The snip of a pair of scissors marked the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of 19 brand-new affordable Stonewater apartments in Poole town centre this week (29 October).
Created by leading social housing provider Stonewater in partnership with Borough of Poole, the two three-storey apartment schemes, Lewin Court and Hucklesby Court, are on facing corners of Lagland Street and Globe Lane, just behind Poole High Street.
Designed by Poole-based Trinity Architecture and constructed by local firm Glossbrook Builders, Stonewater’s Lewin Court provides eight one- and six two-bedroom apartments for low-cost affordable rent. Across the road, the new Hucklesby Court is a development of four one- and one two-bedroom shared ownership apartments. The homes start at £56,000 for a 40% property share.
Councillor Karen Rampton, Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care and Housing, said: “Providing more affordable housing is a key priority for the council and so I’m delighted to see the completion of this attractive scheme. It will provide much needed housing for those on the council housing register as well as giving local people the opportunity to get on to the property ladder.
“I am really impressed with the quality and attention to detail of the new development. It has greatly improved that whole area and is a real boost for the local community.”
Matthew Crucefix, Stonewater’s Assistant Director for Development (West) said: “We’re delighted to be providing these urgently-needed affordable apartments for local people in an area which has one of the highest property prices in the country.”
“Low-cost rental and shared ownership homes are not only vital to helping tackle Poole’s acute shortage of good-quality, low-cost housing, but essential to the long-term health and vitality of the town centre – boosting local trade, commerce and employment. We look forward to working with the Council to create more affordable homes where they are most needed in the Borough.”
The new Stonewater apartment complexes also regenerate two brownfield sites in the town centre Conservation Area: the former Citizens Advice Bureau on Poole High Street, and an overgrown scrubland which was subject to fly-tipping. The homes, which are within walking distance of high street shops, schools, services, the harbour and Poole Quay, have been financed by Stonewater with a £337,919 Homes England grant and the land was provided by Borough of Poole.
As part of its commitment to providing a sense of place in its developments, Stonewater commissioned artist Lucy Kirk in association with ‘a space’ arts to design and create murals for the main doorways of each apartment building.
The tiled images depict the industrial heritage of Poole and its historic iron foundry, which stood on the site of Old Town First School and Nursery. The foundry manufactured agricultural machinery, steamboats and train locomotives. Lewin Court was named after architect, artist and civil engineer Stephen Samuel Lewin, who owned the foundry from 1866-1884, and was one of the first local employers to implement the nine-hour work day in 1872.
Hucklesby Court is named in memory of Trinity Architecture’s architect Stephen Hucklesby who drew the original designs for Lewin Court and Hucklesby Court.