Helix wins contract to build affordable homes in Hemel Hempstead

SME Contractor and Developer Helix Group has been appointed by Dacorum Borough Council to build 46 new affordable homes in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

Planning permission for the project has been granted and work will start in April 2023 to build the new affordable homes at St Margaret’s Way, with completion expected at the end of 2024.

The development, which will provide a mixture of much-needed social rent houses and apartments in the area for people on the Housing Register, consists of 30 one and two-bedroom apartments and 16 two and three-bed houses.

The design of the properties includes a “Fabric First” approach with enhanced thermal efficiency in the roofs, walls and floors.

Air source heat pumps are to be fitted to all properties. This contributes to the Council’s strategy for efficient heating and hot water in all new homes and helps to reduce Co2 emissions. Photo Voltaic (PV) panels are to be fitted to all houses to generate electricity. In addition, PV panels will be fitted to the apartment block to generate electricity for the communal lighting.

A sustainable drainage system has been incorporated into the design to reduce flood risk within the area.

The development will include open space and a children’s play area.

The homes will be built to meet Category 2 accessibility and adaptability standards, making them suitable for a range of potential occupants including older people, those with limited mobility, and wheelchair users. Two of the ground-floor apartments will also be built to meet a wheelchair user’s needs, while providing access to outdoor space, parking and communal areas.

A total of 30 active electric vehicle charging points will also be a feature of the new site, along with bicycle storage. The project will also see over 40 new trees planted as part of landscaping works, alongside the preservation of existing mature trees.

Carl Mulkern, managing director at Helix Group, said:

“We are excited to be starting work on these new homes in such a wonderful location. The development will allow local people, whether young families or older residents, to stay in the area in these well thought-out and sustainably built properties and we’re looking forward to working with Dacorum to provide these new affordable homes to the area.”

Councillor Margaret Griffiths, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, said:

“This development is another example of Dacorum Borough Council’s commitment to building and providing a range of affordable housing options so that local people, and their communities, are able to continue to thrive and fulfil their potential.

“It is fantastic that more energy-efficient, sustainable family homes are on the way with this project, and that’s vitally important, particularly with the significant challenges many are facing in the borough because of the cost-of-living crisis.

“Over the last 10 years, this Council has delivered hundreds of new homes to meet housing need across the borough and we remain absolutely committed to meeting demand in the coming years. Everyone has the right to be able to live in a safe, affordable and high-quality home.”