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Homes for veterans, Wilton

In Wiltshire, Redrow is playing a key role in a pioneering partnership to create a thriving new community where families will live alongside military veterans and service leavers, all on the site of a former army barracks.

Key stats

44

flats for ex-serving personnel

plus enterprise hub

292

Redrow homes

including 30 affordable

60-bed

care home

plus creche, cafe and community space

The mission

The military is the biggest single employer in Wiltshire - by 2021 the county will be home to over 20% of the British Armed Forces. Many veterans have remained in the area, with over 56,000 ex-service people choosing to call the county home.

But service life for current and former military personnel creates its own challenges, with housing being one of the most basic. The Government is committed to ensuring that current and ex-service personnel receive appropriate advice in securing accommodation for themselves and their families.

And local authorities in counties such as Wiltshire, which have barracks in their area, see a greater number of ex-service personnel requesting advice and assistance for civilian accommodation.

The site

The 34-acre site had been home to the Ministry of Defence’s UK Army Headquarters since 1939. By 2010, the buildings were no longer fit for purpose and all staff relocated to Andover, leaving the site redundant.

In late 2010, the MOD obtained a resolution to grant planning consent for 450 residential units (including 40% social housing) and a further 24,000 sq m of land for B1 business use. A delay followed while the MoD negotiated with Network Rail to gain use of a bridge that ran across the site, but formal planning approval was received in 2012.

The site went to formal tender in February 2013, and was obtained by Redrow in March 2013. The vision for Redrow’s development is based around creating a sustainable, vibrant mixed use community which is well integrated into Wilton.

The enterprise hub

In October 2013, Redrow submitted a new planning application for 422 units including 292 Redrow homes; 44 flats for veterans; 60-place nursery; a 60-bed care home; plus 10,000sq. ft Enterprise Hub for business incubation and support, with training for veterans and the wider community, with 1.5 acres remaining for employment.

Due to the high level of public consultation, the local authority received zero objections to the proposed plans and planning permission was granted in October 2014. Our Wilton, which will own and operate the Enterprise Hub and manage the whole of the site, is financed by a combination of Section 106 contributions, grants and bank funding. 

Our Wilton Trust, a charity which will own the 44 veterans’ homes and nursery, has attracted £5m of grant funding for the scheme and fundraising continues to support the project.

I believe we have come up with a scheme which will reinvigorate this community and transform many lives for the better. Hopefully it will be a blueprint for future developments across the UK and help open doors for our returning service personnel.


Matthew Bell

CEO of Our Enterprise

Timeline

  • Ministry of Defence UK Army Headquarters

    By 2010 the buildings were no longer fit for purpose, and staff were relocated to Andover, leaving the site redundant. The MOD obtained planning consent for 450 residential units (including 40% affordable housing) and 24,000sq m of land for B1 use

  • Site acquired by Redrow

    A three month public consultation begins in July, with six events held in total.

    Wiltshire Council and Wilton Community Land Trust involved. Planning application for 442 units submitted in October 2013.

  • Construction begins

    Planning permission is granted in October 2014 and S106 agreement is signed, pledging £4.5m funding into the local area.

    Construction begins in autumn 2014.

  • Scheme is highly commended

    In January, plans are approved for homes for service veterans, a cafe, shop and creche.

    In June, the scheme is highly commended in the Planning for Housing Growth category in the Planning and Placemaking Awards 2016.

  • The site takes shape

    In January, a fundraising campaign begins to fit out the veterans' accommodation.

    In February, the Enterprise Hub plans are approved and expressions of interest sought from businesses looking for work spaces.

    A topping out ceremony is held in April for veterans' flats, the coffee shop and community space.

  • The site is complete

    Veterans move in and the Wilton Hill development is complete.

    The development wins the Best Housing Partnership category in the British Homes Awards 2019.

Find out more

"I am immensely proud that Wilton is making a success of such a trailblazing scheme. Local people have always been at the heart of Wilton Hill, and the community have sought to retain the military ethos at the heart of the former Army HQ. Community engagement throughout has been inspirational." John Glen, MP for Salisbury and South Wiltshire

Read the full report here

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