Daedalus Village is a new housing estate next to the fantastic coastline at Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire. The two hundred pristine one, two, three and four bedroom homes will be a harmonious combination of 120 privately purchased and 80 affordable residences bought through the shared ownership and retirement schemes.
HMS Daedalus airport was opened in 1917 as a Royal navy Air Station seaplane training school. Daedalus was important for its role during World War II training military pilots. Solent Airport is the new name for the aerodrome which still operates today as a regional base for air traffic. Daedalus Village is located on the south side of the aviation centre at Daedalus Drive, Lee-on-the-Solent, PO13 9YP.
Two years since councillors voted unanimously to approve the scheme the traditional seaside town’s new housing estate is well underway to being completed. The builders hope to finish in October 2020 but this may be delayed due to overcoming the complications encountered with the coronavirus pandemic. This unexpected event has changed working methods and processes and delayed the supply chain unexpectedly.
The Sales and marketing suite is reopening today and assistance is available Thursdays to Mondays by appointment only. (1)
More than twenty of the first new residents have moved in already despite a large team of local contractors still working on site. Local firms have been given contracts to provide a workforce to build the development.
In the planning stages Counsellor Linda Batty was concerned about “the pressure that this scheme will put on the doctors surgeries and schools in the surrounding area.” according to The News. Wates Residential state that they have invested £25 million to help support extra local amenities. (2)
Stubbings Limited is the agent for purchasing the larger premises and Wates are handling sales for Radian Homes for the more modest homes and shared ownership places.
“Daedalus Village is part of a larger regeneration project for the southern edge of Solent Airport. It is being delivered in two areas, Eastchurch Place and Manston Green, with both areas within walking distance of Lee-on-the-Solent High Street and seafront.” (3)
There a selection of premium pads for sale. The Beaufort at Daedalus Village, is a 4 bedroom detached house for sale for £450,000 which is all finished and ready to move in as it is the show home for the development. The Dragonfly is a different design of 4 bedroom house featuring a more spacious kitchen and dining area. There are also semi-detached properties and apartments with terraces.
“All the homes at Daedalus Village come with three different interior decor options, called Spitfire, Hurricane and Defiant. Each decor style has a different feel and style which is reflected in the paint colours, wall and floor tiles and kitchen units and worktop.”
Fast track building techniques mean no nails are used in the construction. The structures are comprised of the latest formulaic systems that fit and screw together. A couple of different brick colours have been chosen for the facades including reds and more sandy oranges. The warm colours of the exteriors are contrasted by the dark grey tile roofs. Matching charcoal hued windows and doors gives a contemporary industrial look to the architecture that in turn nods to this nautical lands military heritage.
Different trades have been working at a safe distance apart throughout the lockdown. They are using their normal hard hats, gloves and safety gear and no special personal protective equipment has been provided. They are taking breaks in their cars and are communicating with the foreman and project management team using site radios.
Office staff are currently working on computers at home on the furlough scheme but all the trades are self employed and have been classified as key workers. This means they have been given guidance to work through the ‘stay at home’ instructions from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet ministers. “We wanted to keep working so we can pay our bills.” explained a builder at Daedalus Village.
Local employment has been boosted by firms from Gosport and Portsmouth carrying out the regeneration of this area.
Homes are needed for all ages in Hampshire where the average housing price is £306,886 according to Rightmove who receive their data from the HM Land Registry. The governments ‘Help to Buy’ scheme is a popular program as a teaching assistant in the area would expect to earn £13,000 per year and the average salary is £29,000 before taxes. So buying a first property is an enormous challenge for many residents who want to live in the district they grow up in.(4)(5)
In 2017 a Strategic Housing Market Assessment by six local authorities in the region concluded that their research “highlights the need for at least 4,000 additional homes per year.”(6) Therefore local councils in Hampshire and West Sussex have applied and been accepted for generous central government grants to enable the building of several large housing developments in the area.
Gosport County Council in partnership with Wates and Radian Homes have endeavoured to try “to deliver the homes needed for local people and to create a vibrant and healthy community.” as James Pennington, Executive Director of Development at Radian explained. (7) Council leaders even buried a time capsule to mark the beginning of the project and the change of land status from commercial to residential.
When the capsule is uncovered in the future only time will tell if these much wanted homes will stand the harsh salty weather, the close proximity of the housing and the changing tastes in design. Hundreds of additional new homeowners arriving are bound to have a positive influence on the businesses nearby. Hopefully a prosperous and peaceful future is on the horizon for the inhabitants of the smartest village between Portsmouth and Southampton, in this naturally scenic seaside location.
(1) Wates Sales and Marketing for Radian Homes, 19 May 2020 Wates Daedalus Village sales department
(2) ‘Plans for 200 homes along waterfront are approved by council’ The News (Portsmouth)
19 May 2020 The News waterfront homes approved
(3) Radian Homes, Daedalus Village website,19 May 2020 Daedalus Village
(4) ‘House Prices in Lee-on-the-Solent’ Rightmove, 20 May 2020 Rightmove House Prices Lee-on-the-Solent
(5) ‘Average Salary in Southampton, England: Hampshire’ PayScale website, 20 May 2020 Payscale website, average salary Southampton
(6) ‘Unmet housing demand in the M27 region’ Savills Blog 5 April 2017 Savills: Housing in M27 region
(7) ‘Work Starts on Daedalus Village Scheme’ Radian Homes 21 May 2020 ‘Work starts Daedalus Village’ Radian Homes