Life-long friends move in to new affordable bungalows

Three friends are some of the first residents to move into brand new affordable bungalows built by The Wrekin Housing Group.

We worked with developer TC Homes to deliver 14 bungalows for affordable rent – exclusively for the over 55s at Jenny Athersmith Gardens in Dawley.

The new development at the former derelict Castle Lodge site comprises of 3 one bedroom and 11 two-bedroom bungalows - all for affordable rent.

The bungalows have been built to high mobility standards and also include enhanced levels of insulation to reduce heating costs for residents.

With the development complete and all the homes snapped up, colleagues from the Wrekin Housing Group and TC Homes visited the site recently to see how the community has taken shape.

Some of the first people to move in to their new bungalows include friends Sandra Cherry 79, Julie Clarke, 65 & Alison Evans, 65. The three friends previously lived at Churchill Court – just a stone throws away at from their new homes at Jenny Athersmith Gardens.

Sandra is now retired having previously served in the RAF an air traffic controller said:

“The bungalows are fantastic and I am overjoyed with the move. We are all getting a bit older now and moving to a bungalow will be a game changer for me with wider doorways and generally being able to get about the home easily.”

Her neighbours Julie and Alison have been life-long friends, having gone to school together from the age of four.

Julie has been a Wrekin tenant for nine years and added: “I’ve lived around here for many years so being able to move locally means I have friends and living nearby and I know the area well. We are looking forward to the summer months when we can get together in our gardens.”

Alison has been a Wrekin tenant for 19 years and added: “The move has been pretty seamless. Wrekin have been brilliant throughout the process. We’re all really good friends and you can already see there’s going to be a real sense of community here.”

Simon Thompson, Director of Development at The Wrekin Housing Group said:

“Jenny Athersmith Gardens is a really important scheme for Wrekin, helping us to meet demand for affordable homes in the local area as we have seen significant interest from people over the age of 55 who want to live here.

“It has delivered brand new high-quality homes that people aspire to live in, and a fantastic community where people can thrive. Jenny Athersmith Gardens and its construction had a hugely positive impact on the wider area, in terms of investment into the local community and the region.”

The £2m redevelopment of the former Castle Lodge site was supported by grants from both Homes England and Telford & Wrekin Council’s stalled site fund.

Councillor Shaun Davies (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council Leader, said:

“Developing stalled sites like Castle Lodge in Dawley can only have a positive impact on the area and the residents that live there.

“Previously the site was a real eyesore with potential to attract longer-term antisocial behaviour the longer it remained disused so it’s fantastic to see this site being brought back into use with affordable housing.”

Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Place (the Economy & Neighbourhood Services) said:

“Through our stalled sites funding commitment, we have supported The Wrekin Housing Group to regenerate this area and create new homes for residents with first-class facilities.

“As well as improving the appearance of the area and providing jobs for local people, this programme has expanded the number of affordable rental properties which are available in the borough.”

Councillors Andy Burford and Lyndsey Parker, Dawley & Aqueduct Ward Members, added:

“This is fantastic news for Dawley and we are delighted to see the first residents move into these affordable bungalows following the transformation of this site.”

15th March 2024