North Solihull's largest new housing development gets underway
(29th September 2006)
The Solihull Partnership has started work on the largest single investment into housing in the area for many years.
The former Whitesmore School on Chapelhouse Road in Chelmsley Wood will be redeveloped into a £15million high quality residential scheme with 85 new houses and apartments, named Chapel Walk, signifying an important milestone in the early stages of the £1.8billion Regenerating North Solihull project.
Since the North Solihull Partnership was legally formed in 2005, £22million of new homes are being constructed, and within the next 12 months, a further £80million worth of regeneration activity is set to be confirmed for the groundbreaking 15-year regeneration initiative.
Regenerating North Solihull covers Chelmsley Wood, Smith's Wood and Kingshurst & Fordbridge, and is home to 40,000 residents. Over the lifetime of the project, an estimated 8,500 new homes are scheduled to be built in the area to provide a much greater choice of good quality mixed tenure housing for local people, as well as to encourage new residents to relocate in North Solihull.
Janet Bradbury, Chief Executive of the North Solihull Partnership commented: "The start on site of the Chapel Walk housing scheme is an important milestone for North Solihull. As soon as the £28m Grace Academy was completed and Whitesmore School became redundant, we have moved quickly to redevelop the site into a high quality, modern residential scheme.
"The £1.8billion regeneration programme includes a series of new primary schools, five village centres, significant investment in infrastructure, 8,500 new homes and 12,500 refurbished homes. In addition, £120million is being spent on secondary school education, thanks to first wave Building Schools for the Future funding, and the uniquely funded Grace Academy on Chapelhouse Road. Furthermore, Solihull College has also recently opened its new £13.6million Woodlands Campus in Smith's Wood.
"Huge steps to dramatically improve education provision in North Solihull is top of the priority list, and we are also actively working on the other crucial pieces of the jigsaw, namely improvements to housing and community facilities. What is key about the start of work for the 85 houses and apartments at Chapelhouse Road is it reinforces the early momentum the project has gathered and the pace of change that can be expected going forward."
The North Solihull Partnership, which is undertaking the Regenerating North Solihull project consists of housebuilder Bellway Homes, investment-led regeneration company Inpartnership, Solihull Council and Registered Social Landlord Whitefriars Housing Group.
The first phase of housing in the 15-year project is Alcott Grove in Chelmsley Wood. This scheme is nearing completion with 32 three and four bedroom townhouses and 16 two bedroom apartments. Most of the homes have already been sold off-plan to a high proportion of owner-occupiers who already live in, or just beyond, the borders of North Solihull.
Chapel Walk, the new, second phase of residential development, fronting Chapelhouse Road, will comprise 61 three and four bedroom houses and 24 two bedroom apartments, across a five-acre site. The Partnership is confident that the high level of interest in Alcott Grove will give the sales rate at Chapelhouse Roada head start, especially in light of the significant untapped demand for new family houses in North Solihull.
Alcott Grove introduced four-bedroom homes, including detached designs to North Solihull, which is currently dominated by two and three bedroom houses and flats. Feedback from visitors to the site has resulted in the Partnership proposing many more four bedroom, family homes onto the Chapelhouse site, which are recognised as being crucial to encouraging larger families to stay or relocate to the area.
The Chapelhouse Road development is being constructed by award-winning national housebuilder Bellway, which is one of the four partners within the North Solihull Partnership. Bellway's sales staff will also be tasked with marketing the homes, which is due to commence within the next few months. The 85 new homes will be complemented by significant improvements to the Chapelhouse recreation ground, including new play equipment for younger children and a new multi-use games area for older children and the community as a whole.
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