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Ceremony brings rural homes a step nearer

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Regeneration specialist MMC2 Land & Regeneration, Forest of Dean District Council, Kier Partnership Homes, Bromford Group and the Homes and Communities Agency joined forces in a ceremony marking the formal launch of an important regeneration project at Lydney, Gloucestershire.

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, the district council's cabinet member for regeneration and planning, formally cut the first sod at the golf course site - marking the launch of Higher Lydney Park - together with development partners.

This first phase includes 133 affordable homes in all - 53 for open market sale by Kier and 80 for affordable rent or shared ownership through Bromford - as well as major infrastructure works. The entire development will eventually deliver 600 homes, ten acres of employment space and good-quality open space - and could create hundreds of jobs.

Around 150 jobs - many of which will be filled locally - will also be created or safeguarded by the development, giving the area a further economic boost.

Cllr Molyneux said: "This is a huge project for Lydney and the Forest of Dean district as a whole. We are pleased to be working in partnership to bring much-needed housing, including affordable housing, to Lydney for the benefit of local people.

"It gives me great pleasure to be able to cut the sod to launch the first phase of this major regeneration project, which is the culmination of several years' hard work by everyone involved. This will not only bring new homes to Lydney but will also see the creation of hundreds of new jobs."

Bromford executive director Helen Collins said: "It is so exciting to see this landmark regeneration project take another step forward. This brings Bromford closer to our objective of being able to provide high-quality affordable homes for local people - homes that will help to meet a very real need.

"We look forward to the day when Bromford's £5 million investment -matching that from our partners at the Homes & Communities Agency - is translated into bricks and mortar and we hand over the keys to the first tenants and shared-ownership customers."

David Warburton, HCA head of area, said: "We have invested £5 million in this development to enable the first homes to come forward, and it is great to see progress being made on the site. Local people know only too well that there is a high demand for affordable housing in the Forest of Dean.

"This scheme will help to address that demand and I am sure it will make a real difference to the lives of local people and local families. The fact that local people are also set to benefit from employment opportunities created by the project also makes clear the economic importance of this exciting scheme."

Mark Russell, managing director of MMC2, said: "Cutting the sod marks a step forward for the regeneration of Lydney. Higher Lydney Park will be a new sustainable, mixed tenure community. I'm proud to launch the first phase alongside our partners from Forest of Dean District Council, Kier Partnership Homes, the HCA and Bromford Group.

"At MMC2, Lydney is a key part of our growing portfolio of sites. We are dedicated regeneration specialists and will be bringing forward more schemes to transform communities around the country in forthcoming years."

Chris King, Kier Partnership Homes MD, said: "This is a very exciting day for all the stakeholders in this development who have worked so hard to make it a reality. Most of all, it is a very exciting day for the people of Lydney who will benefit from the construction of 133 much-needed new homes in this first phase of the development - homes that are designed and priced to fit a wide range of incomes and affordability and we look forward to working with the local community to make the experience as positive as possible."

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