The building of 135 new, high quality homes in a Stoke-on-Trent town has begun following the appointment of a contractor to carry out the work.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is developing two sites in Fenton as part of a wider investment in the area. The two council-owned sites are the former Workshop site – previously known as the ‘Stoke Workshop for the Blind and Disabled’ – and the local centre and car park, off City Road. Alongside the £8 million new-build scheme currently under construction at the sheltered housing complex Queen Elizabeth II Court, this development will see an additional £17 million invested into Fenton. Funding is being provided by the Housing Revenue Account capital programme and a grant from Homes England.

Leading regeneration business Seddon Construction Limited has been appointed to develop the sites following a comprehensive procurement process.

Councillor Joanne Powell-Beckett, the city council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s fantastic news that we will very soon see this development taking shape. We are committed to investing in all of our towns and supporting housing growth across the city. These new homes will offer a choice of housing, with proposals for a modern supported housing scheme largely for older people, family homes, and contemporary apartments. Housing growth is at the heart of the city’s journey to economic independence, and making sure we have the right sort of homes that are high quality and attractive is an important part of this process.”

Permission was granted for the development following consultation with residents and local businesses. The plans include the part-demolition of the former Workshop, which has been empty since 2013, and the building of a new sheltered housing scheme of 65 homes for supported accommodation – mainly for older people – as well as a mixture of 28 two and three-bedroom family homes at the entrance to the site. The existing frontage of the main Workshop building would be preserved. The second site currently contains the council’s local centre and a car park that hosts the weekly Fenton outdoor market. A new public car park will be provided in this area, which will host the traders on market day.

Two apartment blocks providing 42 new affordable homes with private parking are to be built on the site. They have been designed so people on City Road would still be able to see through to the market and the cenotaph in Albert Square. The first phase of the work is scheduled for completion in summer 2021.

Ed Wootton, regional director at Seddon, said: “We’re proud to be delivering a development at the heart of Stoke’s wider regeneration. This is a vital housing scheme that will increase the supply of affordable homes for residents, while retaining core elements of the historically significant Workshop building, which is well-known by the people of Fenton. We have established a strong connection to Stoke – the city has been home to one of our regional offices for many decades and remains a core part of our operations.”

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