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Uttlesford District Council appoints Lovell for £7.1m redevelopment of Essex sheltered housing scheme

Uttlesford District Council has chosen partnership housing specialist Lovell to undertake a £7.1 million redevelopment programme for an Essex sheltered housing scheme.

A ground-breaking ceremony this month (August) officially marked the start of construction on the project which will transform Reynolds Court in Newport, near Saffron Walden, into a purpose-built modern complex.

The existing sheltered housing is being replaced with 41 brand-new apartments for affordable rent – made up of 34 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom homes – as well as new communal facilities including a communal lounge and a garden room, hair and beauty salon and a guest suite. The first phase of demolition and site clearance has already been carried out. The demolition programme is being undertaken in two stages enabling existing tenants to stay at the sheltered housing scheme while it is being rebuilt.

The new complex is designed to achieve a ‘Very Good’ rating when assessed using the BREEAM system for measuring buildings’ sustainability. Energy-saving and environmentally-friendly features include underfloor heating and a sedum green ‘living roof’ which reduces rainwater runoff and provides a habitat for wildlife.

Cllr Julie Redfern, Uttlesford District Council’s cabinet member for Housing, comments: “At Uttlesford District Council, we have an ongoing programme to build council houses, to modernise, and redevelop many of our sheltered housing schemes.

“Reynolds Court is a major project for us and I am delighted that work has officially started. The design has received much praise and is something we all feel very excited about.

“When complete the new complex will provide a more modern and comfortable standard of living for residents, as well as some additional housing, and will also go some way to addressing the needs of a growing elderly population.”

Lovell regional director Simon Medler says: “We are extremely pleased to have started work on these high-quality and modern homes and modern communal facilities for Reynolds Court. Our team has extensive experience of delivering sheltered housing to an extremely high standard and are excited to be working on this scheme which will bring about real improvements for local residents.”

The plan to redevelop Reynolds Court is supported by the council’s Tenants Forum, the Housing Board and Cabinet as well as the Homes and Communities Agency. Residents have been consulted throughout the process.