WORK is underway on an £8m housing complex in Winchester.

Last year city councillors approved plans for 14 homes at the former Peugeot garage on St Cross Road, with former housing boss, Cllr Ian Tait, welcoming the development as a “landmark” building for the city.

The Bargate Homes project is slated for completion by summer 2015 and was funded in part by a loan from NatWest.

Managing director of Bargate Homes, Angus Cook, approached Ian Cooke of NatWest for assistance with funding and agreed on a property development loan of £4.7m.

The 2,700sq metre site previously comprised several commercial premises, including a Peugeot garage and a furniture store.

It also includes a former 19th century coach house which will be converted into two family homes, while a new four-storey building will provide nine flats, alongside a newly-built terrace of three four-bedroom houses.

Planning officers argued that demolition of commercial buildings in favour of new homes would clash with council policy, but in July councillors voted the application through.

Mr Cook said: “Ian at NatWest has been extremely supportive and, through what have been fairly horrific times for the property industry, the bank has continued to support us.”

Mr Cooke, a relationship director at the bank, said: “Bargate has gone from strength to strength and as well as building beautiful homes, the company has created local jobs and will make a significant contribution to the local economy. We’re delighted to have supported this project.”