Stonewater wins bid for Manor Gardens

Stonewater and Barnwood Trust have successfully exchanged contracts for the transfer of the historic Manor Gardens Estate in Gloucester.

Manor Garden Estate

The specialist housing association will continue Barnwood’s vision for providing an inclusive community living scheme at Manor Gardens – including taking forward the original planning permission to develop part of the estate.

Due to the rising costs of the project and the impact of Covid-19 on disabled people and people with mental health challenges, Barnwood Trust began a formal tender process last year to find a housing provider that shared its ambitions for the scheme to take over ownership of the site.

In addition to providing 44 accessible homes at Manor Gardens and two bungalows built at the adjacent Newstead Road, as part of the transfer, Stonewater will also take over management of the 23 existing homes on the estate.

Stonewater intends to deliver the new homes with the cost-of-living crisis and the environment in mind by installing solar panels, heat pumps and developing a sustainable transport plan.

Following consultations with existing residents the Manor House on the estate, a Grade II listed building, will also be renovated to complement the site.

Stonewater’s vision is to ensure that this important heritage building has a lasting legacy of enabling the community to thrive, as well as providing much-needed inclusive housing.

To achieve this, Stonewater is currently applying for planning permission to convert the Manor House into a community space, offices and four apartments, two of which would be fully accessible.

Throughout the build, Stonewater will continue to work closely with the local community to ensure the renewed estate is truly integrated, connected and expertly managed.

As part of its commitments, Stonewater will also be protecting the wildlife and trees that make Manor Garden’s so attractive, whilst also providing imaginative spaces for customers and their families to enjoy.

Barnwood Trust Chair of the Board, Ann Santry said: “Stonewater has an outstanding record of both delivering housing management, working closely with its residents and local communities, and development of new high-quality homes.

“We were impressed by their proposals for Manor Gardens and getting to this point is the outcome of a very positive and constructive partnership. The Trustees are delighted that going forward our existing residents will have the benefit of a more experienced landlord and our original plans for the new housing will be delivered.”

Matt Crucefix, Director of Development (South and West) at Stonewater, said: “Manor Gardens is an important redevelopment project that will bring contemporary affordable homes to Gloucester that are able to meet the wide-ranging and diverse needs of local people.

“As a leading supported housing provider, along with supporting more than 76,000 customers, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to providing a high-quality service. Our team will continue to deliver on site support to existing and new customers, with a refreshed focus on supporting a fruitful local community, both at Manor Gardens and in the wider area.

“For this particular scheme we’ll also be looking to employ a full-time dedicated Housing Officer based at Manor Gardens, who will be supported by the wider team, to support our customers moving forward.”

As Stonewater start work on developing the already planned integrated housing scheme, they will continue to work with PRP Architects, a specialist housing firm, who were originally appointed by Barnwood Trust.

Stonewater expects the project to take approximately two years to complete.