Loftus Garden Village – an outstanding new neighbourhood which has transformed a derelict industrial site in the heart of Newport – has taken the New Development title at this year’s Welsh Housing Awards.
Organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru, the awards – presented at the Vale Hotel in Cardiff – honour Wales’ highest quality and most innovative housing schemes.
The judging panel said of Newport’s modern garden village which is creating 250 Arts and Crafts-style homes on the site of the former Pirelli Cable Factory: “This hugely impressive, self-funded development combines outstanding design and an emphasis on nature with effective use of technology for enhanced safety and energy efficiency.”
The landmark scheme is being delivered by a partnership of homes provider Pobl Group, housebuilder Lovell and Newport City Council. Featuring properties of exceptional build-quality and design, the development has been carefully landscaped with tree-lined roads and features such as a central pond and village-style green space, so that it brings the countryside into the city.
Ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom family houses, there are homes for open market sale and shared ownership as well as properties for social, market and intermediate rent with 19 homes also available on a cooperative basis. Sixty per cent of homes at the development are affordable, making a significant contribution to cutting the local housing waiting list. Also notable is the fact that the affordable homes have been delivered using cross subsidy from the outright sale and shared ownership properties, with no requirement for social housing grant from the Welsh Government. The Lovell team has so far completed work on 191 homes at Loftus Garden Village with work well under way on the remaining 59 properties. The overall development is expected to be complete in summer 2018.
Loftus Garden Village has brought the countryside into the heart of Newport.
Rhys Parry, Pobl director of development (east), says: “We are over the moon to have won this award for Loftus Garden Village. Pobl’s vision for Loftus Garden Village was to create an outstanding mixed tenure development where people would aspire to live, by transforming a run down area into what has now become one of the most desirable postcodes in Newport.
“Congratulations must also go to our many partners. Loftus Garden Village is the result of over a decade of hard work and close collaboration with Newport City Council, Lovell and the Welsh Assembly Government, so a big thank you to everybody involved in creating such a special place.”
Kate Rees, Lovell regional managing director, says: “Our team are extremely proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside Pobl and Newport City Council to help create this stunning new community. Both its homes for sale and the affordable properties have attracted exceptional interest, with each phase of development quickly selling out, but this award also recognises that the scheme has been successful on a wide range of levels, from its imaginative village-style design to the focus on engaging and benefitting the local community.”
Community involvement has been a key factor in the development of the Garden Village project with strong emphasis on celebrating the site’s history, including the naming of the development in honour of Newport’s Ruby Loftus.
Local resident Ruby gained fame in the 1940s when she was painted by war artist Dame Laura Knight carrying out her job at the Royal Ordnance factory which once stood on the housing site. Her story has been commemorated through a series of community projects linked to the housing scheme. The project team has also ensured benefits for current residents by creating employment and training opportunities for local people including 20 apprenticeship completions; 121 work experience placements (including placements for students from Coleg Gwent) and a number of jobs for local unemployed people.