Where is affordable housing being built in the UK?
The social and affordable housing sectors are driving forward new developments across the UK, so Housing Association magazine features a round-up of the latest news. Send your news to: email@example.com
Demolition completes on first site in Havering’s 12 Estates regeneration
Demolition work has finished on Napier and New Plymouth House, the first site in phase one of Havering Council’s 12 Estates regeneration programme with Wates Residential.
The joint venture programme will see around 3,500 high-quality new homes delivered in Havering over the next 12 to 15 years. The £1.5 billion project will seek to double the amount of council rented accommodation and more than double the number of affordable homes.
The plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site, located in Rainham, include 126 affordable homes, with a number earmarked for families, and a further 71 homes for private sale targeted at local buyers. All residents who have been moved off the site to enable the regeneration have been guaranteed the right to return.
To accompany the project, Havering Council and Wates Residential have invested more than £1.3 million in social value in the Havering community during the first phase of work on the site.
Since work began in July 2019, 72 local people have been hired or have benefitted from training initiatives in a huge boost to the Havering economy. As part of the project, over 700 Havering students have also been engaged via activities including site visits, apprenticeships and work experience placements.
Havering Council’s Director of Regeneration, Neil Stubbings, and Wates Residential’s Operations Director, Adrian Fennessy, visited the site on Thursday 27 February with Havering College Built Environment student Izzy.
Izzy is one of the students who have seen their careers kick-started through a two-week work experience placement. She said: “I've found it incredibly helpful so far. They've had me sit in on several meetings, which has helped me understand the role of a site manager."
Cllr Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “I am very excited to celebrate such an important milestone in our partnership with Wates Residential, and to acknowledge the impressive impact that our 12 Estates regeneration project has already made on our local economy.
“We have barely completed demolition on the Napier and New Plymouth site and have already seen such a significant investment into the things that matter to the borough. Seeing these figures laid out highlights the fact that regeneration is about much more than simply building new homes – we are building a legacy for future generations of local people.”
Adrian Fennessy, Operations Director for Wates Residential, said: “As we finish demolition and move towards the construction phase at Napier and New Plymouth House, it is great to be able to take time to celebrate our excellent social value record to date. We are well ahead of our targets for training, employment and investing in local people, and will use these figures as inspiration to continue our work delivering a borough-wide legacy with our partners, as well as new high quality homes.”
Completion of affordable new homes for local families in Kendal
Progress Housing Group recently celebrated the handover of ten affordable apartments for rent with an opening ceremony officiated by Councillor Brook, the Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder at South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).
The one and two-bedroom rental apartments are located on the new Strawberry Fields development in Kendal, South Lakeland, Cumbria. Forty-nine units have been acquired by the Group from a total of 148 new family homes being built at the site by local housing developer Oakmere Homes.
Kendal is a new area of focus for the Lancashire-based housing group that has committed to deliver more than 250 new homes per year by the end of 2023 to increase the provision of good-quality housing in the North. The Group’s focus will continue to be social rented homes to help people who are least able to find a home on the open market.
Councillor Jonathan Brook, South Lakeland District Council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Innovation, said: “SLDC has made the delivery of more affordable homes to rent, a key target in our Council Plan. We are especially keen to give our young people the opportunity to live and work in the areas where they have grown up. Providing affordable homes on sites like this demonstrates our ongoing commitment to this objective.
“Through our land allocations policy the council identifies sites for new housing. These sites come with the requirement that a percentage of any new homes are affordable.
“This latest development makes a further contribution to our target, set in 2014, to see 1,000 new affordable homes for rent completed by 2025.’’
Director of Development at Progress Housing Group Daniel Griffiths added: “We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Oakmere Homes and South Lakeland District Council to deliver 49 homes on the Strawberry Fields site.
“The affordable homes acquired by us, as part of the Section 106 agreement with South Lakeland District Council, have criteria that stipulate that the homes will be made available to people living in the local area or who have connections in the local area. This means that more local people will have the opportunity to continue living, building careers and raising their families in Kendal, whereas they may not have previously been able to due to the high property prices in the area.
“Our Affordable Rent homes on the site have rents which are set lower than market rent and the shared ownership homes, which are due for completion in July 2020, will provide opportunities to acquire a property in stages, making it more affordable to access homeownership. We look forward to welcoming our new tenants to Strawberry Fields very soon.”
