Little by little – 48 more affordable homes

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Construction has started on 48 affordable Stonewater homes and two commercial units at the new Imperial Mews affordable housing development in Brighton Road, Crawley. The mixed tenure development will replace the former site of Crawley Down Peugeot and keep the landmark 1920s façade of the original building - the Imperial Cinema – which closed in 1939.

Stonewater, one of the UK’s leading housing providers, is working with Crawley Borough Council and regional contractors PMC Construction & Development Services to deliver the £6.6 million scheme which will create a mix of 43 one- and two-bedroom flats for affordable rent and five two- bedroom houses available for shared ownership. The scheme will also retain some commercial space beneath the old Imperial Cinema façade. Within close walking distance to Crawley Train Station and the town centre, the new homes will provide much-needed affordable accommodation for local people who are being squeezed out of the community by unaffordable house prices and private rents. The affordable housing provider is also financing the Imperial Mews development which is additionally receiving £964,178 of grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Stonewater, which has offices in Crawley and manages and operates 748 properties in West Sussex, expects each affordable home to create around 2.5 construction jobs during the building programme and up to four times that many in the wider supply chain. The organisation has also signed up to the Council‘s Crawley Developer and Partner Charter which aims to help maximise local opportunities from development and investment in Crawley for the benefit of the town’s people, local companies and communities.

“This is Stonewater’s first affordable housing development in Crawley and we are delighted to see the project under way,” said Richard Stevenson, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “Like many expensive property areas in the South East, there is a real need for affordable housing in the town to drive local economic prosperity and long-term growth. We hope this is the first of several new schemes we will be able to deliver in partnership with the Council through the local supply chain.”

The economical-to-run Imperial Mews homes which are due for completion in April next year,  will achieve a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 energy-efficiency and will feature a range of energy-saving features to reduce carbon emissions and keep residents’ energy bills down.

Councillor Stephen Joyce, Deputy Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “The Council is delighted to welcome Stonewater as an active development partner in the provision of affordable housing in Crawley, and we are encouraged by their commitment to deliver a challenging scheme of this scale.

We are particularly pleased with Stonewater’s determination to provide much-needed rental accommodation in the Borough, and we certainly look forward to working-up future schemes together.”

Jonathan Fern, Construction Manager for PMC Construction & Development Services, said: "PMC Construction & Development Services is proud to be working in partnership once again with Stonewater on the Brighton Road development to provide much needed affordable accommodation in Crawley. The project takes Crawley’s historical past into consideration by retaining the existing Imperial Cinema façade to be appreciated for generations to come."

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