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Green light for Blue Street

A new development of affordable homes has been officially opened on Blue Street in Boston on the site of the former Pilgrim Foods depot. The 41 new homes have been designed to have garages rather than living accommodation on the ground floor, to mitigate flood risk.

The £5 million development was built by Waterloo Housing Group in partnership with Boston Borough Council and local construction company D Brown Building Contractors Ltd. The new housing attracted Government grant support of £1million from the Homes and Communities Agency and comprises 33 homes for rent and a further eight to part buy, part rent through shared ownership.

The homes offer a new chance for some residents who fell victim to flooding in their previous homes and had to move out due to the tidal surge of 2013, such as Billy and Lucy Green.

Billy said: "We had four feet of water in our old home at Bath Gardens during the flood and lost everything on the ground floor. We spent a month in a Premier Inn over Christmas with our two young sons."

Lucy said: "We have no worry of the river coming in here if there should be another flood."

Councillor Peter Bedford, Leader of Boston Borough Council, officially opened the development, and said: "Boston Borough Council has been working for years to help enable housing providers to bring a supply of affordable homes to the market, and it is pleasing to see all that hard work beginning to pay off.

"Not only has this development provided smart new homes built to the latest standards, but it has brought into good use a previously derelict parcel of land.

"Waterloo Housing Group has been a great partner to work with after the council pump primed this scheme. This has been partnership working as it should work and we have used New Homes Bonus money from the Government for what it has been designed for."

A further 13 affordable homes have been built at Brothertoft Road by Waterloo, which is to deliver 48 homes at Broadfield Lane, Boston, in 2016/17, followed by 75 more in a second phase in Broadfield Lane in 2017/18. It also has plans for 32 properties in Toot Lane in 2017/18.

Other affordable home schemes are being developed in Swineshead, Tytton Lane, Wyberton, and Old Leake.

Cllr Bedford added: "More than 300 new, affordable homes will be delivered through our partnership with Waterloo and a funding mix from the council, Waterloo, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Economic Partnership Housing Unlocking Fund; that means more than £25 million invested in homes for people in need over five years and that's no mean feat."

Anthony Riley, group director of development and operations at Waterloo Housing Group said before the new development the area looked like "an absolute bomb site" and unlikely to be tackled by any private developer without intervention by Boston Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

He said: "The completion of this development marks a new beginning for the local families now living here and demonstrates our commitment to working in partnership with Boston Borough Council to provide affordable housing for those who need it."

The Blue Street scheme is on the former Pilgrim Foods depot. The development cost just over £5 million and received investment support of £157,000 from Boston Borough Council and £1million from the Homes and Communities Agency.

As part of the ceremony, residents, councillors and partners gathered to see a commemorative plaque unveiled on a bench in the children's play park and celebrated afterwards with lunch.

Blue Street Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Cllr Bedford, right, presents a bouquet to Blue Street resident Lucy Green as husband Billy and daughter Sophia (eight months) looks on. Also pictured in the development's play area is Colin Dawson, from Waterloo Housing Group who completed all the lettings for the scheme