Development of a landmark site in Dorset has reached a milestone before work starts on up to 180 new homes.
Homes England has reached the midway point of a £2m programme of demolition and infrastructure work on the former Hall & Woodhouse brewery in Blandford, and will complete its £1m investment in demolition this month.
Having completed demolition, works to install new infrastructure for the site will now begin.
It has already begun marketing the site to housebuilders with the aim of construction beginning next summer before the first homes are completed in 2020.
The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) – the predecessor to Homes England – bought the site in January 2018 from Hall & Woodhouse after it relocated its operations.
With 180 new homes including affordable homes the development will bolster North Dorset District Council’s Opening Doors campaign to secure more good quality housing for the area.
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, leader and housing portfolio holder for North Dorset District Council, said: “This is a landmark site in a prime setting at the heart of Blandford. Good quality housing of all tenures is greatly needed in Blandford and North Dorset, so we are grateful to Homes England for supporting this project.
“I welcome the progress made so far and look forward to seeing the first construction workers arrive to begin work on the new homes.”
Hall & Woodhouse has moved into new premises with state-of-the-art facilities adjacent to the housing development, on another part of its 7.3 hectares site in Bournemouth Road. The old Victorian brewery has been empty for nearly 12 years.
The development will include refurbishment of the core buildings of the historic Victorian Brewhouse as well as newly built properties.
The current work is to prepare the site for construction of the new homes in 2019. Work has finished on demolishing buildings damaged in a fire in an old warehouse in March of this year, which was already scheduled for removal.
Outline planning permission has already been granted for demolition, infrastructure and construction on the site.
Bruce Voss, senior development manager for Homes England, added: “This is a milestone moment as we seek to breathe fresh life into this well-known site to provide much needed housing in the local area.
“We are working closely with our neighbours the Hall and Woodhouse brewery to design a scheme which will complement their investment in the adjoining brewery visitor centre and leisure facilities.”