Affordable Dell Gardens scheme inspires community goodwill to bloom

North West home builder and social landlord Onward Homes has completed handover of 28 two-bed flats for affordable rent in Prenton Dell, Wirral.

New residents have now begun to move into the homes, including the ground floor which has been specially designed for people with access needs.

Starting on site in July 2019, the project has seen a derelict pub transformed into attractive homes for the local community, with the name ‘Dell Gardens’ chosen by the Prenton Tenants and Residents Association.

New resident Shirley Davies said, “This is more than I could wish for. It’s changed our lives and has given us some real security. I’m blown away by the design and quality.”

Chelsea Cowell, another customer moving into Dell Gardens, added, “The apartments are so nice.  Moving into my own home has provided me with the independence and security I needed to bring up my son. I’m really happy and surprised by how nice they are.”

An emphasis on collaboration between Onward and contractor partner Crossfield Construction also resulted in significant economic benefits, such as ongoing work experience opportunities for local residents.

Crossfield used its partnership with Everton in the Community to promote careers in the construction industry, leading to work experience opportunities for Birkenhead Sixth Form College. The team is still actively encouraging the employment of trainees, including exploring an opportunity for a local plumber with autism.

The team worked to embed social value during the lifetime of the development, including offering assistance to local residents who were shielding during lockdown, delivering an assembly at Prenton Primary School to talk to the children about site safety, and leading a site safety poster competition for the students, awarding the winners with colouring sets and displaying their designs on the site hoarding.

Crossfield also worked closely with all stakeholders to develop a bespoke programme of objectives to help understand and resolve key issues throughout the project, such as local resident concerns at losing the pub as a local community resource. The Monitor’s Site Report, Considerate Constructors Scheme August 2020, concluded that ‘The whole team should be proud of what they are achieving on this project’.

Stephen Heverin, Growth & Regeneration Director at Onward Homes, said, “Prenton Dell is a really exciting scheme for us – not least because of the fantastic partnership opportunities it’s presented with our contractor, Crossfield.

“We wanted to show we’re committed to helping the community prosper in the long term, and Crossfield has gone above and beyond to help make that happen, with great results.”

Mike Macaulay, Director of Crossfield Construction, commented, “We are delighted to have reached completion on the Dell Gardens project for Onward Homes, a fantastic project which truly marks a significant step forward in meeting the local need for affordable housing.

“It has been a collaborative effort from all and we have immersed ourselves into the local community throughout, working closely with our neighbours to ensure we were respectful and considerate at all times.  As we mark completion, I am very proud of what has been achieved – a collection of high quality, sustainable and comfortable homes that enhance the local area.”

Markhams is the Employer’s Agents for the scheme, Sutcliffe is the engineers and PJP is the architect.

One of the new residents with the keys to the front door.