Hightown unveils 135 new homes in Aylesbury with a virtual opening

Hightown Housing Association’s new Kingfisher Place development in Aylesbury has been officially opened via a virtual opening event on Zoom. Cllr Isobel Darby, Cabinet Member for Housing & Homelessness at Buckinghamshire Council, declared the new affordable homes open following a special socially distanced ribbon cutting at Kingfisher Place. The virtual opening event was attended by local Councillors and staff from Buckinghamshire Council, Board members and staff from Hightown as well as consultants and contractors involved in the building of the new development.

85 of the homes at Kingfisher Place have been allocated to people in housing need nominated by Bucks Home Choice. 46 of the homes are for shared ownership, helping people to get a foot on the housing ladder. The remaining four flats are care and supported housing properties adapted for wheelchair users. The residents in these homes have moved from supported living to independent living flats with mental health outreach support.

The new homes are a mixture of modern one and two bedroom flats and two, three and four bedroom houses. The development has been designed to provide local people with quality affordable homes with the added benefit of being conveniently close to Aylesbury town centre.

Located alongside the Grand Union Canal, Kingfisher Place is on Lester Road (off Tring Road) and just a short walk to the Tesco superstore. Aylesbury provides great commuter and transport links, with a regular train into London Marylebone and connecting routes to the M1 and M25.

The land at Kingfisher Place was previously home to Hazell's printing and publishing firm. After their closure in 1991, the buildings were demolished, and the land became overgrown and unused. Construction started on the site in 2018.

Helen, one of the residents renting at Kingfisher Place, said:

“We are so happy in our new house! Before moving here, we were in temporary homeless accommodation for a year, which was just one room. As you can imagine, it was extremely cramped for us all. Hightown has given us a home I could have only dreamt of. It felt like home from the minute we moved in.”

Lauren, shared ownership resident at Kingfisher Place, said:

“We are really happy with the development and our new house. The shared ownership journey was super simple from beginning to end. Originally, our plan was to buy this house to get onto the property ladder as we were often priced out of the open market as young parents. However, we have fallen in love with the house in such a short amount of time! I can see us buying more shares and staying in our new home for a long time.”

Cllr Isobel Darby, Cabinet Member for Housing & Homelessness at Buckinghamshire Council, said:

“At the best of times this is a relatively expensive part of the country to live in and there is a real shortage of affordable homes for people on modest incomes. This is something that Buckinghamshire Council is determined to address and schemes like this lead the way. As we come to terms with both the health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and move into the recovery phase, we need to help people to live their lives as normally as possible. What better way to illustrate new beginnings and a fresh start than to see people moving on in their lives and having a comfortable, affordable home to live in.”

David Bogle, Hightown’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to have been able to develop 135 new affordable homes in central Aylesbury and at a very sustainable location. We look forward to working with the new combined authority in Buckinghamshire to build more homes for those unable to buy or rent at market rates. Thank you to Ridgepoint Homes and our other partners in this excellent project."