THE first bricks are being laid in an £8million project to turn the old Victoria Carpets sports ground in Kidderminster into 48 affordable homes.

Construction work is under way at the 5.4-acre site off Spennells Valley Road which is set to be transformed into houses and apartments this autumn.

The homes are being developed for affordable housing provider Stonewater, which bought the old sports ground for £2m last year, and are set to be completed in February 2021.

Phil Morgan, production manager of Living Space Housing, which is constructing the scheme, said: "Work is moving on at a pace at this prime development site, which is ideally located on the outskirts of Kidderminster town centre.

"Now that the enabling works have taken place, the superstructure bricks are being laid and the first tranche of homes will be handed over to Stonewater this autumn."

Of the 48 homes, 60 per cent will be available for affordable rent, with the remainder available to buy through Stonewater’s shared ownership scheme.

The developable area is enclosed by mature trees and the new homes are being constructed using two types of red brick, as well as render.

The properties will be surrounded by public open space and a newly-created ecological area.

Matt Crucefix, director for development at Stonewater, said: “At Stonewater, we work incredibly hard to find development opportunities in areas that lack affordable housing, like Kidderminster.

“We’re pleased to see that these high-quality homes are now beginning to take shape.

"This new scheme will deliver an affordable option for families and individuals looking to rent or take their first step on the property ladder across Kidderminster, helping to meet local housing demands and helping us work towards our vision of giving everyone the opportunity to have a place that they can call home.”

The site has been unused since the merger and relocation of Kidderminster Victoria Cricket Club to Chester Road in 2003.

A proposal submitted by Victoria in 2009 to build a hotel, pub and bowling facility on the site never came to fruition.