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Disused Bevois Valley site to be regenerated into homes for residents with learning disabilities

The ground has been broken on a £855,000 project to transform overgrown land in Southampton into attractive new apartments specially designed for residents with learning disabilities.

The six high quality one-bedroom properties are being built at 47a Bevois Valley Road by Radian, one of the south’s leading providers of housing, support and care through the Affordable Housing Programme,  with investment from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Construction has only been made possible by Southampton City Council and Radian working closely together to secure investment from the Brownfield Land Assembly Trust and the former South East England Development Agency. Without this the abnormal costs of preparing the site after its former use as an MOT centre would have meant development was unviable.

The supported housing is due to be completed by November 2014 and will help fulfil the council’s aim of providing more apartments for people with learning disabilities in small constellations across the City.

The scheme design was worked up in close collaboration with the Council’s Learning Disability Team and includes a home for someone in a wheelchair, a mobility unit and a small office for support staff.

Much of development’s construction is being undertaken by Hampshire-based contractors and suppliers including building contractor FE Chase & Son Ltd, scaffolder Damar Scaffolding, Suffix Concrete Flooring and SNL Brickworks. Once construction is complete the homes will be allocated by the city council which will also tender for the support contract. The homes will be managed by Radian to support residents for the long-term.

Southampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainability Cllr Warwick Payne said: “After many years of hard work by Radian and the Council and other agencies, it’s great to see this scheme is now on site. Come next winter it will provide much needed specialist homes, as well as contributing to the improvement of the immediate area.”

The new homes join a series of similar-sized supported schemes that have been operating successfully throughout Southampton .

Radian Partnership and Agents Manager Avril Ansell said: “It’s going to be a pleasure to see this brownfield site being transformed from an overgrown patch of land into specialist homes, particularly as they meet an important need in Southampton.

“The location is perfect: close to shops, amenities and transport links. With support on hand, it’s going to be a fantastic place for its residents to live and flourish. It shows what can be done even with land that at first looks unpromising.

“We are really looking forward to meeting with the people who will be moving in and to seeing how their lives are positively transformed by a move to more independence.”

Date published: 27th March 2014