Plans for key worker accommodation approved

Spelthorne Council have given the green light for the redevelopment of a car park for much needed affordable, key-worker homes on Victory Close in Ashford. This brand-new development will be 100% let at affordable rents, highlighting this Council’s commitment to build homes for its residents and in particular for ‘key workers’ in the Borough. By committing to 100%, Spelthorne Borough Council is leading the way in ensuring local homes are provided for our most valued key workers that are so important to our community.

The design has been modified and now achieves 44% energy savings, which is double the savings achieved by the initial design, demonstrating the Council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency. The site is 2.2 acres and will include two children’s play areas, with significant amenity space for the flats. This level of provision is 42% greater than that required under Spelthorne’s current amenity policy. There are already several mature trees at the site and the area will benefit from further tree plantings and landscaping to reduce potential overlooking between neighbours.

There will be a total of 127 homes, including 5 family homes, 8 three-bedroom family flats, 78 two-bedroom flats and 36 one-bedroom flats, all with car parking and amenity space. All of these homes will be available at affordable rents with 22 of these secured by the S106 planning agreement, while the remaining 105 will be prioritised for key worker and NHS accommodation, which is secured by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  and the Council. With many NHS staff having to travel significant distances to get to work, the Council believes living locally will improve their quality of life as well as have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing, while the reduced travel time will provide environmental benefits. The site is very well accessed by pedestrians and cycles, with bus stops at both Ashford Hospital and the Tesco Extra and is within walking distance of Ashford Train Station.

Cllr Sandra Dunn, Chair of the Community Wellbeing and Housing Committee, said: “I am delighted that this unparalleled key-worker development has been approved by the planning committee. I am immensely proud that Spelthorne is leading the way in partnership working with the NHS to ensure that our key workers can access affordable accommodation. The last two years have shone a spotlight on our NHS colleagues, and it is essential that we, as a Council, support them in the best way we can.”

At the 10 November planning committee meeting, Suzanne Rankin, Chief Executive of Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Trust, said: “Sustaining services is a real challenge as I’m sure you’ll be aware, particularly in terms of workforce supply and retention. Being able to offer those colleagues quality housing that is affordable is a really important element of our strategy to meeting those ongoing sustainability challenges. I’d like to draw attention to the important partnership of which SBC and my organisation are members alongside a range of H&SC partners that is the NW Surrey Alliance. This opportunity is a really tangible example of the benefits and opportunities that such a partnership gives and the wider approach of our joint strategy of supporting thriving communities like Spelthorne. This opportunity I believe is borne out of detailed planning and execution and demonstrates our determined approach to addressing our shared challenges.”

Notes to Editors

the homes will be built to a high specification and incorporate a number of design innovations: –

  • an efficient Energy Centre providing a cost-effective district heating system
  • electric vehicle charging points to meet demand both now and, in the future
  • photo voltaic cells to generate solar power
  • a ‘gold standard’ security-focused design to deter crime and ‘natural surveillance’ features to create a safe and open environment 

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