Construction work is ahead of schedule at affordable housing specialist AJC Group’s Dorchester Brewery scheme, which is being delivered in partnership with local housing association Aster Group, providing homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.
In March 2023, the land remediation and groundworks concluded, and construction work commenced. By November 2024 – when the construction programme is due to end – a total of 228,660 bricks will have been laid. The community-focused brownfield regeneration scheme will deliver 57 new homes, 32 being three-and four-bedroom houses, alongside 25 apartments.
Located off Eldridge Street in the centre of Dorchester, within the newly developed Dorchester Brewery Square complex, the new homes will be within walking distance of a wide range of amenities, including popular restaurants and bars, as well as a state-of-the-art cinema.
All 57 of the houses and apartments will be built to a high EPC-B rating and one in two of the houses will be allocated an Electric Vehicle charging point. There will be parking available for every home, including secure undercroft parking for the 25 apartments. 30 of the houses will be built in an attractive contemporary terrace style, with two further houses designed as cottages. This scheme is the first at Dorchester Brewery to deliver houses, offering much-needed family accommodation.
David Cracklen, Director of AJC Group, said: “It’s great to see construction progressing at such a pace at our trailblazing scheme, which is delivering a key milestone for the 20-year transformation of Dorchester town centre. The foundations and blockwork are taking shape, with the first bricks already laid at ground floor level. This historic site, which includes the former Malthouse and Draymasters Brewery on Eldridge Street, will see 57 much-needed homes delivered, with all of them being available for affordable housing through Aster Group.
“The sustainable location of this site will enable future occupiers to benefit from regular services from Dorchester South train station to nearby towns, cities and beyond, encouraging residents to adopt more sustainable forms of transport and be less reliant on cars. There is a desperate need for affordable housing in Dorchester, so it is a privilege to be delivering one of our largest construction projects and the first four-bedroom houses within Brewery Square.”
This is the second live development in Dorset that AJC Group is currently constructing in partnership with Aster Group. The project is in line with AJC Group’s commitment of building 500 affordable homes by 2028 across the South Coast.
Amanda Williams, Chief Investment Officer at Aster, said: “It’s exciting to see AJC making progress on site at Dorchester Brewery and the new much-needed range of affordable homes coming out of the ground. We know having a secure place to call home is key to people’s health and wellbeing. With high demand for affordable homes in the area, we’re delighted to be able to plug some of the gap and we can’t wait to welcome the new occupiers in due course.”
Eldridge Street is a short walk from Dorchester South train station. Future residents can expect to travel to London Waterloo in under two hours, with more local journeys to the coast – including Weymouth – only taking 10 minutes. Bournemouth and Christchurch can be reached in under an hour. The A35 is close to the site and leads to A31 and M27, which joins the M3 to the national motorway network.
Five additional sites are currently under construction by AJC Group, including a development in the village of Okeford Fitzpaine near Blandford Forum in rural Dorset. Live projects on Lindsay Road, The Sloop, and Herbert Avenue, are all located in Poole, while The Sonnet apartment scheme is in Bournemouth. AJC Group is on track to deliver over 200 mixed-tenure homes during 2023, reflecting a total construction value in excess of £100m. The firm has become one of the most active residential development specialists across the Wessex region.