New £34 million housing estate taking shape in Wolverhampton

Building work on a £34 million housing estate in Wolverhampton which started last year is progressing well, despite a number of unavoidable setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Marches, on Lakefield Road, Wednesfield, will consist of 266 new houses – a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom properties – with the first homes now due to open next year after construction work was delayed by the virus.

Located just off Lichfield Road, the new development is also set to stand as a permanent tribute to the crew of a Lancaster bomber plane that crashed nearby during the Second World War, killing everyone on board.

Roads on the estate will commemorate the seven airmen who lost their lives in the disaster by naming a street after each of them. Developer WV Living has said that once completed, the site will have 51 council houses, 17 shared ownership homes and 198 new homes available for market sale.

Wolverhampton's deputy mayor, Councillor Greg Brackenridge said: "These quality homes are much-needed locally, and this is also a fitting tribute to those heroes who defended our nation.

"New trees are going to be planted and various other memorials are planned for the estate. Once it’s complete, this development will inject further life into our already very vibrant village."

Property development giant Willmott Dixon, which is also carrying out the city’s Civic Halls refurbishment, is undertaking the building work.

Over the next four years, WV Living is aiming to build more than 1,000 new homes across the city, with The Marches being the largest of its first-phase sites.

The roads on the site will honour the memories of Lancaster pilot Bernard Hall, flight engineer Ronald James O’Donnell, navigator Reginald Henry Smith, air bomber Victor Francis Dobell Meade, wireless operator Gordon Leonard Rabbetts and air gunners Vincent Reginald Woodburn and John Alfred Sills.

Operating out of East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, the plane came down on the evening of May 17, 1945, in what is thought to be the only deaths of servicemen in Wolverhampton during the Second World War.

The former Albion pub, on Lichfield Road, changed its name to The Lancaster several years ago as a mark of respect to the crewmen who were killed.

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