Five-month project underway to knock down factory for houses

Tom Sheppard (far left) and Jeremy Drew (far right) of Newland Homes, with volunteers from Claverham

Tom Sheppard (far left) and Jeremy Drew (far right) of Newland Homes, with volunteers from Claverham Village Hall Barry Sullivan, Bob Evans and Edgar Watson. Picture: Paul Groom - Credit: Archant

New homes will go on sale within the next 12 months as demolition work on a factory has begun.

Contractors are on site of the former UTC Aerospace Systems in Claverham knocking it down to make way for 77 houses.

Neighbours have been told to expect noise and disturbance for 18-20 weeks, with work beginning at 7.30am on weekdays and about 8am on Saturdays.

The housing estate will feature two, three and four-bedroom homes and developer Newland Homes plans to put them on the market in 'late 2020'.

In addition, the two grade-II listed buildings on the site, the Court de Wyck manor house and its former chapel, are being returned to residential use.

The manor house is for sale through estate agents Robin King, with planning consent to create a 'substantial' four-bedroom home, according to Newland Homes.

Initial proposals to build on the field to the north of the site in Bishops Road and on the May Day Field were quashed following discontent from villagers.

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However, the former factory was earmarked as suitable for housing in the neighbourhood plan voted for in a referendum by Claverham households in January 2018.

Tom Sheppard, associate design director for Newland Homes, said: "Our proposals reflect the village-led neighbourhood plan, and we're pleased to be able to bring this to fruition.

"The start of demolition is a fantastic milestone and we'd like to say thank you to the active community for the time they spent in sharing their concerns and aspirations and helping to shape these plans.

"We aim to be good neighbours and to create a development which befits and benefits the entire community."

The village hall sits within Newland's development, but there are no plans to close it.

John Williams, chairman of the Claverham Village Hall Committee, said: "Our village hall is a registered charity run by local residents. It's a valuable community asset and we look forward to working alongside Newland Homes to continue to provide the wide range of activities and events which are important to the people of Claverham."

Trees on the edge of the site backing on to Franklins Way homes will be retained - and in some places added to - to maintain privacy.