Today, I received a PR puff for Walsall Housing Group, the housing association that own and look after Walsall Council’s former social housing stock. It seems that over two years from first planning application, they look set to start work on the second half of the development at Anchor Bridge, opposite Knave’s Court. Nice work, chaps, but Brownhills still contains huge areas of wasteland left by the demolition of the worst of the social housing in the town, most of it from 2004. In that time, Pleck’s prefabricated paradise was flattened and new housing built. What about the rest of the desolate prairie hereabouts? At this rate we should see the lost housing fully replaced by about 2060.
Further, from what I’m hearing of the renovation of Humphries and Severn Houses – Brownhills last two tower blocks, now being painted blue and pink like some Pythonesque joke – all is not well there, either. More to follow.
Creating great whg homes in Brownhills
WHG is investing in a former mining town to provide exceptional new homes and carry out cutting-edge refurbishments to established properties.
Walsall’s leading landlord is transforming the face of Brownhills through two multi-million pound projects within a stone’s throw of each other. The projects involve building homes on land off High Street and renovating two nearby blocks of flats.
The second phase of the High Street development has now begun and will see whg and partner Mansell build 33 properties. Phase one – the construction of another 47 homes on the site – is well under way and due to be completed this summer.
The attractive new residential development, within walking distance of the town centre, has been jointly funded by whg and the Homes and Communities Agency, the national housing and regeneration agency for England.
Carole Wildman, WHG’s Director of Regeneration and Development, said: “Beginning phase two is a significant milestone in this cosmopolitan, canalside development. The scheme is taking shape as an attractive gateway into the town and will provide much-needed homes for Brownhills.”
29 of the phase two homes will be let through whg for affordable rent while the remaining four will be available to buy on the open market. The properties are a mixture of two and three bedroom houses and two bedroom apartments, a number of which overlook Wyrley and Essington Canal, which runs alongside the prime site.
The entire development will be completed by spring 2013 and will include six ground floor apartments designed to accommodate residents with a disability.
Simon Liversage, Mansell’s Head of Partnership Housing, said: “We are delighted to be involved in such an important development, working in partnership with whg to deliver new homes that are vital to the regeneration of this area.”
Over the road from the site, whg is part way through a large scale and ambitious project to improve Humphries House and Severn House. The award-winning landlord is working with Wates Living Space and British Gas to transform the blocks inside and out. The work will reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings, which date back to the 1960s, by improving the energy efficiency. This, in turn, will cut customers’ fuel bills.
Steve Dugmore, of Wates Living Space, said: “It is a pleasure to be working with whg to help improve the living conditions of customers, reduce the buildings’ carbon footprint and work towards a better environment for all using innovative techniques.”
The programme of work includes fixing thermal cladding to the outside of the buildings, installing double glazed windows, replacing the roofs and internal decoration. The core element is introducing a state-of-the-art biomass boiler fuelled by wood pellets to heat both sets of flats and communal areas. The project is on track to be finished by summer.