Construction on a purpose-designed apartment building that will create residential space for homeless people has begun in Poole, Dorset.
AJC Group has commenced the £3.5million build contract for a Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP) Council project in the coastal town.
The development, located on the site of the former Bourne Valley Community Centre, will create 24 homes for residents who are currently homeless, or who require a form of ‘move-on’ accommodation.
Groundworks and infrastructure has been completed and AJC Group is scheduled to complete the construction and fit-out phase by August 2023.
Funded by BCP Council, the new development will meet Passivhaus negligible energy demand principles, helping to reduce fuel poverty. Three out of the 24 new homes will be wheelchair accessible and there will be a communal garden.
David Cracklen, Director of AJC Group, said: “This trailblazing development has been designed locally, it will be constructed by our local supply chain, and as soon as the new homes are handed over to BCP Council, they will be occupied by local people.
“With Poole and Sandbanks being such a tourist hotspot, the need for ‘move on’ accommodation might not be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. However, the high cost of living here is why this scheme on Herbert Avenue is so vital. We are all too aware of the waiting list of people in need for these homes, so we have committed all resources possible to ensure the project is completed to schedule.
“As a specialist in affordable housing, this eco-focused scheme is central to our core social values of building communities and delivering lasting change. We are very proud to be working in partnership with BCP Council on a project that will make a real difference to local people and the local economy.”
BCP Council’s vision for the Herbert Avenue development is to reduce the dependency on inappropriate bed and breakfast accommodation, by providing a more suitable housing solution that can help to stop the cycle of homelessness.
Councillor Phillip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of BCP Council, and Portfolio Holder for Development, Growth and Regeneration, added: “We’ve got a super-ambitious house building programme. We’re aiming to build over 1,000 directly delivered homes over the next few years, and this particular development is delivering for some of our most vulnerable in society, with really good eco-standards as well. It’s keeping jobs in the local economy, helping our residents, and doing it in a way that sets really high standards.”
The ‘Move On’ scheme has been designed by Arcus Consulting, with technical drawings delivered by Christchurch-based ARC Architects.