First of 172 new homes start to take shape at Bowthorpe’s Three Score
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
It's taken the best part of 40 years, but work is finally under way on the missing piece of the jigsaw at Norwich's unfinished estate of Bowthorpe.
It was in 1973 that the Norwich Corporation sealed a deal to buy more than 500 acres of land at Bowthorpe.
While Clover Hill and Chapel Break took shape in the 1970s and 1980s, the bulk of Three Score has remained unbuilt - until now.
Norwich City Council created a separate company called Norwich Regeneration Company so it can get homes built, and work on 172 properties is now under way.
The development, called Rayne Park, will include 112 properties built to Passivhaus standard - very low energy buildings which need very little fuel for heating or cooling.
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It will include a range of properties from one-bed apartments to five-bed family houses as well as 57 affordable homes.
Builders RG Carter will deliver the housing while estate agents, Leaders, will market, sell, rent and manage the private properties for the company.
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Mike Stonard, a Norwich city councillor and chairman of the Norwich Regeneration Company, said: 'This land has been allocated for housing since the 1970s and it's taken a long time for us to get to this point.
'There's a lot of house building going on around Norwich, but we still have a shortage, particularly of affordable housing.
'We've been losing council houses because of Right to Buy and it's very difficult to replace them, so being able to do something like this will help provide affordable homes.'
Mr Stonard said, not only would those in need of homes benefit, but so would the council, because of income from sales and rental.
And he said other council-owned sites around Norwich could be developed in the future.
He said: 'It is our ambition to do more of the same and use this model to enable us to build more properties to help meet the local housing need.
'The council has got brownfield sites and we will look at those to see where we could develop them in a similar way.'
The hope is that the first tenants will be able to move in by the end of the year.
The homes are part of a bigger project to build 1,000 homes at Three Score.
The £19m Bowthorpe Care Village opened last year.