Planning Granted for Unique Veterans’ Project

Planning has been granted for the final phase of a project which will see the UK’s first purpose built campus for service veterans at the former Erskine Barracks.

This unique project is the creation of regeneration and development specialists Our Enterprise who are working alongside Redrow Homes to create the UK’s first major housing development built with returning military personnel in mind.

Alongside 292 private homes being built by Redrow Homes, Our Enterprise will build a community based campus for service veterans with homes, an enterprise hub, crèche, care home and retail units. This element of the project will be managed by Our Wilton, a community interest company and charity created by Our Enterprise.

It will include at least 44 homes for veterans who will rent the units for a period of between six and 24 months while they receive business and skills training.  They then move on to make room for another veteran.

The hub will offer training and help for veterans to launch their own businesses and will sit alongside facilities for up to 60 other local businesses.

Our Enterprise was approached by the Wilton Community Land Trust to develop plans for the site after they became concerned the area’s military heritage would be lost.

CEO Matthew Bell listened to their concerns and agreed to partner with Redrow Homes to buy the former Land Command site and full planning consent has now been granted by Wiltshire Council for the entire development .

Work on the site has already begun and it is hoped the first veterans will be moving in around July 2017.

It is Our Enterprise’s first major project aimed at helping returning veterans and CEO Matthew Bell said he wants to create a development, in an area with a strong military history, which will make a lasting difference.

He said: “When Wilton Community Land Trust came to me I immediately spotted an opportunity. The Erskine Barracks had been put up for sale and there were fears the site could be turned into a massive housing estate with little or no consideration for the area’s military heritage. I knew we had a unique opportunity to do something different.

“It needed to be a genuine business opportunity for the builder, while at the same time offering an incredible opportunity to our military personnel returning from conflicts overseas.

“Within ten minutes of meeting the Redrow chief executive John Tutte, I knew we could make this work.

“Redrow agreed to meet the Wilton Community Land Trust and the two, with our support, had some long conversations which led to the plans we all then submitted.

“Between us we purchased the land and had the plans approved swiftly without the need for any additional costly and timely consultations.

“I believe we have come up with a plan which will reinvigorate this community and transform many lives for the better.”

The former military buildings have already been demolished on the Our Enterprise part of the site which will include the veterans’ accommodation, enterprise hub, crèche and retail units.

Construction is due to begin in Summer 2016 with a completion date set for July 2017.

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