Published: Fri 5 July, 2019
Tenants have started moving into 24 new homes in Coalville as North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) completes its latest phase of housebuilding.
The former police station site in Ashby Road has been transformed into a mix of two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes, in addition to six one-bedroom flats. These affordable homes are now being rented to tenants from the council’s waiting list.
In a nod to the site’s former use, the main road into the development has been named Kinghorn Close after Nancy Kinghorn, the first female police officer in Leicestershire who was based in Coalville.
The homes are part of the council’s new-build programme aiming to provide around 30 new homes for rent each year – adding to its stock of around 4,300 council homes.
The site sits next to the town-centre conservation area and as a result the street frontage design references the Victorian terraces that would have originally stood there.
NWLDC began building council homes for the first time in almost 30 years back in 2017. Tenants have already moved into 17 new homes in Coalville and seven in Ashby-de-la-Zouch since the project got under way.
The authority is working to increase its housing stock to meet demand, particularly properties that are in short supply in its current stock, such as smaller family houses and bungalows. The council housing waiting list currently stands at 610 households.
The Ashby Road building project has been delivered in partnership with Countryside, one of the UK’s leading home builders specialising in place making and regeneration.
Daniel Springthorpe and Iga Byczynska have moved into one of the new properties with their two children. Daniel said: “We were living in really quite cramped conditions and on the waiting list for a council home for around six months.
“When we heard the news it was absolutely fantastic, we couldn’t have asked for anything more and the council has been brilliant. We now have the space we need and there’s already a nice community forming with the neighbours.”
Gavin Brooks and Carrianne Cuppelditch have moved in with their three children after previously being in a small two-bedroom home with nowhere near enough room for them all.
Carrianne said: “When I heard the news I burst into tears. And to get a newly built house in such perfect condition is amazing.
“We’ve only lived here for a month and it’s already making a huge difference to our lives. There were four of us sleeping in one room previously but now we have this and we’re really grateful.”
Councillor Roger Bayliss, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Customer Services at NWLDC, said: “We’re delighted with the progress we’re making with our new-build project and it’s great to see tenants moving in.
“We have a lengthy waiting list of people in need of affordable housing and it’s important we continue to be proactive in increasing our stock of housing in the district.
“Transforming this empty site on the edge of Coalville town centre also fits in with our Coalville regeneration priority – the development prevented an empty building from causing blight on the town, it brings more people into the town, and makes a positive addition to the Ashby Road part of town, which is a key gateway into Coalville.”
The next phase of council home building will see seven houses and one bungalow built on the former Cocked Hat site on Cropston Drive in Coalville. Start on site will be this summer with completions expected to take place in spring 2020.
Glyn Mabey, Managing Director of Countryside Partnerships East Midlands, said: “It’s great to see residents moving into these brand-new affordable homes created in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council.
“We are passionate about creating great places to live that contribute to local communities and improve people’s quality of life. We’re actively seeking out further opportunities to work together with local authorities, housing associations and landowners, as we look to create more high-quality homes across the East Midlands.”
The quality of the homes at the Ashby Road site has since earned Countryside a National House Building Council (NHBC) Pride in the Job Award, one of only 450 competing schemes out of 16,000 in the UK to receive this year.