Celebrating the completion, Mark Wilkinson, Operations Director from Oakmere Homes said: “The Oakmere team are thrilled to be handing over the first of the affordable homes at our Strawberry Fields development. Together with SLDC and Progress Housing, we have delivered a quality product in a stunning environment for a growing, fully inclusive community, something we can all be proud of.
“Work is currently progressing on the next stage of development for Progress Housing Group which will see a further 37 homes including 2 & 3 bedroom houses.”
Alexander Bourne, Commercial Director for Oakmere Homes said: “As a local developer, we work with local engineers, tradesmen and suppliers to help stimulate the local economy. Our developments, along with others, make sizeable contributions towards local infrastructure projects including funding for public open spaces, highways and schools.
“Housing development across Cumbria is helping to support over 5,500 local jobs and with a county-wide investment of over £49 million in new affordable housing, including schemes such as Strawberry Fields, we are also working to provide the much-needed starter / intermediate homes for communities to thrive.”
Plans move forward for 380 new homes in Exeter
Plans to build 380 new homes at Pinhoe Quarry, Exeter, have moved a step forward after full planning permission was granted.
The south west’s largest housing provider, LiveWest and leading regeneration specialist, Vistry Partnerships, formerly Galliford Try Partnerships, have joined forces once again to develop a scheme for the 32-acre site, building on their collaborative portfolio of new homes across the South West.
Exeter City Council’s planning committee supported officer recommendations to approve the proposed development at the former Pinhoe Quarry site on Harrington Lane.
Work is set to start in March and it is hoped the first homes will be ready to move into during December this year.
The development has been named Harrington Park, nodding to the well-known area of the suburb and the design, which incorporates open green space and a pond for the new residents and existing community. The scheme is set to take around eight years to complete.
17 per cent of the development was originally earmarked for affordable housing as part of the outline planning consent, but that figure has risen to 40 per cent with the support of funding from both LiveWest and Homes England.
The proposed scheme will include a range of homes, from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom family houses, with the open market homes being sold under the Linden Homes brand.
Russell Baldwinson, Executive Director of Development at LiveWest, said: “Together with our partners, Vistry Partnerships, we are delighted our transformational plans for Pinhoe Quarry have been given planning permission.
“Our vision is to create homes and communities that people love to live in and this is a location which definitely supports this.
“Alongside this, our firm commitment to delivering new affordable homes in Exeter will make a huge contribution to meeting local housing needs.”
LiveWest agreed to purchase the land three years ago from Pinhoe Quarry Limited - a subsidiary of Waddeton Park Limited. LiveWest then teamed up with Vistry Partnerships to turn the proposed development into a joint venture project.
Marc Thompson, Managing Director of Vistry Partnerships South West, commented: “We are delighted with the decision by Exeter City Council in granting planning permission for this scheme which enables us to develop this fantastic new site and deliver much-needed homes for local people.
“As a partnerships-focused business we look to build and establish long-term relationships that deliver true value for our clients. We are delighted to be working with our partners, LiveWest once again, changing lives and landscapes through creating sustainable new communities.”
In addition to the provision of new homes the development will contribute towards improvements in transport, education and community facilities.
Preparatory works on the site have been ongoing for the past six years to help transform what was a derelict site into what will be a new and vibrant community hub for Exeter.
The partnership between LiveWest and Vistry Partnerships which stretches back more than 10 years, has been further strengthened after it announced plans to deliver more than 2,000 new homes across the South West.
The joint venture will see a further 678 new homes built in Exeter, and a further 1,400 across the South West as part of both organisation’s drive to meet the desperate need for new housing across the region.
The success of the collaboration has seen not only new homes delivered across the region but has truly created new communities and provided value to the areas in which they work.
The partnership has delivered 156 industry short courses, 542 training weeks in a live site environment and has seen 21 learners move into full-time employment within the industry.
LiveWest has also been granted permission for a second site in the city after plans were approved to develop 60 affordable homes off Ringswell Avenue. The development includes social rented and shared ownership homes, providing much needed affordable accommodation within the city.
The scheme will also provide pedestrian and cycle links through the development, linking Ringswell Avenue, Ribston Avenue and Warwick Road, and improving connectivity locally.
Financial contributions totalling £56,265 will be made towards improving education provision within the local area.
Sustainable homes in Bristol will empower communities
Bristol continues to build on its ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 with a highly sustainable development of 50 affordable homes currently underway.
