Work starts on Winsford site of 268 energy-efficient homes

The team behind The Woodlands scheme

Construction of a 268-home scheme in Winsford has begun, led by EQUANS, QWEST, Cheshire West and Chester Council and The Riverside Group.

The scheme, located behind the Verdin Exchange, will be known as The Woodlands.

It will comprise one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes which will be made available for open market sale, shared ownership, and affordable rent.

EQUANS has utilised Homes England Accelerated Construction Funding to deliver the project at the 17 acre site, north of Winsford town centre.

The £450m Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) programme was launched to help unlock public land and increase the speed of delivery on local authority housing schemes across England.

The Verdin Exchange scheme will also include several features designed to optimise sustainability across each plot, with an energy strategy that exceeds Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning policy and supports their wider net zero carbon ambitions.

This includes the use of enhanced building fabrics, highly efficient heating systems and photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

New ponds, ecological corridors, public open spaces and seven new grass playing pitches will also be included in the scheme, as well as a new footpath that will link to wider areas of Winsford.

Steven Gregory, construction director at EQUANS, said: “Our partnership with QWEST is already supporting the transformation of the area, with the Wharton Green housing development already progressing well.

“It’s great to have now broken ground on our second housing scheme with QWEST, which will see more much needed affordable housing built that also meets the council’s sustainability needs. Focusing on carbon net zero is at the heart of what EQUANS does, and using modern construction methods we can help our clients reach their goals.”

Cllr Matt Bryan, cabinet member for housing, planning and climate emergency, said: “It’s fantastic to see work starting on site to build these energy efficient homes which will benefit local residents and families. Providing homes with enhanced insulation and efficient heating systems will help to reduce energy consumption, minimise carbon emissions and help to lower household bills.”

Helen Reddington, director of home ownership at Riverside, said: “It will be one of our first developments featuring the new shared ownership product, which allows homebuyers to buy a share in a new home from as little as 10% of the open market value. Rising house prices is a major barrier to home ownership and our homes will provide an affordable way to buy a home for lots of people.”

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