Radian Group to transform former head office into affordable homes

Herbert Collins House in Mansbridge, Southampton received planning permission on 4 June to be developed into 14 homes for social rent by Radian Group.

Named after its founder, the building holds significant importance for Radian, as Herbert Collins set up Swaythling Housing Society back in 1925 and the building was its former head office. In 2006 Swaythling Housing Society partnered with two other housing associations to become Radian and the new plans will help to continue Collins’ mission to provide affordable housing in Southampton and across the south and south west of England.

Stephen Lodge, Executive Director for Development and Asset Management at Radian Group commented: “As Herbert Collins House has been such a key part of our heritage it’s great to ensure the legacy continues with the provision of affordable homes that appropriately match the standards of our founder.

“Herbert Collins was committed to creating communities with high quality housing and we’ll ensure these new homes exemplify that ethos and fit within the heart of the community.”
Radian held a public consultation at Mansbridge Primary School before submitting the plans and 100% of respondents were in favour of the provision of affordable housing to positively contribute to the local area.

The building is currently not being used and in the 12 years since Radian vacated the site, it has been occupied by Southampton County Council, and utilised to store goods for a local charity food bank.

On the planning approval Councillor Lorna Fielker also commented: “I’m really pleased to see this site being transformed into much needed new homes. It was good to see Radian consulting with the community to ensure their views were considered and we look forward to seeing the finished homes.”

Located on the corner of Wide Lane and Walnut Avenue, the plans will see the previous building removed and, in its place, a new building built by Radian’s inhouse Construction Management Team. Consisting of three one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom apartments, one of the homes will also be designed to be fully wheelchair accessible and there will be parking provision for 25 cars. As the build progresses Radian will be helping residents with skills training which will include apprenticeships and providing employment opportunities for local people.

Work is expected to start on site by autumn 2020, with the homes ready for occupation by late 2021 to early 2022.