Keynsham Riverside development to help fund frontline council services

August 03 2018
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The Riverside building in Keynsham will be under wraps for many months to come – but residents can now get a look inside one of the 95 flats being developed inside the former office block.

The first phase of the new homes won’t even be released for sale until the new year but people can take a tour of a fourth-floor “show apartment” via a virtual reality headset following a launch event at Gregorys Estate Agents attended by West of England Mayor Tim Bowles on July 25.

Potential buyers can drop into Gregorys at Market Walk to take a tour and register their interest in the development – with 50 people registering in the week after the banners went up on the Temple Street site. 

The vacant office block is being turned into 95 one- and two-bedroom flats, the first redevelopment project for Aequus, a new property company set up and owned by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Rather than selling the site to a private developer, the council will run the project itself and profits from property sales will be used to fund frontline services.

Keynsham councillor Charles Gerrish, chairman of Aequus, said: “For Keynsham this is a major part of its regeneration, which will increase footfall in the High Street. By bringing forward a town centre site, it also means we can avoid building further into the green belt to meet housing targets – this matters to local people, who don’t want to see the town’s boundaries spreading out.”

He added: “As well as our virtual show apartment we have also launched our marketing website to keep everyone informed of the development progress. We will be formally releasing the first phase of apartments for sale in the new year and completing the first units in the spring, but this marks an exciting opportunity for anyone interested to register their interest in this fantastic new development.”

B&NES property and project delivery director Derek Quilter said the strip-out of the building had just been completed by contractor Kier, which had removed 700 tonnes of material from the old offices in the process. Work will now begin on the shell, including new cladding and high-performance windows, and the scaffold will be removed in the new year.

Councillor Tim Warren, leader of B&NES, said: “This development delivers fantastic opportunities to support Keynsham’s regeneration, alongside Market Walk, the Chocolate Quarter and other local developments in the town.

“As well as providing much-needed housing by redeveloping this empty building – and reducing the need to further encroach on the green belt – all the profits will go straight back into supporting and protecting the council’s front-line services.

“I’m also pleased to say that Aequus, the council and one of our housing association partners are in discussions around the delivery of some shared ownership apartments, and Aequus are considering what other housing options there may be to support local residents at Riverside.”

West of England Regional Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This is a great example of how, by working together and being innovative, we can provide more homes for our residents. We know that we need more homes, to buy and rent – homes where they are needed at prices people can afford.”

Anyone who would like more details on the Riverside View development can visit the marketing website www.riversideview.co.uk