SWT Members attend Seaward Way turf-cutting ceremony
16 March 2022 : Council news, Housing news
Work to build the first council homes in West Somerset for over 30 years is due to start at Seaward Way, Minehead.
54 social housing units with affordable rents set between 60 and 80 per cent of market rates will be built by Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council over the next two years.
The housing mix consists of 21 two, three- and four-bedroom houses and 33 one- and two-bedroom flats, enabling accommodation for up to 177 people. Three properties will be fully adapted for residents with mobility support requirements and a play area space will also be included.
Construction will follow the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) definition of net zero with 100% predicted total operational energy generated on site through the use of low carbon technologies, including PV panels, thermal storage with smart controllers and air source heat pumps. Electric vehicle charging points will be installed for each of the houses, and communal points for the flats.
The project has received funding from various sources, including EDF though the Council’s Hinkley Point C Housing Strategy and a Local Authority Accelerated Construction grant from Homes England. The Homes England grant supported site access and infrastructure costs as part of the development of two neighbouring industrial units, which are now let to Toolstation and Snazaroo.
To mark the occasion, a turf-cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday, 15 March, attended by Portfolio Holder for Housing, Cllr Francesca Smith; Leader of the Council, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts; SWT and Minehead Town Cllr Craig Palmer; Director Adam Brimacombe and Contracts Manager Giles Staines from Classic Builders (SW) Ltd; Surveyor Alex Bunney from SWT's Employers Agent, Gates Consultants; and Council staff from the Development and Regeneration team.
Executive Member for Housing, Cllr Fran Smith, said: “We've committed to delivering 1,000 new homes over the next 30 years, all of which will comply with 2050 zero-carbon standards, and I’m delighted we’ve now reached the main contract works stage for Seaward Way.
“As one of the first Council-led social housing developments in the area for many years, it matches local housing need combined with the latest offering in energy-efficient technologies to help progress our net zero ambitions for the district.”
The development will be used as an exemplar scheme to showcase the latest innovations in environmentally friendly construction and design for development partners to support and adopt a higher standard in building regulations. Consequently, the Good Homes Alliance has already featured Seaward Way in its net zero and ultra-low energy housing case studies.
The building work is projected to complete during 2023 to 2024. Priority will be given to those living in or having connections to Minehead.