A former army barracks near Salisbury Plain is being transformed into a unique housing project combining private properties and homes fit for heroes.
The site of the former Erskine Barracks, near the village of Wilton, will be turned into two new housing developments, Wilton Hill and Erskine Park, where families will live alongside service veterans returning from conflict zones.
The 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.
Our Enterprise was approached by the Wilton Community Land Trust to develop plans for site after they became concerned the areas military heritage would be lost.
Our Enterprise agreed to partner with Redrow Homes to buy the two sites and plans for 292 family properties and 44 one and two-bedroom apartments for veterans have now been approved by Wiltshire Council.
Alongside the 292 private homes being built by Redrow Homes, the 34-acre site will also feature a community-based campus for service veterans with homes, an enterprise hub, crèche and retail units. This element of the project will be managed by Our Enterprise. The hub will offer training and help for veterans to launch their own businesses and will sit alongside facilities for up to 60 other businesses.
The new community will also include units the veterans can rent for a period between six and 24 months while they receive business and skills training. They then move on to make room for another veteran.
The former Erskine Barracks project is Our Enterprise’s first major project aimed at helping returning veterans and its CEO, Matthew Bell explained:
“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 about 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 10 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 they, 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.”