenden, is the Development Director for Town & Country Housing Group, he said:
“I am delighted we have been able to work with Canterbury City Council and the HCA to provide some much needed affordable housing for the area”
“The homes are of the highest quality and I hope our new residents will be happy here for many years to come.”
Canterbury City Council’s Executive member for housing, Cllr Joe Howes, added:
“We are very pleased to have worked with Town and Country Housing Group to provide this much needed affordable housing in Herne Bay. Town and Country has an excellent track record of providing well managed, high quality homes in our district, and this wonderful scheme is evidence of this.”
The site was formerly a reservoir owned by South-East Water, and half of the site was the reservoir itself. Plans date the reservoir back to the latter part of the 19th Century.
South-East Water have kept the smaller part of the site containing the landmark of the original water tower and a small reservoir, which is still in use.
The homes were built by the Chartway Group and the Employers Agent was PSW Building Consultancy Ltd.