Dacorum Borough Council receives £10.9m Government funding for affordable housing schemes

The money will be spent on two Hemel Hempstead projects
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Dacorum Borough Council has received Government funding for two affordable housing projects in Hemel Hempstead.

The local authority has received £10.9 million from Homes England for projects in Marchmont Fields and Paradise Depot.

Located off St Albans Road, the Paradise Depot scheme involves redeveloping an existing site and constructing a new building.

An artist's look at the planned Paradise DepotAn artist's look at the planned Paradise Depot
An artist's look at the planned Paradise Depot

Dacorum Borough Council plans to build a food bank within the new building, and a new depot, and offices run by local homeless charity DENS.

Also at the Hemel location, the council wants to build 56 apartments with a mix of one and two-bed homes. Other features will include a community café and office space in the DENS building.

This project has been supported by the local not-for-profit organisation, that has been situated at the site since 2010. The new cafe is seen as a hub which will support vulnerable residents and provide training opportunities for the charity.

It is hoped that the Dens centre could become a community hub for people living in Dacorum.

A council spokesperson said: “Both buildings will be heated by an energy-efficient air source heat pump system and will have a number of electric vehicle charging points in the communal parking areas.”

Planning permission was granted in March 2023 with construction works due to begin next spring.

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The Marchmont Fields site is to the south of the existing Grovehill Estate. Approved plans will see 32 new homes, including 14 houses and 18 apartments for social rent.

Current council projections estimate that the project will be completed in spring 2025.

All new homes will be heated by air source heat pumps and the development includes electric vehicle charging points, the local authority has stated.

Councillor Simy Dhyani said: “We welcome the funding for these two exciting projects which will bring much needed affordable housing to the borough with all homes being provided at social rent levels. We are pleased our excellent track record of delivering new homes has been recognised and that we have been awarded funding to accelerate and increase our efforts in building truly affordable homes for our residents.”