A development of 69 affordable homes in Bolton has welcomed its first residents, as the new community reaches completion. Located on Withins Drive in Breighmet, the first 10 properties have been handed over to Bolton at Home by developer and contractor, Watson Homes. The community – which features 52 two and three-bedroom houses alongside four one-bedroom cottage-style and 13 two-bedroom maisonette apartments – will be fully completed by Q1 2022.
All the properties are being made available for affordable rent, which is defined as being less than 80 per cent of the average private rent in the area. Bolton at Home secured Homes England funding to develop the homes while Watson Homes has a track record of delivering affordable homes in the Bolton area. The firm is delivering more than 600 affordable homes in and around Bolton that will help meet local housing demand, and has further planning applications awaiting decisions to bring forward 255 new homes in Little Lever on two sites at Creams Mill and Hall Lane.
There is a significant demand for affordable homes within Bolton. There were more than 750 expressions of interest made to Bolton at Home for the first 10 properties at Withins Drive. Watson Homes is delivering more than 600 affordable homes in and around Bolton that would help meet local housing demand.
During construction of all its affordable housing developments, Watson Homes provides pathways into construction for those in the surrounding areas, including trade and managerial apprenticeships for young people. The company aims to target 80 per cent local labour and create or safeguard one apprentice for every £1m in contract value. In terms of training opportunities created by live and upcoming sites in Bolton, this equates to 70 apprenticeships that will be established by Watson Homes or secured within its supply chain.
Paul Philbin, head of development and home ownership at Bolton at Home, said: “We’re very proud of the development at Withins Drive, which will help us to ease some of the acute demand for new affordable properties in this area of Bolton. These high-quality homes will give families, couples and single occupants new options for places to live. We will continue working with partners like Watson Homes and others to build and acquire more of the homes we desperately need.”
Across the wider North West, Watson Homes has completed 478 affordable homes and currently has 544 under construction, with more than 1,000 expected to go to site during 2022-23.