WORK has started on a 26-home development on land at a former church.

St Catherine of Siena RC Church on Newton Road in Lowton was demolished in 2018 with developer Elan Homes buying the site from the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Groundworks are now complete and constructions of the first homes at the development, St Catherine's Gardens.

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Land director in the north for Elan Homes, Philip Palmer, said: “Redeveloping previously developed sites is part of our land acquisition strategy.

"The Lowton site presented a perfect opportunity to provide new homes in an area where there is a pent up demand for housing.

"By building new homes we’re bringing brownfield land back into good use.

"While work here has only just started, we are keen to acquire similar brownfield sites across the north west suitable for building 20 to 150 homes.”

Six of the homes sold as "affordable" through shared equity at 70 per cent of the open market value.

Elan will also make a £25,000 off-site contribution towards affordable housing locally and contribute almost £45,000 towards open space provision at Pennington Flash Country Park.

“The development will predominantly be two storeys in height with some 2.5 storey homes. This is in keeping with the surrounding area and is a significant reduction from the height of the church that once stood on the site,” Philip said.

“Our aim is to complement the character of the neighbourhood, adding visual interest.”

Homes will be built using quality materials including grey concrete roofs with red ridge tiles and red multi brick with contrasting red engineering brick.

Some homes will be finished with off-white rough cast render.

All private homes with parking spaces or drives will have electric vehicle charging points. Other sustainable features include bird boxes and bat bricks or slates.

Existing trees at the rear of the site will be retained and Elan will carry out additional tree planting on site.