Affordable housing in Hatfield snaps building award

PUBLISHED: 08:25 20 December 2019

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council accepted the award in London. Picture: WHBC.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council accepted the award in London. Picture: WHBC.

Archant

A prestigious national award has been won by the borough council for its affordable housing projects in Hatfield.

Lilac Close and Lime Tree Court saw off competition from across England and Wales to win the Best High Volume New Housing Development prize at the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Building Excellence Awards.

The 22-flat Lime Tree Court scheme, built in partnership with Mears New Homes on a former disused garage site, had been blighted by anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

But architects Rock Townsend turned the space into spacious energy-efficent new homes that meet Police Secure by Design standards. The flats were also constructed to meet the Lifetime Homes Standard, meaning they can be easily adapted at minimal cost if a tenants' needs change.

Seven homes in Lilac Close were the first new-rented council built and owned properties to be completed as part of the council's Affordable Housing Programme.

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The two-bedroom homes, which are smaller family-sized affordable accommodation for social rent, were designed with independent living in mind. They have space for a through floor lift and a route for a tracking hoist should there be a need in the future.

Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Nick Pace, executive member for housing and community, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have won this award because the LABC look at the quality of the finished buildings and the skills that have gone into designing and constructing them.

"This is a fantastic endorsement of our Affordable Housing Programme which has so far provided over 300 high-quality new homes for local people."

The panel of expert judges said: "This new development by the local council has transformed a run-down area that attracted anti-social behaviour by providing good quality, affordable homes that are badly needed locally.

"The development comprises a mix of apartments and family homes built to contrasting contemporary designs which clearly enhance the area and will help set the bar for the future."

Winners were chosen by a panel of construction industry experts and rewarded innovative design, creative solutions and quality construction.

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