Havebury’s new £2 million development in Mill Street, Mildenhall, where the derelict buildings of a builder’s merchants used to stand, provides three 1 bedroom, seven 2 bedroom and two 2 bedroom affordable homes for Suffolk.
The homes have been built using nearly £550,000 of government funding from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA).
This money was obtained through the e2 development consortium, made up of East Anglian housing associations.
Havebury Housing Partnership offers affordable housing in Mildenhall in Suffolk
Havebury, a not-for-profit social housing organisation, was part of that consortium that successfully bid for £14m from the HCA to help build 770 new affordable homes across the region between 2011-2015.
Building work started in May 2013 and Scott Bailey, Head of Development at Havebury, which has offices in Bury St Edmunds, said: “There is huge demand for affordable housing and this development was very well received by the local authority.”
The original building is Grade II listed and has a Victorian front on to the High Street yet the property at the rear dates back to the 17th Century.
Councillor Rona Burt, Forest Heath District Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “There is a great need for more affordable homes across Forest Heath. It is one of our priorities to increase the availability of affordable housing for our families and communities, and as such we welcome this fantastic new development by Havebury.”
According to the Land Registry of England and Wales the average cost of a house nationally is £172,000, beyond the reach of many people since the average income was put at £26,500 in 2012.
Scott added: “We’ve been able to transform a derelict site into stylish and attractive homes and help rejuvenate the High Street in the town.”
The scheme was designed by Rees Pryer Architects LLP and built by Ipswich-based construction company SEH French.
Simon Girling, Director of SEH French, one of the leading construction companies in East Anglia, said: “This has been a really enjoyable, yet challenging project for us to begin work on.
“We have worked extremely hard to ensure we create a development that is in keeping with the surroundings and meets Havebury’s objectives to provide homes for those in need.
“Not starting with a blank canvas of a site means we’ve considered long and hard how to best utilise what we do have and what can be improved upon.”
All the refurbishments were carried out using traditional construction, sympathetic to the original building to preserve the character and working in partnership with the local conservation officer.