Colchester Amphora Homes Ltd (CAHL), is proud to have worked in partnership with Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes (CBH), to unveil four new build houses, which will provide social housing for local families on the housing register.

The houses are located on a former garage site in Hardings Close, Aldham. The site has been transformed into two three-bedroom and two two-bedroom homes. Each house has allocated parking, a garden and a shed with bike storage. Project managed by Amphora Homes, construction was undertaken by local contractor, Amplis Construction. Despite the challenges caused by Covid-19, the homes are now available to tenants from the housing register.

These new properties are a significant milestone in the Council’s efforts to tackle local housing need in the borough. The Council has committed to building 350 new, council-owned properties in the borough by 2024.

I am extremely pleased that these attractive and sustainable new homes have now been completed. They demonstrate our commitment to tackling the housing crisis in Colchester.

With nearly 3,000 people on our local housing register, the transformation of underused council-owned garage sites into high quality family homes is beneficial for everyone. Colchester Borough Council will continue to work closely with Colchester Borough Homes and Colchester Amphora Homes, to explore and develop more opportunities to expand our stock of affordable houses

Councillor Andrew Ellis

Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning, Colchester Borough Council

The properties are built to enhanced accessibility standards to meet Building Regulations 2015 Part M4 Cat 2.  This means that they are capable of adaptations for occupants with accessibility needs.  Further to this, the three bed houses feature a ground floor wet room, in addition to a family bathroom, which is compliant with the Part M4 Cat 2 standard.

As part of the Council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency, the homes have been built to Future Homes Standard Option 2, which will achieve a 31% saving on carbon emissions over the current building regulations Part L standard.  The homes have also been designed to omit the reliance on gas and feature air source heat pumps to provide the space heating, so the homes will be ‘zero carbon ready’ when the grid is decarbonised

This is the second phase of garage sites development, following the construction in 2015 of new properties at Wivenhoe, Greenstead and Old Heath, which added 34 new homes to the council’s housing stock, as well as several other projects that form part of the larger ‘New Council Housing Programme’.

The programme is being supported through the Council’s Housing Revenue Account. This is a ring-fenced account that can only be spent on improving or increasing affordable housing and has not been affected as adversely as the Council’s General Fund by Covid-19.