New lease of life for Underdale Road
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A former landfill site and council grit store has been transformed into 18 high quality ‘eco’ homes by social business Bromford, with new residents picking up their keys just days after completion.
The £2.5M development caused a stir in December 2012 when initial ground works were believed to have caused an ‘earthquake’, but now the site boasts a mix of two and three-bedroom homes for affordable rent, with unique features such as solar panelling and heat recovery systems to ensure greater energy efficiency.
The first residents, Kirsty and Paul Davies, are set to move into their new home this week, and were joined by representatives from Bromford, Shropshire Council, builders Jessups and members of the project team, at a special ‘key handover’ ceremony to mark the end of development.
Kirsty said, “We’re excited and raring to get moved in. We packed everything up before Christmas so we could get straight in, but moving day will still be hectic.
“We found the home on the local Homepoint website and instantly knew we had to live there, it was perfect for the kids and us. We’re from around this area so it will be nice to finally be back home.”
One of the features which really stood out for Paul was the energy efficiency of the home. He said, “We’ve got two kids who leave everything on and all the doors open, so this house will help us save a lot of money on the bills. We haven’t even got double glazing at the moment, so this is a big change for us!”
The design of the site is very unique, with colorful cladding and prominent architecture combined with top of the range energy efficient features such as ‘A’ rated gas boilers. Each home is also 'lifetime homes' compliant, designed for people of all ages and fully accessible, so that residents won't have to move out in the event of mobility issues in later life.
The regeneration of the Underdale Road site has not only boosted housing in the Shrewsbury area, but means a disused and ‘difficult’ piece of brownfield land has been regenerated.
Bromford worked closely with the Environment Agency, Highways Agency and the local authority to ensure the site was safe to build on, combatting not only the remnants of the landfill, but also a stream from the River Severn running deep underground. A construction team from Jessup’s used innovative techniques such as 31-metre pilings to ensure stability of the properties for years to come.
Claire Orpwood, Bromford Project Manager, said, “this development has been in the design stage for a considerable amount of time, but it’s great to see people finally move in and hear from customers about how much these homes will change their lives.”
“The development has been unique, with lots of challenges and new ways of construction, but working closely with Shropshire Council and other organisations has meant we’ve produced high quality homes welcomed by the local community.”
Councillor Miles Kenny agrees, and can’t wait to see 18 new families move into his ward. “The new homes on Underdale Road have been a delight to see go up. This was a piece of disused brownfield land and I was always worried it would remain an eyesore for the community.”
“I’m so glad Bromford not only put their time and effort into ensuring more affordable eco-friendly homes are available in Shrewsbury, but also so quickly and with so much respect for the local community. I can’t wait to visit all the new residents and welcome them to the area.”
Bromford will continue to run tests on the efficiency of the sustainable homes, with the hope of bringing more eco-friendly homes to other developments across Shropshire, as part of a project looking at the future of affordable housing.
Photo: The main photo features new residents Kirsty and Paul Davies (right) receiving a commerative key from (L-R) Bromford project manager Claire Orpwood, local councillor Miles Kenny and CEO of Jessup Brothers, Clive Jessup. Don't worry though, we made sure we cut the key down to fit into their door before they moved in.