Since 2011 we’ve been busy building nearly 600 homes for shared ownership and affordable rent in the district and surrounding areas. Montgomery Mews, in Braintree, is a five-bungalow development available for social rent, which will be completed this month. Here, Krissy Hill explains how her role as Regeneration and Development Assistant is helping to create this new community in Arnhem Grove:
“The five homes are replacing one of our garage sites, so it hasn’t involved replacing existing homes. It’s our own site which has given us the opportunity to work closely with architects on the final design.
I generally get involved in our development projects once planning permission has been given and we’re on site. Once we’d received planning permission for the Arnhem Grove site in summer 2017, I arranged for asbestos surveys to be carried out for the garages, to ensure that they were demolished safely. I also contacted all residents already living in the area by letter, to let them know what we’re doing and why; including my contact details. I followed this letter up with regular newsletter updates as work progressed, to keep them informed about what to expect.
I tend to get contacted quite a lot near the beginning of the project to answer all kinds of questions and provide reassurance, which is time-consuming but important. All the residents of Arnhem Grove are very nice – they like to call themselves the Arnhem Mafia! Gipping Construction are building the new homes and also got to know the residents well as work progressed. The residents all love the workmen as they’re so helpful – even helping them to move heavy garden pots and other handy tasks! And the residents do us favours in return, with one letting us use his electricity to help run the site – which, of course, we reimbursed.
As part of the building work we built a new shed for one resident as his original shed was blocking the entrance to the site. To thank him for being so accommodating, we gave his garden a makeover, adding a patio and a new path, which he really appreciated.
As work progresses on sites, people apply to live in the new homes. This time, we arranged for three families from another of our development sites in Braintree to move into three of the five homes. We will keep in touch with them in the lead-up to the move and will continue to be there for them until they’re settled. I’m really looking forward to seeing them all enjoying their new homes.
My job involves being a “people person”, approachable and a good listener. I love the team I work with at Greenfields and we all help each other in our roles; helping to provide local homes for residents who need them. The main thing I love is being part of building homes for people to raise their families in.”
Find out about our new homes by clicking on this link: https://www.greenfieldsch.org.uk/about-us/new-homes/