In April this year, Amey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) completed a multi-million pound housing refurbishment project for Service families at Warminster.
The project began in November 2018 and has seen fifty properties transformed from old, cold and draughty properties into bright, light and energy efficient homes. With energy efficiency at the forefront of the refurbishment, all properties benefit from double glazing, wall insulation and new roofs. Each property is also fitted out with new heating systems, electrical rewires, new doors and internal decoration.
The benefits to the Service families who moved into the properties has been instant. Noise has significantly reduced, new windows and doors are able to be securely locked and new electrics and boilers mean their homes are safe and comfortable places to live.
With promises of a reduction in fuel bills too, we were keen to find out if the refurbishment had made a real difference to the ‘lived experience’ of families living on the Estate, so we made arrangements to visit a local family to find out first-hand the impact the upgrades had made to them. We also invited Commanding Officer, Paul Brazier, along so he could see the improvements for himself.
Suzie Wakeman is a Service wife and has lived in her newly refurbished property at Warminster for a couple of months. She said: “We’re absolutely over the moon with the refurbishment. The kitchen is one of my favourite rooms, there’s a large pantry, lots of cupboards, a downstairs toilet and even a utility room. All these things make life so much easier for us as a family. My son loves it here and his bedroom is a bright and warm place for him to spend time in.”
Along with the internal improvements, Commanding Officer, Paul Brazier, was interested to hear whether Suzie’s monthly bills had reduced.
Suzie said: “We haven’t really needed to have the heating on at all but we did notice that when we experienced the really windy weather recently, the house was well insulated with no drafts. I’ve also noticed a lack of dust which has made a huge difference to the health of my son who has asthma. My home is perfect for us as a family and my husband doesn’t have to worry about us when he’s on deployment. I’d like to thank Amey’s contractors for looking after us so well, they are always so quick to respond to any issues and always in a calm and professional manner.”
Paul was impressed with the new properties and was delighted that Suzie and her family were enjoying their new home. He added: “The tour around the newly refurbished homes was very interesting and as I drove onto the Estate this morning I was really struck with how aesthetically pleasing the whole area now looks. The commitment shown by Amey and the DIO teams to work collaboratively together is great to see and demonstrates to me that we are all on the same page and share the same vision of achieving these kinds of homes for all our Service families. It’s really important that we retain our soldiers, we want them to remain in the Army and being able to offer them homes like these, and giving them peace of mind that their families are happy, will go a long way to ensuring this.”