Community development, high levels of energy efficiency and environmental enhancements are leading values of the Shaldon Road scheme, being delivered by National contractor United Living in partnership with United Communities and the Bristol Community Land Trust, with support from Bristol City Council and Homes England.
The homes will provide residents with a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling minimising each home’s carbon footprint. Built to ‘PassiveHaus’ principles, the energy-efficient properties will each feature a mini ‘Shoebox’ ground source heat pump connected to an ambient shared ground loop array, supplied and installed by Cornish manufacturer Kensa Heat Pumps and Kensa Contracting. Complementing the low-carbon ground source heat pumps will be a MVHR (mechanical vented heat recovery) system, making the homes even more energy efficient and further lowering fuel bills for the residents. Encasing these renewable heat technologies, the homes will be constructed using a single skin 'Porotherm' block, cutting construction time and delivering improved thermal properties over traditional construction. Solar PV panels will also feature in the development to further reduce costs, whilst supporting a green transport plan which features electric car charging points, a car share scheme and improved pedestrian and cycle access.
Communal green space around the homes is also being created with a dedicated and protected green corridor for biodiversity and wildlife including bats, birds, bees and other insects.
Further to the development’s ultra-green credentials, Shaldon Road is also one of the biggest ‘self-finish’ projects ever undertaken in Bristol. The development will provide a mix of two, three and four bedrooms which are a mixed tenure of shared equity and affordable rent. Future residents have committed to taking part in the ‘self-finish’ process which involves them making design decisions enabling them to tailor their new homes interior elements, as well as undertaking physical works on their properties including second fix carpentry, fitting kitchens and decorating. The ‘self-finish’ approach is aimed at making properties more affordable and coupled with the lower energy costs associated with the ‘PassivHaus’ design principles and renewable technologies, the project hopes to set a new standard for truly sustainable development.
Caroline Lewis, New Business Manager at United Living, said: “The start of this project represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from the whole project team. United Living are very proud to be involved in this project as it embodies all of our core value, especially our commitment to creating communities not just building homes. We are acutely aware of the need to develop and implement solutions to tackle the housing shortage and climate change, at United Living we are constantly working with our partners to deploy innovative ways to address these issues, the solutions we are using at Shaldon Road are a small part of this.”
Anna Klimczak, Interim CEO at United Communities, said: “We are thrilled that work has started on this site. The Shaldon Road scheme will bring much needed new homes to the Lockleaze area and transform the lives of the incoming residents, many of whom are from the local community. The scheme has empowered residents to make decisions about their new homes many of whom have been involved from the start. Residents will also be gaining valuable practical skills through the self-finish model. Communities are at the heart of what we do at United Communities; 30% of our new homes will be community-led projects by 2024. We look forward to the scheme progressing and the residents enjoying their new homes.”
Lindy Morgan, CEO at Bristol Community Land Trust, said: “I am thrilled that this pioneering scheme has now started on site. It has been an immense learning curve for the Bristol CLT board and staff, and even more so for the future residents, some of whom have been involved for a number of years. The passion of all those involved has driven the project forward, and we cannot wait to see it coming out of the ground. The scheme will deliver life-changing opportunities to those who have been matched with a home at the scheme and has always had community at the heart of it.”
George Gillow, Business Development Manager, Kensa Contracting: “It is a pleasure to be involved in the development of high quality, energy efficient housing, specifically built for local families, whilst also helping Bristol to reduce their CO2 emissions and improve local air quality with British-made ground source heat pumps.”
Blackwood's pioneering accessible homes come to Glasgow
A NEW collection of 24 pioneering homes which aim to transform the lives of people with disabilities – including technology which can open doors and adjust the height of kitchen worktops at the touch of a button – is being built in Glasgow.
Leading care and housing provider Blackwood has revealed that the next phase of its revolutionary Blackwood House is being developed at Glamis Road in Glasgow.
The new development, in the Helenvale area, will be made available to tenants later this year and follows the hugely successful launch of the Blackwood House in Dundee.
Helenvale will consist of 24 wheelchair accessible two-bedroom flats, which have been carefully developed with accessibility in mind. By combining innovative construction with the latest technology, Blackwood aims to help disabled people live their life to the full by providing housing and care services which are tailored to their individual needs.
Stephanie Sutherland, Development Manager at Blackwood, said: “We’re always trying to think of different ways we can enable our customers to live an independent life – the way we develop our homes mean they can adapt to change with customer’s needs.
