Olympic have-a-go hero Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards thrilled house-hunters when he swooped by to join the celebrations at Linden Homes’ Great Oldbury development, writes Simon Hacker.
With the wraps now coming off the first phase of completed three- and four-bed showhomes, Eddie, who lives in nearby Woodchester, told Stroud Times he has been blown away to see progress on the 178-home development, just off Oldends Lane.
“The concept of new build has changed so much and I have to say that, as someone who has been struggling with renovating a 200-year-old cottage, it’s such an eye-opener to see how the design and specification of homes being built today has progressed since the 1980s,” said Eddie, who shot to world fame for his bid to achieve ski jumping glory at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
“It’s seductive! I look at these houses and think how nice to have all the hard work already thought out!”
As a fan of the TV show Grand Designs, Eddie says he’s often amazed by the often eccentric building ideas: “I just wonder how badly they might age after even ten years – by contrast, what we are seeing in Great Oldbury, with the quality of insulation, the materials and the specification, I think these homes will mature, rather than simply date.”
Linden Homes’ area sales director Michele Davis welcomed Eddie’s backing for the project and added that the new-build industry has also come a long way for customer satisfaction by setting up a more dynamic management system to ensure any issues and snags new owners encounter are quickly and efficiently ironed out.
“The industry has gone from two to five star in terms of ensuring ‘snags’ are solved, largely thanks to sheer hard work,” she explained.
However, the pace of completion on new houses at Great Oldbury has, she said, been hampered by supply and labour issues.
“As we are seeing across the whole industry, we have been struggling with such issues as sourcing bricks and finding roofers – essentially what we are experiencing reflects a national issue.”
Prices for the new homes start at £133,750, under the Home Reach part-buy, part-rent ownership scheme, for the two-bedroomed Cartwright design, with options extending to £430,000 for the four-bedroomed Pembroke home. Fourteen houses will be made available to the first keyholders to take up occupation, which is expected to be by Christmas, while the final total of 178 new homes are ‘to follow’, says the developer.
Construction, meanwhile, of an adjacent new primary school to serve the area, is already nearing completion. Great Oldbury Primary Academy, which is part of the Gloucestershire Learning Alliance Trust (GLA), is preparing to welcome students for a staggered intake from September.
Initially, the facility will be open to EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and Year 1 children, the eventual aim being a capacity for 420 students up to age 11.Further aspects to the Great Oldbury development will also include a health centre, shop and sports facility.
For more information on Linden’s Great Oldbury plans, visit: https://www.lindenhomes.co.uk/developments/gloucestershire/great-oldbury-stonehouse#view-prices