Hemel Hempstead-based housing association, Hightown has submitted a planning application to Dacorum Borough Council to transform the site of the TopCar service centre into 44 new affordable homes.
Located on Paradise Industrial Estate on Wood Lane, the proposals are for a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, all of which will be used to house people from the council’s waiting list.
According to data from the National Housing Federation’s Home Truths report, average house prices in Dacorum at £429,118 are over 12 times more than the average annual salary in the area of £34,372.
Andrew Royall, Development Director for Hightown Housing Association, said: “This site offers an excellent opportunity for Hightown to provide homes for those struggling to afford private rents. With so many applicants on Dacorum’s Housing Register, there is a real need for this type of housing for local people.
“Hightown has been investing in providing new homes in Hemel Hempstead to address the shortage of affordable homes and transform our local area. Since 2009, we have built over 700 homes in Hemel Hempstead and plan to build a further 370 in the next five years.”
The current owners of the site, 5 Star Accident Repair Centre, were exploring proposals for a residential scheme and have instead sold the site to Hightown exclusively for affordable housing.
The proposals will contribute to the regeneration of Paradise Industrial Estate into a mixed use and residential area, as identified in the Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan. Park Lane, another Hightown development that opened in 2016, also provided 70 new homes in the area.