Southern Space, the commercial arm of housing provider, Southern Housing Group, has invested almost £3m in an ageing office space, Fivash House, to deliver 14 new, much-needed homes in the centre of Horsham.
The former regional office of the group has been redesigned to provide one, three bedroom home and 13, one and two bedroom apartments in the market town.
Working with local architect, John Whiting, and contractor, W. Stirland Ltd, the group obtained planning permission in 2013 to update and convert the office block into residential units, which include new windows, balconies and external cladding.
Tom Dacey, CEO of Southern Housing Group, said that he was exceptionally pleased with the way the work has been done.
“We wanted to make sure that we were making the most of the building that was there and reinvesting in the local community.
“We’ve created a series of highly attractive and modern new homes that are greatly needed in the area, and we’ve already seen a huge demand for these properties.”
Work began on the site in Denne Parade in March 2014 and involved developing a new staircase and entrance foyer, along with a new video door entry system for added security.
To make sure that the apartments meet modern accessibility standards a new lift was also installed in the existing shaft.
“This was obviously a highly attractive location for new homes, however we undertook extensive structural work to transform the office space into comfortable and attractive new homes,” said Mr Dacey.
“As part of this we’ve created generous living space and greatly increased the size of the windows to allow as much natural light in as possible.”
The new apartments are available to rent on the open market and all profits generated from these homes will be reinvested in the group to build more sub-market homes in Horsham.
Over the last 110 years, Southern Housing Group has become one of the largest housing associations in the South of England, housing more than 67,000 residents, managing almost 30,000 homes, employing nearly 900 people and working with more than 70 local authorities across the South East, including the Isle of Wight.
Southern Space Ltd builds private residential schemes on predominately brownfield sites throughout the South East of England.
It says: “Our commitment to enrich the lives of ordinary people seeking a ‘space to call their own’ has informed our activities in building sustainable, market lead developments.”
Southern Space Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Housing Group, adds that it charitably donates all profits back to the group to ensure that investing in people and communities is as important as building homes, and ‘this philosophy has informed our activities for over 100 years’.
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