Southern Housing Group completes 95, award winning, affordable homes in Brighton
On Wednesday 16 July, Southern Housing Group held a completion ceremony at its new development at Pankhurst Avenue site in Brighton. The event was attended by new residents, staff and Southern Housing Group board members and ward Councillor and chair of Housing, Bill Randall.
The site, which was previously occupied by a nurses’ accommodation building, was purchased in June 2008 from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. A planning application for 95 affordable homes was granted in 2010. Following an OJEU tendering process, a contract was awarded to Denne Construction Ltd in August 2011.
The building contract generated local employment and created five apprenticeships. The new development comprises 40 homes for affordable rent and 55 for shared ownership, all now let or sold. The tenure mix is intentionally varied to meet the strong demand for housing in the city, and at the same time establish a balanced community. The scheme has already won the Evening Standard’s award for ‘best affordable s cheme’ in May 2014.
The design of the homes incorporates high space standards and an emphasis on natural lighting from the large floor to ceiling height windows. Each flat has either a private rear garden or balcony in addition to communal roof terraces. The development also provides a community centre, a new square and an imaginative children’s play area.
The outside lighting is mounted on reclaimed Victorian light columns, being a link to the architecture of the adjacent hospital buildings albeit using modern energy efficient technology.
The building has met Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 through high insulation, photovoltaic panels on the roof and a central boiler system which provides hot water to the apartments and the heating system.
Guy Collar, Southern Housing Group’s Regional Director, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide 100% new affordable housing in such a great location with fantastic views over the city of Brighton. This is a real achievement, given the challenge that all housing associations face, due to the reduction in grant funding to build new homes. And we are pleased that all 55 shared ownership homes have been sold to local applicants. Southern Housing Group continues to invest in the people and the communities that we serve.”
Councillor Bill Randall, said: “Southern Housing Group was one of the first associations to achieve the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, and they have achieved this once again at the Pankhurst Avenue scheme. Because of this, residents can now save around £100 per year on their energy bills which is a substantial cost saving. Brighton and Hove Council has 17,500 people on the housing waiting list, and another 150 street homeless men and women. More high-quality well-designed housing schemes like this are needed at affordable rents, if we are to tackle the city’s housing crisis.”