Landmark for £10m transformation of former hostel site

The £10million transformation of a former homeless hostel in Coventry is a step closer after a major landmark in its construction was reached.

Wates Residential has completed the construction of 20 new homes for affordable rent at the former Chace Hostel site, marking a major milestone in our Willenhall development called Brooklands View.

Now handed over to us, the 20 new homes form the first phase of the development which will feature a collection of 61 two, three and four-bedroom homes.

The new development will see the transformation of the former Chace Hostel, on Chace Avenue, under a joint venture between WM Housing Group and Wates Residential, backed by a £400,000 grant from Homes England.

Building work is already underway to deliver the second phase of Brooklands View, which comprises 41 homes available for open market sale through Signature New Homes, 90% of which have been reserved by eager homebuyers.

Throughout building work Wates Residential and WM Housing have worked together to create training and employment opportunities for local people. In September last year, this included Wates’ industry leading Building Futures programme, a two-week on-site training course for local jobseekers.

Nick Byrne, Executive Director of Development at WM Housing, said: “We’re delighted to reach this major landmark on Brooklands View as we transform this previously derelict site in Coventry into a thriving new community.

“This has been an excellent partnership project which will deliver much-needed new housing to the area. It has also created training and employment opportunities for people in the community in the process.”

Richard Shroll, Managing Director of Wates Residential North, said: “Adopting a partnership approach with WM Housing has enabled us to create a tenure blind development that transforms this historic site and addresses local demand for new homes. Working collaboratively and pooling our expertise with WM Housing has not only resulted in a high level of quality and specification but it has also enabled us to work together to positively impact the local area through a variety of on-site training and employment initiatives.”

The old Chace Hostel, which dated back to the Second World War, was demolished two years ago and replaced with a state-of-the-art Place of Change scheme for formerly homeless people, The Gateway, in Hillfields, which was also built by Wates.

Originally built in 1942 to accommodate the large number of workers moving to Coventry to help with the war effort, The Chace later housed people of over 15 nationalities who were either refugees or working to help rebuild the war-ravaged city.

Construction of Brooklands View is expected to be completed by spring 2019.