New development to revitalise Rutland village

A RUTLAND village is to be revitalised after work began on the transformation of an outdated housing scheme into a stunning new 29-home development.

Having started on site in late February, Spire Homes, part of Longhurst Group, and Lindum Construction have now officially broken ground at Bayleys Close and Beckworth Court in Empingham.

The new development will see homes completed in batches between November this year and March 2018 and comprise properties for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale in a highly sought-after area.

It will represent a remarkable transformation for the site, which originally consisted of 10 concrete homes built in the 1950’s and the original Beckworth Court development; a 1960’s sheltered housing development of bedsits and flats, which had become increasingly difficult to let over the last decade.

Longhurst Group’s Head of Development, Jeff Gunthorp said: “We’re delighted to have started work on this exciting development, which contributes to our aim of building over 2,500 new homes by 2019.

“When completed, this project will have totally transformed the site from what it once was, providing much-needed and sought-after affordable housing in a picturesque rural setting.

“This is the result of excellent partnership work between ourselves, Lindum Construction, Rutland County Council, Empingham Parish Council and the Homes and Communities Agency. Together, we will deliver a development that the local community can be proud of.”

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Spire took the decision to redevelop the site back in 2014, offering residents alternative accommodation before submitting a planning application in March 2016.

After a series of consultation events with the Parish Council and residents, a revised scheme of 29 units was approved in September 2016 and work to demolish the existing properties completed earlier this year.

The scheme has been fully supported by Rutland County Council and the Homes & Communities Agency, with the latter providing grant funding for some of the affordable homes.

The remaining affordable homes will be subsidised by income from the homes for sale.

Nick Worboys, Longhurst Group’s Director of Development and Sales, added: “It’s important to acknowledge the fantastic support that we’ve received from the local community and Empingham Parish Council.

“This has been made possible through excellent partnership working with the Rutland County Council and our contractors Lindum, who have kept residents’ needs uppermost in their minds, ensuring they have been kept informed and involved throughout the entire process.

“That, of course, will continue as we bring this much-needed and sought-after development to fruition.”

Simon Gregory, Managing Director of Lindum Construction, said “We are delighted to be working with the Longhurst Group team again and welcome the opportunity to bring our practical building knowledge and experience in the affordable housing sector to the partnership responsible for delivering this project.

“After a detailed planning and consultation process over the past three years, taking into careful consideration the requirements of current residents, we now have a scheme which will provide much-needed affordable quality homes for local people.

“We have removed the outdated buildings and the site is cleared ready to start building the new houses and the properties will be completed in phases allowing Spire Homes to move residents in sooner and, of course, we will be here to support the residents as they start living in their new homes.”

Simon added: “The new homes will go some way in responding to the increasing need for quality, affordable housing for people in the area and we would like to thank the local community for their tolerance and understanding throughout the period of demolition and construction work involved here in Empingham.”

The project is the 100th that Longhurst Group has registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), underlining its long-standing commitment to helping to improve the image of the industry.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy, said: “Huge congratulations to Longhurst Group for registering over 100 sites with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. The Group is clearly demonstrating a firm commitment to improving the image of the industry, with a strong track record in considerate construction. We look forward to their continued efforts to raise standards even higher.”

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