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Shoe factory makes way for affordable homes

Published Friday, 25 March 2011

The site of a former shoe factory in a Northamptonshire village is being given a £1.35million facelift by Jephson Homes Housing Association, in partnership with Wellingborough Council.

Jephson is building 11 homes for affordable rent on land previously occupied by the Shelton's factory in Eastfield Road, Wollaston. The village is renowned for its shoe making industry, which used to include the manufacture of the famous Dr Martens boots.

It is the first time Jephson, which owns the site and will manage the rented properties, has been involved in a scheme in the borough of Wellingborough. Developer Life Space Developments recently started work on the site and plans to complete the development by the end of November.

The scheme comprises six two-bedroom houses, three three-bedroom houses and two two-bedroom flats to be built above garages. The homes will be built to comply with level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which means they will be very thermally efficient and have lower than normal running costs for heating and hot water.

The scheme has been drawn up in partnership with Wellingborough Council and has been supported by a £480,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency for England.

Tim West, Business Development Manager at Jephson, said: "It is great to see building work start on this development, which will make a significant contribution to meeting the need for affordable housing in this area. This is our first development in the borough and we have worked well with Wellingborough Council to bring it to fruition. It has been a good introduction to the local authority and we are keen to work with them again on future schemes."

Cllr Malcolm Waters, Chairman of Wellingborough Council's community committee, joined representatives from Jephson and the HCA on site yesterday (Wednesday 16 March) to celebrate the start of work. He said: "The council is delighted to see this site regenerated and developed for affordable housing. The factory had been derelict for many years and had become an eyesore. This scheme will provide much-needed affordable rented homes in the village."

Anyone wishing to be considered for one of the homes should register on the council's housing needs register either in person at the council offices in Tithe Barn Road or online at http://www.wellingborough.gov.uk/