Work has begun on a South Kesteven District Council building project to provide 20 new properties for those most in need of somewhere to live.

The new homes will be delivered by local construction company Lindum Group and will consist of one and two-bedroom affordable apartments for rent. They will be part built on derelict brownfield land in the heart of Grantham.

High quality affordable housing is needed in towns throughout the district and across the country, which prompted SKDC to develop this land off Swinegate in partnership with Lindum Group and procured through SCAPE Construction, a direct award framework designed to drive collaboration, efficiency, time, and cost savings.

Representatives from Lindum, South Kesteven District Council, and SCAPE attended an official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of work on site.

The development is at the northern end of Swinegate, next to Watergate car park and close to Brook Street. Residential properties sit to the north and east with a mixture of commercial and residential to the south and west.

It follows public consultation including with Lincolnshire County Council Highways, local heritage and conservation organisations, St Wulfram’s Church and arranging public displays at drop-in sessions in the town.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, Cllr Phil Dilks, said: “Developing apartments such as these, in line with local demand, helps free up larger properties within SKDC’s stock to ensure more residents have a home that suits their needs.

“We also believe that this exciting proposal will regenerate and enhance the look of this area which has been diminished over a number of years by the demolished vacant garage and shop.

“At the heart of our housing strategy is the belief that homes are a fundamental part of everyone’s lives. Houses that we build, as well as those we award planning consent for, should be healthy, good quality, sustainable, and secure. This gives an environment in which people can thrive and achieve.

“Good housing is a key theme which runs alongside our work to create and enhance vibrant, attractive towns and villages where people want to come to live and work.”

The new properties are designed to be inclusive, energy efficient, sustainable, and affordable.

The new buildings will reflect the Georgian character of Swinegate, whilst being mindful of their location within a conservation area. As a result, they will have stepped roof lines and a mixture of wide and narrow frontages due to the development being in a conservation area.

Darren King, Lindum Managing Director, said: “It is fantastic news that work has started on these new apartments, helping to ease local demand and support local people in providing an affordable place to live. It is important that the new apartments serve the purpose of easing the housing demand, but they also have to fit in with the historic aesthetic of Grantham and benefit the local people and have positive impact on what is a busy and popular area of the town.

“Being procured through SCAPE has allowed for us to engage early with SKDC to navigate issues associated with sites with high footfall and complicated access routes. We were able to discuss the issues with the council early on in the project and come up with a plan to mitigate any potential complications and accelerate starting on site.

“Affordable living is one of the biggest issues we are facing today and so it is vital we do our bit to help support our local communities and provide quality homes that suit a diverse range of needs.”

Other features to mirror the historic feel of the area include prominent lintels above windows, Dorma windows, and archways. The development is stepped away from neighbouring properties at the rear to minimise overlooking, a feature which also allows the buildings to centre around a communal entrance courtyard.

Mark Robinson, SCAPE Group Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that this important project to provide high-quality, affordable homes is being accelerated through SCAPE. Using our framework will enable South Kesteven District Council to meet increasing demand quickly and efficiently, whilst generating enhanced social value through Lindum and opportunities for local businesses.

“Building these new homes on brownfield land minimises the cost and carbon involved in the development, ensuring value for money and sustainability remain at the forefront of delivery.”

The current entrance to Watergate car park will remain closed until 27 November when the exit onto Swinegate will become the entrance and exit during this period. Drivers will be advised by signs on site. Once this work to widen barriers and move underground services is completed at the Watergate, the exit onto Swinegate will be permanently closed and the entrance and exit will be from Watergate.