Photography by Brydn Webb (c)
Photography by Brydn Webb (c)


Novus Property Solutions has regenerated the derelict site of a former public house to create 32 new homes in Highfields, Stafford.


The national refurbishment and new build specialist contractor worked with architects Jennings Design Associates on the contract for Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), enlisting the help of ABA consulting to oversee the structural and draining designs for the project.


SARH is the largest provider of affordable homes in Stafford and surrounding areas, currently owning and managing more than 6000 properties. In addition to this, it delivers a number of local Independent Living schemes for its older customers and manages the housing register on behalf of Stafford Borough Council.


More than 20 disused garages adjacent to the former Westway pub site, which had become a magnet for anti-social behaviour in the local area, were demolished by the Novus team to clear the way to build two new blocks of flats and 14 new townhouses. The completed site comprises a mixture of two and three-bed, semi-detached houses and one and two-bed apartments for both rent and shared ownership.


Operatives working on the site had to take into consideration an electrical substation, as well as existing sewage systems in the area, which were left undisturbed throughout the works. The team also had to revise drainage following the discovery of unexpected cable routes during the project.


The entire project fulfilled the requirements of the Considerate Contractors Scheme. The team maintained close contact with King Edward VI High school, which sits adjacent to the site, to ensure construction work didn’t affect school staff or students during the project.


In addition to liaising with the nearby high school, Novus operatives hosted a school trip for pupils from another local school, Barnfields Primary School. The purpose of the trip was to show that the construction industry is not just a man’s world, with a total of 11 girls from year five and six taking part in the site visit that saw female employees from SARH share their experience of working in construction.


Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Novus on this exciting project that will provide much needed affordable homes to rent as well helping some to take their first step on the property ladder through shared ownership.


‘This partnership approach to development has also provided training opportunities for young people, with six apprenticeships supported during the project. Meanwhile 80 per cent of those employed on the scheme were from the local area, as were a similar proportion of contractors.


“At the same time, the investment has delivered a boost for the wider community by improving the appearance of an important neighbourhood which, in turn, is likely to attract further investment.”


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