Local families are benefiting from a new housing development on the edge of Brandon -believed to be the largest site in the region to offer all properties on an affordable basis.
Managed by Cotman Housing Association, part of the Places for People Group, The Fenlands consists of a mixture of 64 houses, apartments and bungalows designed by local architects Chaplin Farrant based in Norwich.
The unique aspect of the site is that all the homes are available on an affordable rental basis (either 80% of market rent or shared ownership) rather than any open market properties. The first phase has seen families move into 11 shared ownership and 12 affordable rent homes, with only four properties still available to rent. The remaining homes will complete later this year.
Construction work on the 1.5-hectare site, which was previously a timber yard, started in May 2016.
Cotman Housing Association worked in partnership with Chaplin Farrant to create a contemporary development using materials and detailing inspired by local architectural styles such as the nearby Brandon railway station. Other features include acoustic fencing and windows to reduce noise from the neighbouring railway line. The homes feature generous areas of glazing to make the most of natural daylight and most benefit from private back gardens.
As the site is close to Breckland Council Special Protection Area (SPA) for stone-curlew birds, a dog walking route was also incorporated into the scheme.
Jane Warnes, managing director at Cotman Housing Association
"It's fantastic to have reached the completion of the first phase of this development. We're committed to providing houses for people at all stages of their lives and hope that the Fenlands will be used as a blue print for future affordable developments.
"We're creating a real sense of community at The Fenlands and want to celebrate this by holding an official launch for current and prospective residents. It's so rewarding to see the first people moving in and calling The Fenlands home."
Chaplin Farrant's associate director, Wai Man Cheung
"This is a really important scheme in the area, delivering much needed standalone affordable housing on vacant brownfield land. This is a long-awaited development that shows a huge commitment to affordable housing in our region and we are delighted to play our part in this unique opportunity."