Plans to build 420 new homes in the City of Wolverhampton, making it one of the largest developments in the area have turned into action with a start on site on brownfield land in the Black Country.
Bilston Urban Village is part of City of Wolverhampton Council's multi-million pound plans to transform land south of Bilston town centre.
A 27 acre site, previously industrial land, is being developed by housebuilder Countryside and will consist of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties, 192 of which will be available to purchase through Help To Buy.
The development will also include 105 affordable homes being delivered by West Midlands based Accord Housing Association. These will be made up of 85 homes available for Affordable Rent and the remaining 20 being offered as Shared Ownership.
The homes are part of Accord's increasing development programme, which commits to deliver around 2,000 new homes by 2022.
The Council, Homes England and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership have invested in the site to prepare it for development, where a new community with shops and business premises will be created.
Joanne Bradbury, Sales & Marketing Director for Countryside, said:
"We are pleased to be playing our part in delivering these brand new affordable homes off Coseley Road in Bilston.
"The development marks an important step forward in addressing the housing shortage in the local area, and will assist those who are most in need to get onto the property ladder.
"We would like to thank our partners at Accord and City of Wolverhampton Council for helping us to make the scheme a reality."
Chris Handy, Chief Executive at Accord, added:
"The Urban Village is an exciting project for Bilston and the surrounding areas as it is one of the largest developments the West Midlands has ever seen. It will create homes and jobs for many local people and will see a huge amount of investment in the area. It also makes an important contribution to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership's 'garden city' initiative.
"Here at Accord we are proud to be a part of it by providing more than 100 affordable homes on the development, to meet the needs of local people.
"As an organisation Accord, and previously Heantun, have helped move this project forward. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Countryside and City of Wolverhampton Council on this exciting regeneration project."
City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, Councillor Peter Bilson, said:
"This is a major piece in the puzzle in the regeneration of Bilston and we can now look forward to seeing more new homes soon springing up on Bilston Urban Village. "This will make a significant impact in achieving our housing targets in the City of Wolverhampton.
"The council has spent a lot of time making sure there is good road access, and ensuring that, with a bus only link, cycle ways and pedestrian routes, the new housing will be well connected to the town centre.
"The urban village is a key part of the wider regeneration of the city, bringing new homes, new jobs and more investment. It demonstrates our commitment to Bilston and ensures it will continue to be a thriving area."
Bilston Urban Village is part of City of Wolverhampton's wider regeneration plans, which will create new business and retail opportunities in the city, as well as improve its public transport.
Extensive areas of open space have also been landscaped on the site, with a network of paths for walking and cycling created, overgrown trees and shrubs cleared, and fencing installed to properly define and protect areas.
The first phases of Bilston Urban Village produced significant investment in the building of the Bert Williams Leisure Centre and South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy - improving health and increasing opportunities. A commercial development plot fronting the Black Country Route and the newly named Bert Turner Boulevard linking the site with the town centre were also created.
This has been followed by the opening of the newly built Marston's family pub/restaurant, the White Rabbit.
Work also started on building a new Loxdale Primary School on the site, with Countryside making a financial contribution towards the relocation of the school.