Award-winning affordable housing development completed for Longhurst Group in Huntingdon

Published on 1 February 2024

The redevelopment of part of the Regional College’s Huntingdon campus into more than 50 affordable homes has been completed.

California Meadows, on California Road in the town, is made up of one, two and three-bedroom properties.

The completion of the 56-home development marks the end of the transformation of a brownfield site into a fully-affordable housing scheme.

It’s been delivered by leading housing provider Longhurst Group and was built using a modern method of construction which saw panels constructed in factory conditions using sustainably sourced timber and delivered to the site as complete wall panels with insulation and external cladding.

Representatives from LoCaL Homes, Burmor Construction and Longhurst Group celebrate the completion of construction at the California Meadows development.

Marcus Keys, Executive Director of Growth, Development and Assets at Longhurst Group, said:

“The completion of this development is a significant milestone for the Group. This is the first development we’ve delivered using this modern method of construction and we’re delighted with the outcome. California Meadows is a striking development. The contemporary style of these homes is a completely different look from many affordable housing schemes found up and down the country and I’m sure it’ll prove popular with our future customers.


“This development is also helping us to address the need for affordable housing in the area, as well as providing high-quality and innovative properties to the market to give local people the opportunity to take their first step onto the property ladder. I’m delighted to see work completed at California Meadows and we’ll now reflect on the success of the development and look at how we can incorporate modern methods of construction into more of our building works.”

California Meadows has been part-funded via a grant from Homes England, through its joint strategic partnership with Longhurst Group.

Francine Peck, Senior Manager – Provider Management Large & Strategic Partnerships at Homes England, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the delivery of homes at California Road, providing much-needed affordable housing to Huntingdon. By using modern methods of construction, the low-carbon homes not only look striking but will enable the residents to benefit from reduced heating costs.


“Homes England are proud to support partners such as Longhurst Group in delivering innovative, modern and well-designed homes.”

Patrick Burke, Director of Burmor Construction, the developer working on behalf of Longhurst Group added:

“We’re very pleased to have worked with Longhurst Group to deliver these 56 affordable homes for Huntingdon. We took this project on at outline planning permission stage and were tasked by Longhurst Group to help them deliver on an innovative vision to deliver affordable homes using Modern Methods of Construction.


“We designed the dwellings to be produced offsite in a factory, with the homes being assembled in panels featuring factory-fitted external cladding. The use of panellised timber along with factory-fitted detailing means the homes will be lower carbon and use less energy for residents. We combined this with a modern, striking design which sets this development apart from other new housing sites.


“We were delighted that the hard work of everyone involved in the development was recognised recently when the site won both the social housing project of the year and the overall best timber frame project of the year at the Structural Timber awards, and we look forward now to these homes being enjoyed by the new residents in Huntingdon.”

All the homes will be available on an affordable basis, across tenures including Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy and social rent, with both car and cycle parking provisions also being included.

The timber panels were constructed by Walsall-based LoCaL Homes in their factory, before being transported to site and craned into place.

Mike Doolan, our Sales & Partnerships Manager, added:

“It’s been such a privilege for LoCaL Homes to be involved in this award-winning scheme. To be recognised as a partnering MMC supplier that consistently delivers high-quality, sustainable solutions that meet the demands and specification requirements is very important to us. The completed site looks fantastic, and the residents will be extremely happy living in their clean, green and energy efficient homes.”