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Housing Minister visits Medway to view new-build council homes

16 February

Medway is leading the way in efforts to improve the housing market nationally, according to Housing Minister Gavin Barwell following a visit to view new homes in the area.

Housing Minister MP Gavin Barwell officially opened Centenary Gardens in Gillingham on Thursday, 16 February – one of the largest council-built energy efficient bungalow sites in the UK.

Medway Council welcomed the Minister to view the new-builds which form part of an £8.5million housing development programme, and meet some of the residents enjoying their new homes.

He viewed a selection of the properties on the site, which comprises 32 one and two bed bungalows for social rent. They were created with older tenants and people with mobility problems in mind and are suitable for those looking to downsize, as well as people who struggle in their current living accommodation. Some of the properties are fully accessible for wheelchair users.

Affordable new homes

The affordable homes are on the former Gillingham Community College site, which backs onto Beatty Avenue, Cornwallis Avenue and Woodlands Road, and were built by contractor Chartway.

The site was named Centenary Gardens to commemorate 100 years since World War One – as plans for the project were given the go ahead in 2014.

Medway Council's Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing Cllr Howard Doe said: “We are very proud of Centenary Gardens and we were very pleased to welcome the Minister to officially open the new-build development.

"Not only are the homes affordable, they cater especially for those who are less-mobile and some have been specially designed for wheelchair users. The aim of this housing project was to offer people the chance to rent good quality, energy-efficient homes that they can afford, and it’s safe to say we have achieved this.”

'Medway is leading the way'

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said: "It was a fantastic opportunity to officially open Centenary Gardens today, an energy efficient bungalow site that showcases the range and diversity of our housing ambitions as set out in our Housing White Paper.

"Medway is leading the way in efforts to fix our broken housing market and making sure that this is a country that works for everyone."

This new development follows on from the success of phase one of the multi-million pound project, which saw the creation of 26 homes on former council garage sites in Twydall and Gillingham.

The 32 homes at Centenary Gardens and those on former garage sites in Twydall and Gillingham, all contribute towards the council’s existing social housing stock.