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It’s been a busy summer at Watson, with the first handovers taking place at our latest affordable homes project in Bolton.

Our development of 69 affordable homes on Withins Drive in Breighmet welcomed its first residents, as the first 10 properties were handed over to Bolton at Home.

The community – which features 52 two and three-bedroom houses alongside four one-bedroom cottage-style and 13 two-bedroom maisonette apartments – will be fully completed by the end of 2022.

Bolton at Home secured Homes England funding to develop the homes. All the properties will be made available for affordable rent, which means they will be less than 80 per cent of the average private rent in the area.

Meeting local affordable housing demand

We have a track record of delivering affordable homes in the Bolton area, with Withins Drive just one of the projects we have in the pipeline.

There is a significant demand for affordable homes within Bolton. Just consider the fact there were more than 750 expressions of interest made to Bolton at Home for the first 10 properties at Withins Drive.  

We are delivering more than 600 affordable homes in and around Bolton that would help meet this local demand head on.

Our live sites include:

  • 60 homes on regenerated brownfield land on Campbell Street in Farnworth for Bolton at Home. The development on Campbell Street will comprise 48 apartments and 12 houses for affordable rent and is due to complete September 2022.
  • 118 houses and apartments on Chorley Street, adjacent to Queen’s Park for Bolton at Home and Irwell Valley Homes, with funding from Homes England.
  • 24 apartments for affordable rent on Manchester Road at the site of the old Kearsley Social Club.

We are also awaiting decision on a planning application to bring forward 255 new homes in Little Lever across two sites, Creams Mill and Hall Lane.

Our proposals include 61 per cent affordable homes to meet local housing demand. We also aim to restore a significant portion of the Manchester, Bolton, and Bury Canal, which has been out of use since 1936.

Meanwhile, over in Johnson Fold, we are in the final stages of planning for nine new-build houses with a four-storey block of 36 apartments on Grizedale Close.

Wider support in the community

During construction of all our affordable housing developments, we ensure we’re providing pathways into construction for those in the surrounding areas, including trade and managerial apprenticeships for young people.

Our aim is to target 80 per cent local labour and create or safeguard one apprentice for every £1m in contract value. In terms of training opportunities created by live and upcoming sites in Bolton, this equates to 70 apprenticeships that will be established with us.

Paul Philbin, head of development and home ownership at Bolton at Home, said: “We’re very proud of the development at Withins Drive, which will help us to ease some of the acute demand for new affordable properties in this area of Bolton.

“These high-quality homes will give families, couples and single occupants new options for places to live. We will continue working with partners like Watson Homes and others to build and acquire more of the homes we desperately need.”

Our director, Rob Watson, said: “Our commitment to building affordable homes is at the heart of everything we do. We collaborate closely with our partners, supply chain and local people to create thriving communities for now and generations to come.

“Regeneration in Bolton is really gathering momentum, and we need the people to build the affordable homes that are a key part of this. By offering training opportunities on our sites, we can showcase the very best of the industry and make a lasting impact on the local economy.

“We can’t wait to see Withins Drive fully occupied and bring to life our other ambitious plans for more affordable homes in Bolton.”

Here at Watson, we are dedicated to creating communities that truly benefit the local area. Across the wider North West, we have completed 478 affordable homes with more than 1,000 expected to go to site during 2022-23.

We can’t wait to see these communities come to life, if you want to keep up-to-date with project developments, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.