Work on stalled adapted-housing development in Corby finally set to start after main contractor appointed

The scheme in Cannock Road has been hit by delay after delay
The former Champs Gym in Cannock Road has been fenced-off for four years. Image: Google.The former Champs Gym in Cannock Road has been fenced-off for four years. Image: Google.
The former Champs Gym in Cannock Road has been fenced-off for four years. Image: Google.

The development of a former gym in Corby into five adapted homes for disabled people is finally under way.

It’s four years since the former Corby Borough Council gave the green light to a plan to convert the former Champs Gym in Cannock Road to create one-storey apartments for people with disabilities.

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The project has been beset by delays and the cost has spiralled to £1.5m after the main contractor went into administration.

But now the scheme looks set to finally go ahead after North Northamptonshire Council appointed Bedford-based Parrot Construction to complete the build.

Leader of Corby Town council and local ward councillor Mark Pengelly (Lab, Lloyds) has been pushing for the scheme to get under way in the face of a severe lack of adapted housing in Corby and wider North Northamptonshire.

He said: “This is great news. I understand the challenges North Northants Council have had on this project and thank them for the extra funding and for this and thank the officers who have worked to get the scheme going.

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"At last this project is under way giving much-needed adapted council accommodation. I have been supporting residents in trying to get this site developed for years and it is great that Parrot Constuction have contacted residents letting them know it will be completed in July next year.”

At one point, the building had been set to become a homeless shelter but that idea was scrapped in the face of fierce local objections.

Cllr Lyn Buckingham (Lab, Lloyds) said: “I welcome the start on this but question why it takes the council so long to make their minds up on things.”

Cllr Willie Colquhoun (Lab, Lloyds) said: “This is great news but because of the council delays five families have had to wait years for this to happen. Let's hope we learn lessons from this going forward. Corby Borough Council were bucking the trend in building council properties - we have seen very little in the first two years of this council.”

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In a statement NNC’s executive member for housing Cllr Mark Rowley said: “We are delighted to confirm that the approved contractor, Parrott Construction, have started work on the Cannock Road development.

“This development will provide five much needed adapted properties and reinforces the council’s commitment to supporting residents in our council properties and those on the waiting list. It also brings back into use a derelict building, which has been empty for some time.

“It is anticipated that the build will take just under a year to complete, and the contractor will continue to liaise with residents in the local area, to ensure the minimum of disturbance during the duration of the building work.”

One Corby mums, whose son suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, has been waiting for one of the homes since 2018 because there is no other suitable home in the borough for them.

Forty per cent of the cost of the project will be met by Right to Buy receipts from council homes that have been previously sold off.