Last social tenants moving into town centre homes in New Year

Last social tenants moving into town centre homes in New Year

THE final homes in a new low-cost development in Wellington will soon be occupied as work to redevelop a derelict town center comes to an end.

The Cornhill site behind the Iron Duke Public House in the city center has been the subject of numerous efforts to redevelop it for residential or commercial use over the past 15 years.

Former Taunton Deane Borough Council gave permission to build 42 houses on the site in February 2019, with legal agreements between its successor Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) and developer Freemantle signed in July of the same year.

Housing association LiveWest, which has worked with Freemantle and Classic Builders, is now completing the handover of the unusual property, with the last of the new tenants expected to move in by the end of January 2023.

Local Democracy Reporting Services along with development manager Sammi Hunt were granted a site visit while work was being carried out on the final properties.

Ms Hunt said: “We have been here for a couple of years now but there is still a bit of work to be done here.

Council housing in Wellington city centre

The council housing development in Wellington city center is nearing completion. (Daniel mom )

“We have a mixture of co-ownership and social rent.

“We usually use the developers’ themes – we have a few sites where we have our own themes, but these are made by Fremantle and Classic.

“We’ve tried to tie into the environment of how it used to be here to keep many of the original features prominent to give it a more interesting feel.”

Of the 42 properties being delivered, 26 will be offered for social rent and 16 will be fractional ownership – meaning all new homes will be priced below market, a welcome boost for Wellington amid an ongoing housing crisis nationally.

A number of listed buildings throughout the site have been maintained and renovated as part of the development, including the base for the city’s Wellington Silver Band.

Along Cornhill’s pedestrianized street, behind the Iron Duke, a number of former commercial units have been converted into homes while retaining several listed features such as beams and unusual window shapes.

Ms Hunt said: “The refurbished properties have electric boilers, they were not suitable for gas boilers. It’s a real mix of old and new.

“All apartments are now occupied for residents and the last tenants will move in on January 20th.

“We were very interested.” Everyone has access to a garden with a common space for the residents of the apartments, and there are many alleys to get into the city.

“Character is very important to us when it comes to these sides.”

Former business units have repurposed social housing Cornhill Wellington

Former business units in Cornhill are being repurposed as council housing. (Daniel mom )

The site is set back from the SWT operated North Street car park and is within easy reach of the city’s shops, supermarkets, schools and football club.

The scheme was designed with an unusual layout to follow the lines of historic ‘castle plots’ as requested by the Council’s Conservation Commissioner.

‘Burgage’ is a medieval term of land, referring to a type of property which is usually and clearly a narrow-fronted house standing on a long and narrow strip of land.

For more information on the Cornhill site and other similar developments in the area visit

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