First phase of council house building programme celebrated

The first 26 council homes in the landmark Building a Better Nottingham programme have now been completed by Notts construction company, Robert Woodhead Ltd.

Since the programme began in 2013, 38,000 man hours have enabled the local family firm to complete four separate sites in Bestwood, Top Valley, Aspley and Sneinton, to a high standard, on time, and on budget.

The Building a Better Nottingham programme, run by Nottingham City Council (NCC) and Nottingham City Homes (NCH), will see almost 400 new council homes built across the city over the next four years.

Robert Woodhead has been responsible for the first phase of that programme, turning derelict garage sites into modern, efficient, sustainable homes. A local company themselves, the firm made sure that over 95% of all plant labour and materials were sourced within 20 miles from the sites.

Cllr Alex Ball, Executive Assistant with responsibility for housing and regeneration, said:

“I’ve been to every one of these sites at various stages of the process, and it’s been incredibly rewarding not just to see the condition of these areas change so dramatically, but to meet the tenants who are benefiting from their new homes.

“The two and three bedroom houses and bungalows will now provide sustainable, warm and secure homes for generations of families to come.”

The Henning Gardens site in Top Valley has won a Considerate Constructors Award, with all four sites receiving above average scores. The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) is a national initiative, which monitors its members against a strict set of standards, designed to encourage best practice, beyond the statutory requirements of any building site.

The Geraldine Close development has also been nominated in the UK Housing Awards 2014.

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Homes, said:

“These first four sites demonstrate how building new homes can help transform communities. As relatively unused garage sites, they had over the years become derelict and attracted anti-social behaviour. Building these 26 properties has not just created homes for the new tenants, but turned around the look and feel of the area for the local community.

“A building programme like this is not just about the individuals who will move into them, there is a wider impact. In the case of the bungalows in Aspley and Bestwood, the larger homes the new tenants had been living in before had now been freed up for other families on the housing register.”

Out of the 26 homes, fourteen were completed 16 weeks early, with seven being finished 12 weeks in advance.

Glenn Slater, Business Development Director of Robert Woodhead Ltd, said:

“We are delighted to be a part of the Building a Better Nottingham programme.

“We are committed to making building a better experience for all, this includes considering our social returns and our impact on the local community. Our site managers have had a great deal of involvement with the local community, building positive relationships with local groups, schools and individuals providing a lasting skills legacy. We have also made a strong commitment to local spend, creating local jobs for local people with over 40% of the budget being spent within 5 miles of the sites.”

Robert Woodhead and Nottingham City Homes held an on-site careers day for students from Big Wood School and Vision West Notts College during the build, as well as involving more than 200 local students and school pupils across the whole process.