Celebrations as new council housing developments reach '˜topping out' stage

TWO major housing developments are well on their way to completion.

Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 8:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:25 pm
(L-r) Cllr Jennie Brent, site manager Steven Zaffarese, director of property and housing James Hill, council leader Donna Jones and project managers Adrian Legg and Beverley Murphy Pictures: Habibur Rahman

Portsmouth City Council hosted ‘topping out’ ceremonies yesterday after more than 100 new homes across two sites reached an important construction milestone.

The ceremonies took place at Ivy Close, on the old Somerstown Health Centre site, in Blackfriars Close, Portsmouth and Steep Close, next to Blendworth Crescent, Havant.

Cllr Jennie Brent, cabinet member for property and housing, said: ‘This is all about the community.

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‘People need more high quality, energy-efficient housing so that’s why we have prioritised the building of these homes in Portsmouth.

‘That is why we are very excited about welcoming the first tenants into these fantastic new homes.’

The nine family houses and 51 flats at the Ivy Close site and the 20 family houses and 28 flats at Steep Close will be completed next spring, with tenants expected to be in by April.

Council leader Donna Jones was at the ceremonies.

She said: ‘Over the past two years we have committed to and are building 200 new homes.

‘It is a mixture of houses and flats all for local people because we know there are people in the city who are living in very overcrowded properties and people who are on housing waiting lists for too longer period of time.’

The two projects will cost a total of £15.4m. Cllr Jones added: ‘We have built really super energy-efficient one and two-bedroom flats, some of which also have disabled access.

‘We also have houses that are going to be three bedrooms for local families which are right in the middle of Portsmouth and all really easily accessible houses.’

The roofs of the two buildings are covered in PV panels to reduce energy costs.