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Building work commences on first phase of Flintshires housing programme

Published: 14/03/2016

National housing developer, Wates Living Space Homes, has commenced construction of the first collection of new homes under Flintshire Council’s ambitious Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP). Announced as the council’s housing partner in 2015, the developer has now begun building work to create 12 new homes at the site of the former Custom House School in Connah’s Quay. The new development will form part of Flintshire Council’s plans to build approximately 500 new homes across the county by 2020 to accommodate rising demand for social and affordable housing. With planning permission granted in December last year, the new homes in Connah’s Quay have been designed to incorporate blue brickwork and iconic features recovered from the former Custom House School building. The council’s flagship SHARP programme is the first of its kind in Wales and will see up to 2,000 people employed in addition to the creation of around 20 apprenticeship positions for local people. It is estimated that Flintshire sub-contractors will benefit from work packages totalling £40m throughout the programme. The start on site at Connah’s Quay closely follows February’s announcement that planning approval has also been granted for the construction of 92 new homes at The Walks in Flint as part of the SHARP programme. Cllr. Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council said: I am very proud that Flintshire is the first Council in North Wales to start on site with a council house building programme. This is the first development under the Councils ambitious SHARP plans and with planning permission recently given for over 90 council and affordable homes at The Walks site in Flint our long-held ambitions are now becoming a reality. “The Council is committed to tackling the housing crisis head on in 2016 and I am delighted that the first new council houses to be built in a generation within our County are to be built in Connahs Quay.” Cllr. Helen Brown, Cabinet Member for Housing added: “The regeneration of this site will enhance the housing opportunities available to local people living in Connah’s Quay and mark the beginning of a very exciting period over the next five years during which new and much needed quality affordable housing will be provided across the County.” Joanne Jamieson, Managing Director, Wates Living Space Homes, commented: “The beginning of building work marks a significant milestone in addressing local demand for high quality and energy efficient housing in Flintshire. “By working closely with the council we fully understand the local significance of the former Custom House School and we have taken steps to preserve some of the original building’s features. We hope that this, along with our efforts to create extensive opportunities for training and employment, will culminate in an exciting project that will truly benefit Flintshire and the local community.” Notes to Editors Pictured in the attached photograph (l to r) are: Ian Power, Quantity Surveyor, Wates Living Space Homes, Adrian Cronin, Construction Manager, Wates Living Space Homes, Cllr. Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader of Flintshire County Council, Cllr. Brian Dunn, local Ward Member, Mick Cunningham, Project Manager, Wates Living Space Homes, Cllr. Helen Brown, Cabinet Member for Housing and Cllr. Aaron Shotton, Leader of Flintshire County Council. 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 119 years ago, employs approximately 4,000 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.