A BLOCK of flats has been completed five weeks early after developers made great strides during lockdown.

The Hawkridge Court development in Selsfield Drive, Brighton, is part of the city council’s commitment to provide 800 more homes to help tackle the city’s shortage of affordable housing.

This is part of the New Homes for Neighbourhoods scheme, a joint programme launched by the city’s Green and Labour groups which has seen 241 council homes built on empty or under-used council owned sites since 2015.

Twelve flats were completed in Buckley Close, Hangleton, this summer and next year work will start on 42 homes in Victoria Road, Portslade, as well as four properties in Frederick Street, near Brighton Station.

The latest site to be completed, Hawkridge Court, has been built on the site of a former housing office.

It features 30 homes, 14 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom flats, including two wheelchair accessible homes.

Councillor David Gibson, joint chairman of the housing committee, said: “Despite Covid-19, since agreeing our joint programme with Labour, we have achieved 135 additional council owned homes over 18 months.

“The flats look very attractive on the outside and I can’t wait to see inside and hear from the new tenants what difference the flats will make to their lives.

“We have more than 8,000 people on the housing waiting list and these new homes mean we can house 30 more households in need of a secure stable home.”

Morgan Sindall Construction were responsible for the project, with southern home counties area director Guy Hannell saying he was “delighted to be handing over this important scheme for the city”.

He said: “Despite working under challenging conditions, the whole project team has done a fantastic job and has worked strategically to plan ahead and ensure minimal disruption to the project – enabling the completed development to be handed over five weeks ahead of schedule.”

All 30 homes are constructed to high energy and water efficiency standards including solar panels on the roof and a sustainable urban drainage system, the council said.

When they move in, residents will have access to bike storage as well as a small garden which has been fitted with flower beds and space for wildflower planting.