Home front veteran helps convert inefficient homes

93 year old Walter Tapp from Towcester in Northamptonshire helps Paul Calland - MD of South Northants Homes to demolish bungalows that Mr Tapp help to build over 50 years ago. August 1 2012.

93 year old Walter Tapp from Towcester in Northamptonshire helps Paul Calland - MD of South Northants Homes to demolish bungalows that Mr Tapp help to build over 50 years ago. August 1 2012.

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A 93 year old bricklayer has marked the start of a major redevelopment for social housing provider South Northants Homes (SNH), by helping to demolish outdated homes in an area he helped to build after World War II.

SNH tenant Charlie Tapp, who lives in Hesketh Crescent, Towcester, which is about to be extensively redeveloped in a multi-million pound scheme, joined contractors to mark the start of the work to build 31 new energy efficient homes.

All units will achieve code for sustainable homes level three and will have low u-values which will mean heating bills will be low. The units will also have low energy lighting.

The first phase of construction on the long awaited project is getting underway and will see outdated post war Airey concrete and Swedish timber homes being refurbished or replaced.

Doug Grace, assistant director of property services for SNH said: “This project is going to make a huge difference not only to the supply of affordable homes for local people, but also to raise the quality of the homes in the area.”

“By redeveloping these homes, we will not only be giving a number of them more space and a better layout, but because of the level of energy efficiency in the homes, we will be helping our residents to save on their energy bills, whilst reducing the association’s carbon footprint.”

The three-phased development, which will create a further 31 new energy efficient homes in the Hesketh Crescent and Sponnes Road areas of Towcester, is due to be completed in 2014.

Extensive consultation took place with the local residents leading up to the project and SNH’s own customers were also involved in the tender process for the selection of the winning contractor, Lovell Partnership Ltd.

SNH is also keen to provide training and up-skilling opportunities for local people by providing work placements on the development. Apprentices already working for SNH will also benefit from gaining further experience through four to six week placement opportunities on the site.

SNH is part of the Grand Union Housing Group and manages 3,000 home in south Northants.