New homes form part of developer’s 600-plus affordable housing pipeline for Bolton

A development of 69 affordable homes in Bolton has welcomed its first residents, as the new community reaches completion.

Located on Withins Drive in Breighmet, the first 10 properties have been handed over to Bolton at Home by developer and contractor, Watson Homes.

The community – which features 52 two and three-bedroom houses alongside four one-bedroom cottage-style and 13 two-bedroom maisonette apartments – will be fully completed by Q1 2022.

All the properties are being made available for affordable rent, which is defined as being less than 80 per cent of the average private rent in the area. Bolton at Home secured Homes England funding to develop the homes.

Meeting local affordable housing demand

Watson Homes has a track record of delivering affordable homes in the Bolton area, with Withins Drive just one in a pipeline of projects.

There is a significant demand for affordable homes within Bolton. There were more than 750 expressions of interest made to Bolton at Home for the first 10 properties at Withins Drive. 

Watson Homes is delivering more than 600 affordable homes in and around Bolton that would help meet local housing demand, with live sites including:

  • 60 homes on regenerated brownfield land on Campbell Street in Farnworth for Bolton at Home;
  • 118 houses and apartments on Chorley Street for Bolton at Home and Irwell Valley Homes;
  • 33 affordable rent homes on Shepherd Cross Street close to the town centre for Places for People;
  • 24 apartments for affordable rent on Manchester Road at the site of the old Kearsley Social Club.

A planning application is awaiting decision for Watson Homes to bring forward 255 new homes in Little Lever on two sites at Creams Mill and Hall Lane.

The proposal features 61 per cent affordable homes to meet local housing demand. It will also see the restoration of a significant portion of the Manchester, Bolton, and Bury Canal, which has not been in use since 1936.

Watson Homes is also proposing nine new-build houses with a four-storey block of 36 apartments on Grizedale Close in the Johnson Fold area.

During construction of all its affordable housing developments, Watson Homes provides pathways into construction for those in the surrounding areas, including trade and managerial apprenticeships for young people.

The company aims to target 80 per cent local labour and create or safeguard one apprentice for every £1m in contract value. In terms of training opportunities created by live and upcoming sites in Bolton, this equates to 70 apprenticeships that will be established by Watson Homes or secured within its supply chain.

Paul Philbin, head of development and home ownership at Bolton at Home, said: “We’re very proud of the development at Withins Drive, which will help us to ease some of the acute demand for new affordable properties in this area of Bolton.

“These high-quality homes will give families, couples and single occupants new options for places to live. We will continue working with partners like Watson Homes and others to build and acquire more of the homes we desperately need.”

Rob Watson, director at Watson Homes, said: “Our commitment to building affordable homes is at the heart of everything we do. We collaborate closely with our partners, supply chain and local people to create thriving communities for now and generations to come.

“Regeneration in Bolton is really gathering momentum, and we need the people to build the affordable homes that are a key part of this. By offering training opportunities on our sites, we can showcase the very best of the industry and make a lasting impact on the local economy.

“We can’t wait to see Withins Drive fully occupied and bring to life our other ambitious plans for more affordable homes in Bolton.”

Across the wider North West, Watson Homes has completed 478 affordable homes and currently has 544 under construction, with more than 1,000 expected to go to site during 2022-23.