South Staffordshire Housing Association has confirmed that demolition has now started on the former Park House building in Essington.
Plans for the former Park House site were originally approved by the Council last year, however behind the scenes plans stalled when the Association's partner developer incurred problems with the private sale element of the proposal as a result of the crisis in the economy and downturn in the housing market.
Speaking on behalf of the Association, Group Development Director Ursula Bennion said today: "We are delighted to announce that we have developed a rescue package that sees us solely develop not only the promised development of a high quality extra care scheme for the over-55's but in addition we will now also be developing around 30 much needed affordable homes for local people. Previously these additional homes were for private sale, but as part of the rescue package and in response to calls from local people for more affordable homes we are delighted that we will now be able to develop beautiful houses for rent and shared ownership on this site as well as the extra care scheme."
The agreement to buy the land needed for the scheme was made on Friday following weeks of negotiation to save the development. The housing association will now work with the Government's Homes and Communities Agency to secure further funding. More detailed plans will be taken to the Parish Council for consideration and planning following public consultation will be submitted for the amended scheme over the summer. Housing association officials say this is not expected to delay the scheme and predict a start on site this autumn.
Ursula Bennion continued: "The new proposal is great news for the local community as it means that even more affordable homes will be available for local people who are currently struggling to get their foot on the housing ladder in Essington. It also means that the much needed extra care development will go ahead providing a comfortable and safe place for older people to call home."
Managing Director of South Staffordshire Housing Association Sue Rowley said: "I'm delighted that the extra care scheme is going ahead and addition of around 30 affordable homes is just wonderful news. This is one of the fastest aging areas of the country and this scheme will enable us to provide well-designed housing and extra care for older people as well as affordable homes for local people."
The scheme is being developed for SSHA by Housing Plus.