HOUSING Minister Kris Hopkins has performed the official sod cutting ceremony to mark the start of a £10.6 million development scheme in Crewe.

The development by Crewe-based housing association Wulvern, will provide 82 affordable new homes on Badger Avenue – and with planning permission for more secured – is the largest single development scheme by Wulvern to date.

The Minister joined representatives from Wulvern, Cheshire East Council and the Homes and Communities Agency to cut the first sod at a ceremony on Monday, April 28 on the site of the former Ludford Street School marking the start of construction.

The scheme will be completed in two phases with the first homes, a mix of two and three bedroom houses and one and two bedroom apartments, all at an affordable rent, handing over in March 2015.

Wulvern has secured grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency towards the cost of delivering the £10.6 million scheme and has appointed MCI Construction to build the homes.

The MP’s visit coincides with the closing deadline for bidding to the Homes and Communities Agency which, if successful, could see a further 25 homes built on the site along with other ambitious development plans by Wulvern.

Mr Hopkins said: “Our affordable homes programme is at the heart of our plans to get Britain building – we’ve delivered 170,000 new affordable homes since 2010 and have already committed to investing £23billion in public and private funding from 2015 to deliver even more.

“So I’m delighted to have seen work starting on the first 82 properties of this exciting new development, the largest single development by Wulvern to date.

“I look forward to coming back to Crewe next year and meeting the residents settling into the new homes.”

Kevin Williams, executive director at Wulvern, added: “We are delighted to be building new affordable homes for local people.

“The current economic climate means there is a high demand for affordable housing.”