“Technology is a large part of our focus in encouraging independent living – all of the homes are fully connected using our CleverCogs™ system, which allows customers to do anything from controlling the lights and opening and closing doors to staying in touch with their care provider.”
Every aspect of the ‘Blackwood House’ has been carefully considered to remove obstacles that can disrupt daily life for tenants. Homes will come equipped with electronic sliding doors, electric blinds and underfloor heating as well as solar panels.
Other special features include automated rise and fall surfaces and cupboards in the kitchen. The contemporary bathrooms will be fitted with a rise and fall sink, a fully-adjustable shower and a self-cleaning toilet
The ‘smart’ properties will be integrated with Blackwood’s own digitally-enhanced personalised care system, CleverCogs™, which, in addition to controlling heating and lights, can be used to enable customers to video chat with their friends and family and receive appointment and medication reminders. Many of the CleverCogs™ features will be voice-controlled.
Stephanie added: “We work closely with our customers to evolve and develop new ways we can improve their ability to live independently.
“It’s important to us that our customers live in homes that work specifically for them, homes they can be proud to live in and homes which have been developed with their input in mind.”
In addition to regular care at home services, tenants will also be able to access 24-hour care through Blackwood’s revolutionary Night Support Service, which allows customers to access care support between the hours of 10pm and 7am via the CleverCogs™ system. Care staff will be able to answer video calls and assess a situation in the same way they would in person.
Blackwood is working closely with the Health and Social Care Partnership in Glasgow to allocate the houses to tenants. Helenvale is Blackwood’s eighth residential development in Glasgow.
The first phase of the Blackwood House – involving six properties in Dundee’s Glamis Road - was launched in Dundee in June 2017. Blackwood has plans to build up to 140 more Blackwood Houses in all parts of Scotland over the next few years.
Since it was founded in 1972 by Dr Margaret Blackwood, Blackwood has pioneered housing and care by continuously innovating and utilising technology to enable independence for customers of all abilities.
Blackwood aims to help people live their life to the full, by providing services which support individuals in exercising their right to choice and control over their lives in accommodation suitable and adaptable to their needs.
As Blackwood works in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, it is more widely dispersed than most other care or housing providers and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.
For more information, please visit: blackwoodgroup.org.uk
Vistry Partnerships forges ahead with Coupe Green homes
Vistry Partnerships, formerly Galliford Try Partnerships, has been given the go-ahead to build 70 dwellings in Coupe Green following a successful planning appeal, and has this week done a deal to acquire the site.
The Olive Farm scheme located north of Methuen Drive, Hoghton, will see a mix of three and four-bedroom homes developed for open market sale under the Linden Homes brand, along with two and three-bedroom homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.
The regeneration experts will work in partnership with a housing association to guarantee the affordability of the new homes.
A spokesperson at Vistry Partnerships North West, said: “We are delighted to have completed the purchase of the site and to have secured planning permission for these homes.
“The development will create high quality, family homes, with a good mix of sizes and tenures enabling local people to find the right home for them.
“We have a proven track record in building attractive, modern homes across the North West, including within South Ribble, and we look forward to delivering another successful scheme for the community.”
Built as a variety of semi-detached and detached buildings, each dwelling will have access to dedicated parking spaces and a private garden at the rear.
Following the purchase of the land, work is now expected to commence on site in the coming months, with the new homes expected to be available in Winter 2020.
122 new homes to be built in Chorley by Laurus Homes
Planning permission has been granted for 122 new homes to be built in Chorley by Trafford Housing Trust (part of L&Q) under the Laurus Homes brand.
The 10.5-hectare £28.5 million site, formerly known as Strawberry Fields, is off Euxton Road next to the £8.4 million Digital Hub, which opened last year and aims to provide high value jobs. The development will comprise a mix of two, three and four-bedroom family houses available for sale, with properties also available for affordable rent and shared ownership.
Work will start on site in Spring 2020: the designated contractor is Seddon and the planning agent is Euan Kellie Property Solutions.
60 new homes announced by Laurus Homes in Forton
An £11 million housing development in Forton, Lancashire has been announced by Trafford Housing Trust (part of L&Q), under its Laurus Homes brand. The 60-home scheme will be built by M.C.I. Developments Limited, a subsidiary of Keepmoat Homes.
