Labour MP Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) found himself ‘very impressed’ when he stopped by Redditch on Thursday (April 28) to pay a visit to an Enfield housing development.
Mr Jarvis joined Carl Taylor, director of Redditch Co-operative Homes, councillor Bill Hartnett, leader of the Labour group, councillor Pat Witherspoon and future resident Steph Mason in exploring the development.
The Labour back-bencher has a keen interest in social housing and rural development and said he was ‘very impressed’ by what he saw at Hewell Road.
The site is a £3.6m Accord Group, which runs Redditch Co-operative Homes, development of 30 homes, comprising of one bungalow, five houses and 24 apartments, built on the former Hewell Swimming Pool site.
Construction is due to be finished this summer and the development will create much-needed affordable homes.
The low carbon timber framed homes will keep residents cool in the summer and toasty in the colder months in their super-insulated, carbon neutral homes.
Mr Jarvis added: “I have been very impressed by the visit today – I think that Redditch really is leading the way and this is the future we are seeing here.
“It is a great example to the rest of the county and once which I hope is followed. I think people will look back at this and say that is where it started, it is very impressive.”
And it’s not the first time the housing project has got the seal of approval, with Mr Jarvis’ visit coming after one by Emma Reynolds MP last year who sung the development’s praises as a perfect example of ‘what could be done right across the country’.
Carl said he was delighted to welcome Mr Jarvis on site.
He added: “Mr Jarvis was able to see first-hand how co-operative housing has empowered our residents to take control of their living environment and how this type of build could be a model for the future.”
And residents, such as Steph, have been able to put their own touches on their new abodes – picking out their own kitchens, bathrooms and even having in a say in the colour of the paint on their walls.
Steph, who is due to move into her new two-bedroom home in the summer said she was excited at the prospect and couldn’t wait to move in.
She added: “We even got to pick our plot, I’m excited now – it all seems real.”
This report first appeared in the Redditch Standard on-line on the 29th April.