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Former housing association office becomes all-social rented scheme

Work to transform a former housing association’s office in Chichester into a brand-new development of 37 quality homes for social rent has completed.
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The scheme replaces Downland Housing Association’s office, which Clarion Housing Group – the UK’s largest social landlord – acquired as part of a merger in 2016.

After demolishing the unused building on Fishbourne Road, Clarion has worked with Highwood Construction to develop the land into a collection of one, two and three-bedroom spacious houses and apartments exclusively for social rent for local people.

The sustainable scheme is known as Wayland Gardens and has also delivered new green space, a children’s play area and dedicated on-site parking for its residents. Many of the new homes have photovoltaic solar panels.

Clarion resident Brenda moved into her new home at Wayland Gardens this year. She said: “My daughter and I are so happy and feel alive in our new home. We cannot believe the space we have and it’s so light and airy. Previously, we were private renters in a bungalow but our landlord served us notice. It was very stressful but we feel like we’ve won the lottery now. There is a lovely community feeling here and it is a pleasure to come home every day.”

Richard Cook, Group Development Director at Clarion Housing Group, said: “We are delighted to complete Wayland Gardens and provide dozens of vital social rented homes in Chichester. Working with partners like Highwood, we are proud to have brought this brownfield parcel of land back into proper use by delivering a highly-sustainable scheme with quality and energy-efficient homes for residents.”

Steve Matthews, Managing Director of Highwood said: “It’s great to have partnered Clarion in another successful housing project for the South East. Delivering much-needed social housing with a strong focus on sustainability underpins Highwood’s commitment to creating quality communities for all ages.”

Construction work at Wayland Gardens completed in March 2023, with the new residents moving in shortly after.

The scheme’s completion adds to Clarion Housing Group’s portfolio of homes in Chichester. It now owns and manages over 1,500 homes across the city.

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