The initial phase of a development project that is changing the face of Aldershot has been sold, with the first new homes set to be completed next spring.
Grainger, the company managing Project Wellesley, has announced that Bellway Homes has purchased the first phase of 228 homes in the Maida zone, off Queen’s Avenue, and building work will commence next month.
The sale is in line with Grainger’s strategy for Wellesley, which is to sell consented land to housebuilders in stages, after first installing infrastructure such as roads and utilities.
Grainger was appointed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) as its development partner for the 630-acre Wellesley scheme, in March 2011.
The project will deliver up to 3,850 homes – of which 35% will be affordable – as well as two new schools, green spaces and refurbishment of six listed buildings.
John Beresford, development director at Grainger, said: “We are committed to developing a thriving new community at Wellesley, with well-designed, attractive homes built around public open space.
“Bellway shared our vision for the site and have a proven track record in building new homes of the highest quality.
“We now look forward to seeing the first homes complete at this initial phase as we continue to install major infrastructure and look to market future phases of the development.”
Nathan Stevenson, senior land manager at Bellway Homes Thames Valley, added: “We very much look forward to delivering the investment in new homes that are much needed in the area.”
The news that the first families could be moving into their homes in little more than six months comes as Grainger revealed that many parts of the current buildings on the former Ministry of Defence land between the town centre and North Camp would be recycled and used to build the new development.
Work to demolish 34 buildings got under way this summer, reducing the former, predominantly concrete, Army buildings to rubble.
However, the materials, piled up on the site, will be turned into the new roads being created to serve the future homes as an ambitious 90% recycling target looks set to be exceeded.
The company is currently running at around a 95% recycle rate, meaning the number of lorry movements carrying materials off the site is being kept to a minimum.
Site manager Alan Chitson, said: “It's been a chore because it means you’ve got to have a crusher on site to crush the concrete into small pieces.
“It’s at a cost to us, but we can use it to make thing like roads, driveways and car parks. I think it’s the way forward. The construction industry is always looking at innovation.”
Among the buildings being demolished are officers’ messes, and brick storage buildings, many of which were built in the 1960s when the garrison was last redeveloped. They were described as of ‘no architectural merit’ in a report to Rushmoor Borough Council by Grainger.
Materials collected during the demolition have to be graded before being broken down into fragments that can be used to surface roads.
They must first pass tests put in place by Hampshire County Council, the highways authority, to ensure they meet the current required standards.