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Groundwork starts on first of 800 new homes at £100m Cardiff urban village

Groundwork is getting under way this week on The Mill, Canton: a £100 million new urban village for west Cardiff.

Representatives from the partners behind the project – not-for-profit residential developer, investor and estate manager Tirion Group, Principality Building Society, partnership housing developer Lovell and Cadwyn Housing Association visited the site to herald the official start of construction work on the first of its 800 homes for sale and rent.

The brand-new apartments and homes will revitalise 53 acres of brownfield land – the former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site – with a vibrant riverside community of homes, close to the city centre.

The development’s marketing suite and show homes are due to be completed in early summer 2017. The first homes for sale are expected to be ready for residents to move in this autumn. The first rented homes are scheduled for completion next spring. A 50-strong team is currently working on site, with the overall development – one of Wales’ largest urban regeneration programmes – set to create over 1,000 jobs locally. Roads and other infrastructure for the development are set to be completed in early summer.

The Mill, Canton, will provide 358 homes for open market sale by Lovell and 442 homes for rent for the Tirion Group. The homes for Tirion – which will be managed by Cadwyn – are made up of 325 properties for discounted rent, 42 homes for open market rent and 75 homes for social rent. Tirion acquired and cleaned up the long-derelict paper mill site with financial backing from the Welsh Government and Principality Building Society, and is developing it in partnership with Lovell.

Along with new jobs, the development will deliver a significant number of apprenticeships and other training opportunities for the local community in line with the partners’ shared commitment to extending the benefits of the scheme as widely as possible.

David Ward, chief executive of Tirion Group, says: “This is a landmark for Tirion Group and a major step forward in contributing to the Welsh Government’s targets for housing in Cardiff and Wales as a whole through an innovative funding model. Tirion will retain a long-term stake in the development and will maintain its high quality and is committed to working with local communities to provide much needed high-quality affordable housing within a sustainable neighbourhood. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Lovell and Cadwyn and between us I am convinced we will create a lasting legacy on this highly important site in central Cardiff.”

Peter Hughes, managing director of Principality Commercial, comments: “This has been a terrific example of public: private sector partnership working with a number of committed organisations collaborating to find solutions which will harness significant investment into a site that has lain dormant for almost 20 years. The partners’ emphasis on the long term will enable a development of homes to suit very widespread needs with a particular emphasis on affordability. As policy makers seek to address national housing shortages the scale, ambition, and sheer variety of homes emerging from this site is on a par with anything being developed at UK level and Principality is delighted to have played its part in supporting such a creative project.”

Lovell regional managing director Kate Rees says: “To see construction work under way at The Mill, Canton, is genuinely exciting and marks an important milestone for the impressive new community now starting to take shape in west Cardiff.  The development is not only creating 800 much-needed new homes but also bringing multiple social and economic benefits for the area through new jobs and training opportunities as well as support for local community organisations. We’re all thrilled to see work beginning on the first homes.”

Cadwyn Housing Association chief executive Chris O’Meara adds:  “We are really excited to see progress being made on turning this brownfield site into a thriving community that will bring much needed homes so close to the centre of Cardiff.”