The 2.43 hectare development on the Hollins Lane site will see a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes brought to the market, 24 of which will be offered for affordable rent or shared ownership. The family-friendly development will also feature eight new bungalows, a childrens’ play area and high-quality public open space.
Fred Crawshaw, Senior Commercial Manager at Trafford Housing Trust said: “Wyre Council has identified a significant need for affordable housing in the borough, and these new homes will help to address those requirements. We are delighted to be working with MCI for the first time on this important development.
“Trafford Housing Trust is committed to bringing forward affordable housing in Wyre and across the North West as we continue to tackle the current housing crisis.”
MCI’s Managing Director Alex Wood, said: “We are very pleased to have secured planning permission for the scheme from Wyre Borough Council, and we’re looking forward to delivering the scheme for Trafford Housing Trust. We hope this will be the first of a number of sites that MCI will deliver in partnership with the Trust.”
Work will start in February, with the development expected to be completed by March 2022.
New council homes sites confirmed for by Southwark Council
Twenty-one new sites have been added to Southwark Council’s list of locations to provide hundreds of new council housing across the borough – including a second partnership project working with Leathermarket Community Benefit Society (CBS) to build new homes.
These sites are the next step towards meeting the council’s ambitious target of building 11,000 council homes by 2043, including 2,500 by 2022.
The first affordable housing scheme delivered with Leathermarket, at Marklake Court, has been recognised in a number of prestigious awards, including winner of the New London Architecture award for best new housing and the RICS award for new residential property.
Recognition also came from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who applauded the partnership model of providing genuinely affordable, community-led housing in central London. The second scheme at Joseph Lancaster will provide 40 council homes for local communities.
Cllr Leo Pollak, Cabinet Member for New Homes, Great Estates and Social Regeneration, said: “I’m really pleased that we are able to announce these new sites into our new council homes programme. In the midst of a housing crisis it is more important than ever to be stepping forward to deliver genuinely affordable, secure, high quality homes for our residents.
“The homes built on these sites with be prioritised for local people, and each project will be developed together with local residents as part of a wider estate improvement plan to ensure we achieve an improvement in everyone’s living environment, not just those who move into the new homes.
“I’m grateful to the local residents, TRAs and councillors we’ve spoken with to get to this stage, and am delighted too to be continuing our brilliant community partnership with Leathermarket CBS to help deliver a number of these council homes projects in Bermondsey and Borough.”
Meanwhile, plans to build 50 extra care homes, a new, state-of-the-art day centre and community hub to support older people in the borough were approved by Southwark Council’s planning committee recently.
The new four-storey building will be an extension to the current extra care services at Tayo Situ House on Commercial Way in Peckham, which opened in 2016.
The community housing scheme was named after the late Mayor of Southwark and dedicated Peckham ward member Councillor Tayo Situ. Cllr Situ was a Peckham councillor from 2002 up to his death in May 2011.
The state of the art centre, with technology to enhance the care and support offer to provide excellent care for people with dementia and other complex needs, was originally proposed as part of the development in 2016. But when the building it was due to be housed in was found to be structurally unsound it was put on hold while the building was demolished and the new plans drawn up for a brand new centre with the additional extra care housing – all at council rents.
Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning and one of Tayo’s sons, said: “It was a wonderful tribute to have the homes named after our father in the part of the borough that he loved and worked so hard for during his time as a Southwark councillor.
“It is especially fitting that those original flats and the new proposed ones aren’t just affordable, new council homes, but homes that have a special purpose – to help some of our older residents stay happier and healthier in their own home.
“I am pleased that this legacy is continuing with this fantastic new day centre and community hub that will provide services and help support some of the borough’s older and more vulnerable residents and their families.”
Cllr Jasmine Ali, Cabinet Member for Children and Adult Care, said: “I am really pleased that we are now able to move forward with this exciting project to offer the best possible care options for people in the borough who are facing the challenges of dementia and other needs caused by growing older.
“This centre is part of the council’s plan to meet the wider needs of people needing adult care including those with different stages of dementia.”
Extra Care homes are self-contained flats that allow tenants to live independently in their own homes, but with care support on-site around the clock so there is that bit of extra help if they need it, so they can live safely and well. With additional community facilities and a garden area, tenants can also choose to relax with neighbours, make friends and hopefully not feel isolated or alone.”
