Bath’s first new council homes in 30 years under construction as city looks to ease housing crisis

February 17, 2022

Work is underway on the first socially rented council homes in the city for nearly three decades.

The Victorian building on Newbridge Hill, formerly used as council offices, is being converted into seven, one and two-bed apartments as one of the first steps in the city’s new council house building programme.

The apartments are being developed by for Bath and North East Somerset Council’s housing company Aequus Construction and will be allocated through Homesearch, the council’s single access point for social housing in the district.

The building’s old interiors have been stripped out and a new roof is currently being installed while portioning, electrical and blockwork is also underway. It is expected the new apartments will be completed by this autumn.

The refurbishment of the building also includes improved sustainability measures such as replacement windows, additional insulation, low energy lighting and A-rated boilers.

A new cycle shelter will be provided along with a communal electric vehicle charging point.

The apartments are part of the first phase of the council house building programme, which will provide 58 new properties designed, delivered and owned directly by the council and with social rents to help meet the demand for affordable homes in the area.

Cabinet member for council house building, Cllr Tom Davies, said: “The refurbishment of 117 Newbridge Hill is now well advanced and will make a valuable contribution to providing affordable homes in Bath and North East Somerset when they become available later this year.

“High property prices and rents in the city render them too expensive for many people, so we are committed to delivering homes that offer a realistic prospect for residents.”

He said the council house building programme also included a commitment to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.

“I’m pleased that, despite the age of 117 Newbridge Hill, the apartments will include sustainable measures to lower the building’s carbon footprint and create a healthy indoor environment for future residents,” he added.

Aequus has already redeveloped the council’s former offices at Riverside View in Keynsham, providing 95 studio, one and two-bedroom apartments to provide more housing for the local community and support the regeneration of the town.

All the apartments have been sold and the development generated £2.63m plus dividends to the council, which it has used to fund frontline services.

Aequus Construction chair Charles Gerrish said: “We are pleased to be working with the council to support the delivery of its affordable housing programme helping to support greater housing choice and quality in line with our company aims.”

the council is also committed to building more affordable and sustainable new housing – with the first low-energy homes in Bath under construction in Sladebrook Road by Aequus.

The nine, four-bedroom detached and three-bedroom semi-detached homes are being built to the AECB Low Energy Standard and feature air source heat pumps, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery and solar panels, alongside electric vehicle charging points. Two of the homes are available to buy under shared ownership.

Pictured, from left: Cllr Tom Davies, Cllr Kevin Guy, Cllr Richard Samuel and Aequus chair Charles Gerrish on site at Newbridge Hill


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