The leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, Councillor David Clifford, has welcomed the start of a £10million development to create 34 much-needed homes for veterans in Aldershot.

Stoll, the leading provider of supported housing for veterans, has decided to expand into Aldershot following research by the University of York which highlighted the garrison town is an area of particular housing need for veterans.

Cllr Clifford was joined by the Mayor of Rushmoor, Cllr Jacqui Vosper, who cut the turf at the site in Evelyn Avenue. RBC’s Cabinet member for health and housing, Cllr Barbara Hurst, and Hampshire County Councillor Frank Rust also attended with a number of other guests including Captain Andy Green from Aldershot Garrison, representatives from Stoll, the Ministry of Defence and The Royal British Legion.

Building work will now get under way and 34 new homes for vulnerable and disabled veterans are scheduled to open in 2018.

The homes are being built on the site of the former Chrismas Lodge care home which had not been used for several years.

Cllr Clifford said: “We are very pleased to welcome Stoll to Aldershot. This new development will help address the lack of social housing for veterans in Aldershot and help us prevent homelessness amongst former servicemen and women.

“We look forward to working with Stoll and them becoming an important part of our local community.”

'Important milestone'

Stoll says the new development, designed by architects Pollard Thomas Edwards, will meet the needs of vulnerable veterans, such as disabled people and those who have struggled to adapt to civilian life since leaving the Armed Forces.

The plans include landscaped gardens which will be accessible for disabled veterans.

“A support worker will be available for all those living on the new site.

Feeling part of a community is a vital issue for many veterans and therefore the training and vocational activities which will be available at the new development will also be available to other veterans living in the area, Stoll added.

Stoll chief executive, Ed Tytherleigh, said: “We want to help meet vulnerable and disabled veterans’ housing needs in Aldershot. This development will be the first Stoll accommodation outside London.

“This is an important milestone for Stoll and marks the first time we will be providing our own accommodation to veterans outside London.

“This development would not be possible without the generous support from our funding partners.”

The scheme, which will be built by Bugler Developments, is part of the Veterans’ Accommodation Pathway in Aldershot, funded by the Veterans’ Accommodation Fund, which aims to provide better joined-up housing services.

The Homes and Communities Agency, the Royal British Legion, the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation have also pledged significant support for the project.