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Housing minister visits Suffolk development to launch superfast broadband deal

Housing minister Brandon Lewis visited a new housing development in Woolpit, Suffolk, to launch a new deal designed to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to all new-build UK homes.

Affordable housing developer Lovell is building modern, energy-efficient homes at Steeles Road, Woolpit, for Orbit, as part of the 39,000-home housing provider’s major regeneration programme.

The Government has worked with BT Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) on the agreement which will see fibre-based broadband offered to all new developments either for free or through a co-funded initiative.

Front, left to right, Lovell business development director Peter Quinn; Derrick Haley, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council; housing minister Brandon Lewis and Maggie McCann, development director Orbit (East and South).

Launching the initiative, digital economy minister Ed Vaizey, said: “The Government’s ambition to build 1 million new homes over the course of this Parliament will house families and future generations to come.  Broadband connectivity is just one thing that home buyers now expect when buying a new build, so this industry-led push to make superfast, or indeed ultrafast, broadband speeds available by default in new homes represents a very important step in meeting the UK’s digital needs.”

Lovell business development director Peter Quinn said: “Our team were delighted to welcome Brandon Lewis to the Woolpit housing development for the launch of this new agreement. The deal will help ensure that people moving into a new home have improved access to the superfast, broadband services which play such a key part in modern life.“

Paul High, executive director for Orbit Homes, said: “As our world becomes more digital, we are delighted that this vital technology is being made available in this revived rural community to support our customers develop their online skills. It supports our aim of creating modern, sustainable housing but more importantly, homes that are affordable for local people both now and for many years to come.”

Brandon Lewis visited the site at Woolpit which is part of a multi-phase regeneration project in partnership with Mid Suffolk District Council. The project replaces concrete panel homes across three sites in Haughley, Stowmarket and Woolpit, providing 167 new affordable homes for rent and shared ownership.