Work starts on £15.5m affordable housing scheme in Halifax

Work has started on the construction of over 100 affordable family homes on the Beech Hill estate in Halifax.

The development includes a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, which will be available for affordable rent via Together Housing Group. The project will also include a cycle route, landscaping, public open space, parking facilities and infrastructure works.

Construction work has been ongoing in the Beech Hill area over the past two years to prepare the site for re-development, with the demolition of Westbrook Court, Blenheim Court and Cobden Court, which had previously lay derelict for over 10 years.

George Paterson, Director of Property Services at Together Housing Group, said:

“This development has been a long time coming and we’ve had to overcome many challenges to get where we are today but we couldn’t have done it without creating the Calderdale Together Housing Partnership. I would like to pay tribute to the resident representatives who sit on the Beech Hill project board. Their feedback has been invaluable and has enabled us to maintain a strong dialogue with the community.

“This regeneration project is an excellent example of partnership working and we must thank Homes England and West Yorkshire Combined Authority for their support over the years, and I would finally also want to pay tribute to Calderdale Councillor Jenny Lynn who has worked tirelessly with us on this project for many years.”

This project will support the wider transformation of Calderdale and investment in its housing, transport, public spaces and businesses.

Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, said:

“It’s fantastic to reach this key milestone in the transformation of Beech Hill. It’s thanks to some great partnership work and the support of residents.

There’s a real need for good-quality, affordable homes, so we’re delighted to bring greater choice to our local families. The new homes will support our wider regeneration work and our Vision2024 for Calderdale and will contribute to our work to tackle climate change through their energy efficient features.”

The scheme will be delivered by Esh Construction’s affordable housing division.

Stuart Leslie, Divisional Director at Esh Construction, said:

“Having secured planning permission for the development in September 2020, we’re delighted to get underway with construction of these much-needed new homes and to be involved in the wider regeneration of the Beech Hill area which has been ongoing for many years. Esh Construction is set to commence work on circa £50 million of new affordable homes across Yorkshire within the coming months, and the Beech Hill development is a fantastic project to add to our portfolio.”

The first residents are expected to move in November 2022 and the development is expected to be complete August 2023.

The £15.5m development is part of the Calderdale Together Housing Investment Partnership (CTHIP). The partnership between Together Housing Group and Calderdale Council was established to jointly deliver up to 650 affordable homes across Calderdale over five years from 2018-23.

The Beech Hill project received £2.197 million from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

The development is also supported by Homes England. Together Housing was announced as one of the government housing agency’s Strategic Partners in January 2019, receiving £53 million to help deliver 1,152 additional affordable home starts by March 2022.

The new build development is part of a wider regeneration masterplan for the estate, which will also see energy efficient improvements made to the existing properties.

Part-funded by the ‘Getting Building’ fund through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the work will include new insulated pitched roofs and rainwater goods; new doors and windows; external insulation with render finish; and improved boundary treatments and environmental works.

AHR has been appointed to deliver the refurbishment package. Works are expected to start on site in June 2021, with completion of the scheme due in November 2022.