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Custom House housing scheme gets go ahead

Published: 17/12/2015

Flintshire Council’s ambitious plans to build new social and affordable housing across the county have been given the green light, with planning permission now granted for 12 new homes in Connah’s Quay. This forms part the Council’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP), which will see 500 new homes built across Flintshire in the next five years. Planning permission was granted for the first batch of new homes at a committee meeting on 16 December and follows the appointment of national developer, Wates Living Space, as the Council’s strategic housing partner earlier this year. Wates Living Space is expect to commence construction of the new homes on the site of the former Custom House School early next year. The scheme’s primary design principles have also been driven by the appearance of the former school. As part of the project, Wates Living Space and the Council have made a joint commitment to create extensive opportunities for local training and employment. It is estimated that over 2,000 people will be employed throughout the SHARP programme and an estimated 20 apprenticeship positions will be created for local people. Wates Living Space and Flintshire Council also recently supported and attended Flintshire Business Week to engage and encourage local SMEs and social enterprises. Efforts to engage local suppliers have included a Meet the Buyer event for local subcontractors, with an estimated £40m worth of work packages to be sub-contracted to local firms. Cllr. Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council said: The SHARP programme will deliver upon this Councils priorities to provide new Council homes and affordable housing for the people of Flintshire delivering 500 new homes, but it will also lead to a range of linked regeneration initiatives and community benefits, as well as local work and training opportunities. I am looking forward to seeing steady progress on the development of the scheme and to the day when the first keys are presented to the occupiers of these new homes.” Cllr. Helen Brown, Cabinet Member for Housing said: The Custom House development will mark the beginning in practical terms of a very exciting period for the council in realising our long-held ambition to provide new and much needed quality affordable housing across the County and I am delighted that work will begin soon.” Joanne Jamieson, Managing Director of Wates Living Space’s Homes division, commented: “Flintshire County Council’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme is the first of its kind in Wales. By pioneering such ambitious housing investment plans, the Council is providing a leading example of how housing shortages can be surmounted. “As Flintshire Council’s housing partner for SHARP, Wates Living Space is wholly committed to ensuring that this regeneration goes beyond the homes themselves and becomes a catalyst for employment and training. Our team is currently working with the Council to engage local businesses in the programme, which will ultimately ensure that this investment brings lasting benefit to the local economy and community.” SHARP proposals are based on a Flintshire Housing Standard, which has been developed in consultation with tenants. The standard has informed the design and specification of the proposed new housing, including the consistency and quality of the internal and external appearance, in addition to standards of energy efficiency and an importance placed on adequate parking. Notes to Editors About Wates Living Space Wates Living Space, part of the Wates Group, is one of the UKs leading affordable housing and maintenance providers. Operating across the UK it is focused on working with local authority and housing association partners in their local communities to build more homes and improve existing housing through planned and responsive maintenance. Wates Group, established over 118 years ago, employs over 2,400 people and posted a turnover of over £1bn in 2014. Wates Group was the first large contractor ever to be awarded Business in the Communitys Community Mark and in 2013 was awarded the inaugural National Business Award for Corporate Citizenship in recognition of its leadership and excellence in community investment.