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Havebury breathes new life into former sheltered scheme

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.

Havebury 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.

Erskine Lodge, a former Havebury sheltered scheme in Great Whelnetham, was considered unfit for purpose following a Strategic Sheltered Review in 2012. The 23-unit scheme provided bedsit accommodation with shared bathroom facilities, proving undesirable to new residents.

Havebury purchased the land next to Erskine Lodge from Abbeygate Ltd in April 2013 to create a larger site for redevelopment, providing more much-needed homes in the area.

In May 2014 the scheme closed, and its residents were appropriately housed. Havebury then chose to seek a hybrid planning application with West Suffolk for the 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. They submitted the application in two phases and planning was granted for phase 1 in December 2016 and reserved matters granted for phase 2 in November 2018.

Kate Leszczyszyn, Senior Project Manager says “Redeveloping the site helped to meet local housing needs as well as fulfilling our strategic objectives. 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 oversaw construction on phase 1 which completed in February 2018 providing 21 affordable rented apartments and 2 shared ownership homes.

Phase 2 saw the appointment of Pentaco Construction. The scheme comprised of 35 properties, 25 for shared ownership and ten for social rent, ranging from 1 to 4-bed houses. All the homes have their own private garden, have air source heat pumps and allocated parking. The homes back onto open fields, the River Lark and has a large area of amenity space to further enhance the rural nature of the site.

Alex Davies, New Homes Sales and Business Development Manager says “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”

“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.”

The mix of detached, semi-detached, and terraced 1, 2- and 3-bedroom homes provide an excellent variety of properties for buyers with varying affordability.

The homes available for rent were advertised via Home Link at the beginning of June and tenants have started moving into their new homes.

Alex Davies, Kate Leszczyszyn and Havebury CEO, Andrew Smith at Pipistrelle Way

Pipistrelle Way, Great Whelnetham