Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, working in partnership with Welsh Government, Linc Cymru, Y-Prentis and housing developers Pendragon, are currently on track to deliver 72 new homes at Gwaun Helyg Hilltop, Ebbw Vale. The development is receiving a social housing grant from Welsh Government as part of its 20,000 affordable homes target.
The properties offered are a mix of one bedroom apartments and two and three bedroom homes, which also include four adapted houses specifically designed to help tenants achieve personal independence, improving wellbeing and quality of life. The adapted homes are the first UK social housing properties to include the Guldmann hoist wall to wall partition system. This innovative feature requires less structural work and is designed to seamlessly lift and move people through multiple rooms, thereby allowing the occupier greater freedom of movement. Another ‘first’ is the open plan ‘inclusive’ living space to each adapted property, which allows the reconfiguration of the ground floor to suit individual living needs. In addition, all houses are future proofed, so should the home owners needs change the properties can be adapted to meet their requirements.
Alex Johansen, Design and Build Coordinator for Pendragon said:
“The Gwaun Helyg development has been a massive success for us, not just in terms of the finish and appeal of the dwellings, but also the collaborative effort that has taken place between all the partners.”
In total there will be four phases to the development of Gwaun Helyg, two of which are already finished:
Four Phases of Development
Number of Housing Units
First units - December 2018
First units - June 2020
The site was purchased back in 2008 and at that time there were 221 people registered in the Blaenau Gwent housing list. Andrew Beale, Project Manager with Linc, says:
“The 72 new homes we have built, with the help of our development partners, will contribute significantly to reducing the number of people and families waiting on the housing register. Whilst the four adaptive homes, which can be modified and tailored to individual needs, will make an immediate difference to the residents quality of life”.
Linc is also involved with a number of other sites within Blaenau Gwent, such as College Road (adjacent to Llys Glyncoed Care Home) where 33 new homes will be constructed. Overall Linc will have been and will be directly involved in the provision of 145 new homes built between 2015 - 2020.
In addition to the above, Linc and Pendragon, working in conjunction with Y Prentis and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council will shortly be recruiting three more apprentices to work on the site. This ensures career opportunities, training and work experience can be provided at a local level.
Councillor Robert Summers says:
“Having recently met with our partners about the Gwaun Helyg development and visited the site, it is reassuring to see the progress that is being made. Many of the units incorporate features that are new for social housing in the UK, whilst future proofing will ensure the longevity of the properties for those generations that follow.”