New neighbours for Stockleigh Road
If you are in the Seven Streets area of St Leonards this weekend, look out for moving vans in Stockleigh Road. Seven new homes have been created by the Amicus Horizon housing association and the new residents will be moving in over the next few days. HOT’s Erica Smith went round to check out the decor and lend a cup of sugar.
I walk past 24 and 25 daily, on my way to and from work. It’s been great to watch the building activity over recent months, and lovely to see the skips and signs go, and the renovated buildings reappear, all spruced up and ready to be homes again. With DFLs (Down-From-Londoners) snapping up Seven Streets properties like hot cakes, it is particularly cheering to know that these new homes will be kept at affordable rents and will home families and individuals who have been on the local housing association waiting list.
The two properties, passed on to Amicus Horizon from another housing association, are the pre-cursor to the main Coastal Space housing renewal project that is focused on buying up sub-standard housing and using local firms to create new homes for local families and households. Previously, this pair of semi-detached houses had contained 11 bed-sit/studio flats – some with shared facilities, and an office space in the basement.
The property has been re-converted to make a very spacious 3-bedroom flat running across the basement of both buildings, plus three two-bedroom flats and three one-bedroom flats. The level of conversion is high, but not ostentatious. These homes are well carpeted and fitted with energy-saving lights and new central-heating systems, but it will be up to the new residents to add their own individual touches.
At the Way Forward meeting held last November at the Magnet Centre, there was a strong lobby from local residents demanding that local housing redevelopments provided larger homes for families, and that cheap, dense studio-flat conversions should not be encouraged. This Amicus Horizon housing project fits that brief.
The rents on the new flats have been kept affordable, and Amicus Horizon have followed an admissions policy to ensure the most appropriate tenants benefit from the refurbished properties.
If you happen to be in Stockleigh Road over the weekend, and see people carrying boxes and furniture into their new home, why not give them a cheery “Hello” and let them know that they are welcome in their new community!
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