A £1.3m Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) project to build affordable homes for rent in a village on the edge of the Potteries has been officially named with the help of local school children.
Construction work is well underway on the mix of one-bedroom apartments and two- and three-bedroomed homes off Grindley Lane, Blythe Bridge and, ahead of their completion, SARH invited nearby Springcroft Primary School to come up with a name for the development.
During a recent event at the school, involving representatives of Stafford Borough Council, Homes England and community leaders, SARH Chief Executive Karen Armitage announced the winning suggestion — Spring Lodge Avenue.
“Affordable housing is massively important to the future of local communities such as those served by the school and we may even see some of the youngsters here today living in these homes one day,” Karen explained. “I’m sure that future pupils of the school will also call Spring Lodge Avenue home and so it’s fitting that a pupil should come up with a name for a project that’s meeting the needs of the community.”
The scheme to build the 13 new homes was given the go-ahead after receiving £390k funding from Homes England (formerly known as the Homes & Communities Agency).
Caroline Cormack, Head of Home Ownership and Supply for Homes England in the Midlands said: “Homes England is committed to working in partnership with organisations to enable the delivery of homes to meet the needs of local communities. Our funding, will not only transform the former Blythe Lodge site but will also enable the delivery of much needed homes for affordable rent.”
Designed to blend in with existing properties in the area and due for completion in March next year the new homes are being built on behalf of SARH by the housing association’s construction partner on the project, the Harper Group.
The company’s Group Managing Director, Antony Rees, commented: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with SARH for the new development of 13 dwellings at Spring Lodge. We have a history of delivering excellent housing schemes in the Midlands and look forward to giving the local community new excellent quality housing.”
The scheme also has the backing of Stafford Borough Council and Cllr Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities, who said: “SARH is at the forefront of delivering new homes that people can afford to rent at a time when we’re seeing a record number of houses built across the country. Projects such as this really show the benefits of organisations working in partnership to overcome any obstacles to development.”
At the naming event, the final word went to Year 5 pupil, 10-year-old Oliver, who came up with a name combining elements of the site’s history. Proud mum Vanessa said the family was delighted to become part of the history of the village.
Oliver, a keen footballer who enjoys studying maths and science at school, added: “May all the people who move into the new homes live happily ever after!”