A project to provide four ‘much needed’ homes began this week with a traditional ‘turning of the first sod’ ceremony.
The homes at Riverside near Tozer Way, St Pancras are funded by the Dears Almshouse Charity and will be one of the first community led development initiatives by central government in the area.
The government scheme, administered by Chichester District Council, contributes to project costs such as architects fees.
City crier Richard Plowman was part of the first sod ceremony on Saturday, accompanied by the Reverend Mark Payne, Chairman of the Dears Trustees and Alderman Bill Craven, the Mayor of the Corporation of St Pancras.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Plowman said: “I had been Mayor of the Corporation of St Pancras and a trustee of the Dears Almshouse Charity for three years and determined to see the delivery of four new, much needed, high quality alms houses so today’s ceremony was a very poignant moment as it hadn’t been an easy journey.
“The project is the first of the Community Led Developments initiatives in Chichester to come to fruition and leads the way for communities to build their own houses to meet their own needs.”
He said building work by Nutbourne Construction was expected to take around 30 weeks with the homes completed in this autumn.
Local architect, Richard Meynell has designed the four almshouses to very high standard and with plenty of space for mobility scooters, wheelchairs and wet room bathrooms in a courtyard and safe setting.