Unused undercroft parking transformed into affordable apartments in Woolston

A ribbon-cutting ceremony has celebrated the transformation of a boarded-up ground floor parking area in a 1990s-apartment block in Woolston, Southampton, into much-needed affordable rental homes.

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The new development of two smart new two-bedroom family-sized apartments in Condor Close has been built by leading social housing provider Stonewater, working in partnership with Southampton City Council and local contractors Daintree Developments.

“These new energy-efficient homes are a great example of how social housing providers are repurposing unused building spaces in central urban locations into high-quality affordable housing for local people,” says Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “With typical open market rents in the area more than a third (41%) of local workers’ take-home pay, there is a desperate need for low cost rental properties like these apartments that people can realistically afford. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the Council and delivering more housing like this in the community where people need it most.”

Stonewater has also transformed the apartment complex’s overgrown communal garden, tucked behind the building, into an attractively landscaped and gated private green space with cycle storage facilities.

The scheme has been financed by Stonewater, with a £25,824 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency and £35,000 from the Recycled Capital Grant Fund.

Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Adult Care, says: “We are very pleased to be joining Stonewater in opening these two affordable rent homes in Woolston. They have done a magnificent job transforming the building’s parking area — which was once a magnet for antisocial behaviour — into family apartments.”

Stonewater, which is a member of the Southampton Affordable Housing Partnership, and owns and manages 906 homes in the District, has most recently redeveloped a former care home site in Millbrook into 28 low-cost rental and shared ownership homes. The development brought the housing provider to its milestone 1,000th new home since its formation in 2015.