Pipistrelle Way (Phase 2) is home to 35 new households. Ten of these homes were available for social rent whilst the remaining twenty-five were available for Shared Ownership.
The scheme, built on the land of our former sheltered scheme, boasts attractive accommodation surrounded by open fields with lovely views of the countryside.
We have truly turned the site around, converting a tired and undesirable scheme into a collection of spacious, well-appointed new homes, with many benefitting from off-road parking and gardens.
Rental properties at Pipistrelle Way
Senior Project Manager Kate tells us more about the scheme here;
“Erskine Lodge, a former sheltered accommodation site in Great Whelnetham, was considered unfit for purpose following our Strategic Sheltered Review in 2012. The 23-unit scheme provided bedsit accommodation with shared bathroom facilities, proving undesirable to new residents.
We purchased the land next to Erskine Lodge from Abbeygate Ltd in April 2013 for £615,000. This would create a larger site for redevelopment, providing more much-needed homes.
In May 2014 the scheme closed, and its residents were appropriately housed. Redeveloping the site would help to meet local housing needs as well as fulfilling our strategic objectives.
We made a decision to seek a hybrid planning application with West Suffolk for this site. This type of planning permission means obtaining outline permission for one part and full permission for another part, but both on the same site. We submitted the application in two phases. Planning was granted for phase 1 in December 2016 and reserved matters granted for phase 2 in November 2018.
The phase 1 scheme of 23 dwellings met the need under the S106 Agreement for all the affordable housing on the scheme. This allowed the 35 dwellings on phase 2 to stay flexible on tenure, allowing us to decide at a later date.
The site was of high archaeological significance so, as part of the planning condition requirements, an extensive programme of works commenced on site. This revealed hundreds of finds ranging from human remains to pottery, animal bones and jewellery.
We took the opportunity to invite students from the local Primary school to experience time on-site during the dig, which was a great success. The archaeological excavations took place in 2018 and were ongoing for about 9 months. The last reporting of all their finds is still ongoing.
Dove Jeffrey Homes were in charge of construction on phase 1, a £450,000 grant was received towards this. February 2018 saw the completion of phase 1 which delivered 21 affordable rented apartments and 2 shared ownership homes. Both shared ownership properties sold quickly after the handover.
Phase 2 saw the appointment of Pentaco construction and a total scheme cost of £7.9 million. The scheme comprised of 35 dwellings, 25 of which are for shared ownership and ten for social rent, ranging from 1 to 4-bed houses. All of the homes have their own private garden, have air source heat pumps and their own parking allocation. The site backs onto open fields and the River Lark and has a large area of amenity space to further enhance the rural nature of the site.
Since the site has completed in May, all 25 of the Shared Ownership homes have now sold.”
The homes available for rent were advertised via Home Link at the beginning of June. 6 of the properties are now let and our team is working through the remaining applications.
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Shared Ownership at Pipistrelle Way
We also caught up with Alex Davies our New Homes Sales and Business Development Manager to find out about Shared Ownership;
“The housing market since the very first lockdown has deceived the majority of the property commentators who were predicting a housing crash as a result of Covid-19. This buoyant market reflected in the fantastic year that Havebury has experienced with our Shared Ownership homes.
Since the start of Lockdown One in March 2020, we have completed sales on 48 homes. We currently have 33 sold subject to contract and two which have exchanged, which is a fantastic result considering the doom and gloom which was being predicted in the spring of 2020.
Included in the figures above is our scheme at Erskine Lodge, Great Whelnetham. With this development, we chose to trial marketing the homes off-plan. This allowed us to show prospective buyers the properties while they were still in construction. This allowed us to agree sales earlier on in the process, thus reducing the length of time we will have void homes.
As a result, the very day we took handover of the site, our first home exchanged contract. Out of 25 homes, we have now completed the sales of two, exchanged on one and have sales agreed the remaining 22.
The mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes provided an excellent variety of properties for buyers with varying affordability.
After the success of the off-plan marketing of our homes at Great Whelnetham, we shall be commencing with the selling of our properties at Chettisham on the outskirts of Ely in this manner and we expect to have a similar amount of success. The appetite for Shared Ownership homes in the region is showing no sign of abating.”
If you want to register your interest in our upcoming Shared Ownership properties send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org