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Full steam ahead with King Offa social housing development as new contractor appointed

Publication date:

Neilcott Construction Ltd has been appointed as the new contractor to build 14 homes on the former King Offa site and are due to start work by the end of this month.

St Albans City and District Council was forced to put the project on hold last year when the original contractor, Jarvis Contracting, went into administration after it had started the building work.

The £6.6 million development regenerates what used to be a site of poor-quality temporary accommodation in Norman Close, adjoined with the site of the former King Offa pub, in the Cottonmill area of St Albans.

It will include a two-bedroom, wheelchair-adapted bungalow, two four-bedroom detached homes and 11 three-bedroom homes.

All the properties, which are expected to be completed by June next year, will be made available at social rent to families on the Council’s housing register.

Additional funds of £890,000 needed to be found for the project to cover the inflationary rises in the cost of building materials since Jarvis Contracting was originally appointed as well as the cost of the process of reappointing a new contractor. 

Councillor Jacqui Taylor, Lead for Housing, said:

I am really pleased that we have been able to appoint a new contractor to deliver these much needed homes and regenerate this site in Sopwell.

It was sad to see Jarvis Contracting go under as it was a local company that provided skilled jobs for local people and the consequences for us could have been severe as it made funding the King Offa development a greater challenge.

One of our priorities as a Council is to provide more social housing for people in our District and we were determined that we would continue with the project.

The King Offa site, combined with The Hedges in Batchwood that is also underway, will deliver 26 homes to house around 70 people. We have prioritised three bedroom homes as much as possible on these sites to also address overcrowding for families who are waiting for a larger home. The one and two bedroom homes freed up by families moving will then also become available for people on the housing register waiting for a home.

Image: how the King Offa development will look.

Media Contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727 819533,