Colchester Borough Council is planning to build 350 council homes, in partnership with its commercial housing company, Colchester Amphora Homes Ltd (CAHL), and its affordable housing management organisation, Colchester Borough Homes (CBH).
Ipswich-based Amplis Construction has been appointed to build four houses and 12 flats across three former parking garage sites at Buffett Way and Scarfe Way in Colchester, and at Hardings Close in Aldham.
“Against a backdrop of challenging times for the construction industry, Colchester Borough Council has given a significant vote of confidence with this investment in the local area and with local businesses,” Amplis managing director Neil Coy said.
Construction has now begun at Hardings Close, Aldham, where 15 former garages will make way for two 3-bedroom and two 2-bedroom semi-detached homes. Completion is scheduled for March 2021.
With a second contract awarded, Amplis will shortly start building six 2-bedroom flats in Buffett Way and six 2-bedroom flats in Scarfe Way.
This second phase of former garage site development follows the construction in 2015 of properties at Wivenhoe, Greenstead and Old Heath, which added 34 new homes to the council’s housing stock.
Cllr Theresa Higgins, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, added: “Congratulations to Amplis Construction on its appointment. Through our competitive tender process, we saw a high level of local interest in affordable housing construction and look forward to providing more opportunities for companies to bid for future contracts as we continue to build more homes. Through our building programme we can help support local employment and boost the borough’s economic recovery.”
The programme is being funded through the council’s Housing Revenue Account. This is a ring-fenced account that can only be spent on improving or increasing affordable housing and has not been affected as adversely as the council’s General Fund by Covid-19.