Catalyst starts new 100% affordable development in High Wycombe
Catalyst has started work on a 100% affordable, 19-home development in High Wycombe. The housing association appointed Jarvis Contracting Ltd. as construction contractor for the Sidney House project late last year, and they have recently started construction.
Built on the site of a disused sheltered housing facility that was closed in 2004, the 19 new homes will provide two-bedroom houses at an affordable rent to local people living in Wycombe.
Jarvis took possession of the site in July 2019 to start demolition and site clearance works. Construction will continue this year, with the new homes scheduled to complete in late 2020. The construction contractors were appointed through Catalyst’s £900m contractor framework which was finalised late 2018. The framework is OJEU compliant, and any housing association or public sector body can access it for a fee.
Mark Doyle, CEO of Jarvis Contracting Ltd said, “The opportunity to take an underutilised site and create an attractive environment with high-quality new homes for Catalyst is something we’re really looking forward to at Jarvis. We enjoy a reputation for successfully delivering exactly this type of project and, by working closely with the Catalyst team, we’ll build something that will complement the existing location, whilst providing much needed new homes for the area.”
Phil Jenkins, Group Development Director at Catalyst said, “Although relatively small, our Sidney House scheme is an important part of our ambition to deliver genuinely affordable homes across the south east. It’s our first development in Wycombe since 2015 and we are really pleased to be back working in the district. As always, I’m excited to see this development take shape in 2020 and can’t wait to welcome our new customers to their new homes.”
The site is part of Catalyst’s ambition to develop up to 1,300 quality new homes each year through land acquisition, regeneration and in partnership with other landowners and developers.
New affordable homes plan unveiled in Hemel Hempstead
A new development providing 87 affordable homes for rent in Hemel Hempstead has been unveiled by Hightown Housing Association.
Peregrine Close, Hightown’s latest affordable housing development in Hemel Hempstead, is another addition to the almost 2,000 homes Hightown manages in Dacorum. It provides 87 one-and two-bedroom apartments across four blocks, surrounding a central courtyard and a children’s play area.
Councillor Terry Douris, Mayor of Dacorum, officially declared the homes open along with the Chair and Chief Executive of Hightown at a special ribbon-cutting event on Thursday 9 January. Guests included Councillors and staff from Dacorum Borough Council; residents, staff and Board members from Hightown; plus contractors, and consultants involved in the development.
47 of the homes have been allocated to residents who were on the local authority’s waiting list and the remaining 40 to local people for intermediate rent which will help residents saving up for a deposit as rent is set at 80 per cent of the market rate.
Peregrine Close is located between Redbourn Road and Swallowdale Lane, with easy access to the town centre by public transport or a short drive to the motorway and surrounding areas such as St Albans. A cycle and footpath also links to the cycle path along the former railway line, known as ‘The Nicky’.
The development was constructed by contractors, Thomas Sinden, and the architects were PRP.
The land was formerly an office block known as Viking House. It was bought by Hightown in 2014.
David Bogle, Hightown’s Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased to have officially opened Peregrine Close, providing affordable homes for local people who cannot afford to buy or rent at market rates.
“We are most grateful for the support we have received from Dacorum Borough Council for this development including grant funding. I would also like to extend my thanks to all those who have been involved in this project for their hard work.”
Graeme Sinden, Director of Thomas Sinden, comments: “We are delighted to have worked with Hightown Housing Association to transform the former Viking House site into much needed high-quality affordable housing in Hemel Hempstead. This was an important scheme for us and we are pleased to see local residents already enjoying their brand new homes.”
Affordable rent homes in Runcorn begin to take shape
Work has begun on a new development that will see 16 affordable rental homes built in Runcorn.
The derelict site in Tanhouse, including the former Old Transporter pub, has now been completely demolished to start the new build.
Plus Dane Housing is behind the plans for the new two-bedroom homes, which will regenerate the neighbourhood and create three new roles on site, including apprenticeships.
Development Director Chris McAllister said: “It is absolutely fantastic to see work begin on these 16 new homes for Tanhouse. Although it has taken a long time to get to this stage, we have always been committed to regenerating this site and improving it for the benefit of existing residents. We’re looking forward to building attractive contemporary homes for local people and also to bring new people to the area. We look forward to seeing these homes completed and welcoming the first new tenants.”
Plus Dane has appointed John McCall Architects and Engie to deliver the design and construction of the new homes in accordance with Plus Dane’s design and specification. