Sunday, 21 June 2020 23:41

All systems go on village houses after coronavirus shut-down Featured

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BUILDING work at a development bringing much-needed homes to a north Wiltshire village is back under way after a break because of the pandemic.

The show home at Somerbrook, a development of 38 homes on a four-acre site at Brook Farm on the edge of Great Somerford, is likely to be completed by the autumn and the rest of the neighbourhood, which will include ten affordable homes, is making steady progress.

Wiltshire Council member Toby Sturgis, who owns Brook Farm, sold the land in 2006 to a developer but the original scheme did not go-ahead.

The land was bought by Stonewood Partnerships of Castle Combe and Tormarton earlier this year and until the coronavirus emergency it was all systems go.

Cllr Sturgis said the new homes will be a boost for the village, where young families struggle to afford to buy. He said: “This is good news for Great Somerford, its pub The Volunteer, the shop, the primary school and the church. It’s a thriving community but new families moving in will be most welcome.”

The development consists of a mixture of two, three, four and five-bedroomed homes. Stonewood managing director Sam Smart said closing down the site on the day of the lockdown to protect staff and contractors cost around six weeks’ work.

“We are making good headway now,” he said.

“We got back up and running on May 4 but before that the directors were meeting every night to talk about our sites, with our main concern being employees and their families.

“Once we had clear guidelines on procedures and methods to work safely from the government we felt comfortable enough to open up again.

We are operating a more regular and monitored cleaning regime, have one-way access around the site and have reduced the occupancy of buildings such as canteens by having split shifts.”

The company has also introduced extra cleaning stations and is enforcing social distancing. “It hasn’t taken long to get into a new rhythm on site and all of our staff know what’s expected of them,” he said.

“We’re making good progress because we’ve reshuffled the pack in terms of staffing and increased the manpower on the site. All of our footings are now in on the whole site, the recent good weather has helped us with that.”

The new homes have been designed to mirror those in the nearby village by reflecting the same exterior finishes – stone, red brick and premium quality roughcast render.

Each home will have designated parking to ensure there will be no overspill into the village.

Work is also back under way at The Tannery in Holt, where Stonewood Partnerships and Stonewood Builders are developing workshops and services for up to 100 tenants as well as building 44 new houses and flats around them.

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