A groundbreaking ceremony has been held for Hightown Housing Association's Heart of Maylands Phase 2 project, in Hemel Hempstead, to celebrate works beginning on site.

This is the second phase of Hightown Housing Association's Heart of Maylands project, located off Wood Lane End, and is Hightown's largest development. It is part of the Association's plans to build over 1,200 affordable homes in the next two years to contribute to ending homelessness.

Leader of Dacorum Borough Council, Andrew Williams, and Portfolio Holder for Housing, Councillor Margaret Griffiths, performed the groundbreaking alongside David Bogle, Chief Executive of Hightown, and contractor Hill Group's Regional Director, Ryan Harris. Other attendees included Andrew Royall, Director of Development at Hightown, members of Hightown's Development team, Hill Group's construction team and construction and property consultants RLF.

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As part of the second phase, the development will provide an additional 158 new affordable homes for affordable rent and shared ownership, as well as three commercial units, bringing vital new homes and jobs to the area. The new homes will consist of 26 two and three-bedroom houses and 132 one and two-bedroom apartments. The homes for rent will go to people in housing need nominated by Dacorum Borough Council, and the shared ownership (part buy, part rent) properties will be available to aspiring homeowners.

The first phase, Maylands Plaza, is located opposite Hightown's central office on Maylands Avenue and is the current flagship development, which is made up of 130 flats and 10 shops. The project has created a 'heart' in Maylands Business Park to retain businesses, employees and drive future investment in the area.

With the homes being built in a convenient location, and with excellent transport links, local shops and amenities within walking distance, the second phase is expected to attract great interest from local people.

Construction is now underway and is scheduled for completion in 2023.

David Bogle, Chief Executive of Hightown, said:

"I am proud that we're able to deliver our largest ever development on our own site and in our home town of Hemel Hempstead, where Hightown was formed over 50 years ago. There is a real need for more affordable housing to house local people and key workers who are priced out of the market and we are committed to building as many homes at below market rates as we can.

"The second phase of this project will give local people an opportunity to live in modern, new, energy efficient homes in the 'Heart of Maylands'.”

Leader of Dacorum Borough Council, Andrew Williams, said:

"I am delighted to mark a new chapter in Hightown's Heart of Maylands Phase 2 project which will provide 158 new high-quality affordable homes in Hemel Hempstead. Many individuals and families will benefit from this development and I look forward to seeing the development when it's complete."