Key milestone in project to bring high-quality new homes and investment to Wantage

19 January 2018

KIng Alfred
King Alfred's Academy head teacher Jo Halliday hands the keys to Bovis Homes Area Build Manager Alan McCormack 
An exciting new project bringing high-quality homes and millions of pounds of investment to southern Oxfordshire has reached an important milestone.

King Alfred's Academy has presented national house builder Bovis Homes with the keys to its East Site in Springfield Road ahead of work to transform the location into a thriving new part of the Wantage community.

Bovis Homes is set to build 150 attractive new homes, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom family homes at the location. Of the total number, 123 will be one, two or three-bedroom homes.

Sixty of the 150 homes will be designated as affordable housing for local people currently unable to access the open market.

Bovis Homes will also contribute more than £1.6million to support the local community, with the funding going towards local infrastructure such as the Wantage Eastern Link Road, improvements to local bus services, investment in local health facilities and local sports facilities. More than £800,000 has been ring-fenced for local education needs.

Bovis Homes is hoping to start construction in May, with new residents set to move in towards the end of this year.

Mark Slater, land director for Bovis Homes' Western region, said: "This marks a significant step forward in our ambitions to deliver a high-quality mix of new homes to Wantage.

"Our proposals provide 60 homes that will be designated as 'affordable housing', properties which are managed by registered providers and cover tenures such as shared ownership and social rented.

"We have consulted with individual neighbours, liaised closely with the local authority and followed strict planning guidelines in finalising the detailed plans for this exciting development.

"The Reserved Matters application is submitted with the local council and we hope to receive a favourable decision in March."

In October, King Alfred's Academy, which caters for nearly 2,000 students, held a 'Farewell Event' to allow former pupils and members of the local community an opportunity to visit the East Site for the final time.

The proceeds from the sale of the site to Bovis Homes have been reinvested in the facilities at King Alfred's two locations at Portway - the Centre Site and Sixth Form, and the West Site.

Simon Spiers, Chief Executive of the Vale Academy Trust, said: "This is an historic and important moment for King Alfred's Academy - we don't underestimate the impact of this, which is why the 'Farewell Event' was so important to the local community and really well supported.

"Whilst many have wonderful memories of this site, they also acknowledge that the buildings themselves have 'had their day' and are no longer fit for the purpose of accommodating a 21st century vibrant and successful school.

"As we hand over the keys to Bovis Homes, we can be confident in the knowledge that we have secured a good deal for the young people in our area and a bright future for King Alfred's with the latest modern facilities and learning environment."