A BLUEPRINT for a £4.4million housing development on Stafford’s Foregate Street could revitalise a long-empty site in the town centre.
The project by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) and Housing Plus will create 18 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom flats and meet needs for local housing in the area.
SARH chief executive Karen Armitage said: “The project will transform a site which had previously been unused for some time into more much needed high quality one and two bedroom accommodation helping local people to downsize.
“This is really important as we look to reduce the impact of the government’s charge for under occupying and releases much needed family housing in Stafford borough.”
She said Stafford Borough Council had worked with SARH to bring forward the scheme in order to regenerate the area and meet housing requirements in the borough.
Stafford Borough Councillor for Forebridge, Tom Harris, congratulated SARH on recognising and acting on the need for homes of the type planned.
“Demand for this sort of accommodation has never been so high, especially in a town centre location like Foregate, so this is very good news,” he said. “This site has been empty for years, so it’s great to see it being brought back into use like this.”
Ursula Bennion, director of business development at Housing Plus, said: “Due to the financial strains the government’s charge for under occupying is putting on people there is a high demand for smaller properties so this will help people who are affected by the under occupancy charges to have more options to downsize.”
The project is being supported with £90,000 funding through Kier Partnership Homes (KPH) from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Affordable Housing Programme.
A spokesman for KPH said: “This is very exciting for all the stakeholders who have worked so hard to make this development a reality.
“Most of all it is very exciting for residents who will benefit from the construction of much needed new apartments and we look forward to working with the local community to make the experience as positive as possible.”