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Issue 306 – Work to start on building new affordable homes in Frome

The builders are moving into Randolph Road to start work on a £16 million redevelopment which will see more than 130 new affordable homes built in the area.

The work represents a massive investment in Frome after the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) confirmed an £8 million grant towards the redevelopment in Singers Knoll and Randolph Road.
Westbury Partnerships has been chosen by Flourish Homes, who owns the homes, to carry out the building work which is expected to take about two years.
Alan Brunt, managing director of Flourish Homes, which is a member of the Aster Group said, “Our residents have been very patient with us so we want to say thank you to them for their forbearance but it really is something to celebrate that work is finally starting.
“We were extremely pleased when we secured the £8 million funding support from the Homes and Communities Agency just before the election. This is a huge investment in affordable housing for a relatively small market town so it is fantastic news for the town.
“But in this new age of austerity I think we also have to be mindful that we’re unlikely to win another grant that size any time soon. There just won’t be that kind of money available from the HCA which is doing a lot of work within Somerset to pinpoint the areas most in need of affordable housing. What we need to do as a housing association is play our part in highlighting the continuing need in Mendip.”
The HCA is currently working with partners in Somerset to develop a Local Investment Plan, which will outline the county’s long-term housing and regeneration priorities.
HCA director with responsibility for investment in the South West Colin Molton said, “This development is a major investment for the HCA, and represents a great step forward in providing high quality, affordable housing in Somerset.
“A lot of effort has been spent to get to this stage – but now the hard work really starts for the partners as the area is transformed over the next couple of years. We will continue to work with partners to identify projects like this, which help to address the real shortage of affordable housing in Somerset and across the South West.”
Currently there are 54 homes in Randolph Road and Singers Knoll which will be knocked down and replaced over a 20 month building programme. On the site there will then be:
• 73 new homes to rent, with 26 tenants who have lived there before moving back into some of the homes
• a 36-unit Extra Care scheme
• 24 homes for shared ownership
• two ‘new for old’ homes for the owner occupiers who want to stay on this estate
• one home will also stay as it is after the owner decided to stay in their present property.

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