Affordable apartments replace derelict petrol station in Cowplain

THE former site of a petrol station has finally been transformed into affordable flats.

Wednesday, 26th October 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 5:21 pm
From left, Cllr Elaine Shimbart, Stonewater's executive director for development Jonathan Layzell, resident Lucy Clilverd with son Ezra; Stonewater's board member Sheila Collins and Cllr Gerald Shimbart, Havant Borough Council

Twenty-five two-bedroom apartments which will be rented out have been built at Goldcrest Court in Cowplain, Waterlooville.

It replaces a BP petrol garage which has been disused for more than a decade, amidst growing demand for low-cost rent housing in the area.

Housing provider Stonewater spent more than £560,000 to the project, which also includes a communal garden and parking facilities.

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Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s executive director for development, says that an ‘acute shortage of good quality, low-cost housing’ has spurred on a housing crisis.

‘Expensive private rents and cuts to housing benefits means that many families and young people are increasingly at risk of rent arrears, evictions and homelessness.

‘These new affordable homes in Goldcrest Court aim to help tackle this problem by providing good quality, comfortable homes for those in the community who need them most.

‘We hope new residents will enjoy living in these apartments and we look forward to building more affordable housing communities in the area in partnership with the Council.’

Goldcrest Court, on the junction of Milton Road and Eagle Avenue, is one of Stonewater’s seven current developments which will create 262 more affordable homes.

Hart Plain councillor Gerald Shimbart says that the development has ‘been a long time coming’.

He said: ‘The development provides much-needed housing accommodation, and there have been other plans for the site in the past that never came to fruition.

‘It is also taking away what was an eyesore in the area, so it’s got to be a positive thing.’

Cllr David Guest, cabinet lead for economy, planning and development at Havant Borough Council, said: ‘This development provides efficient, affordable housing for families within our community who may otherwise struggle to find appropriate accommodation.

‘The location of this development also allows for its residents to have easy access to the local shops and conveniences which are key to family life.’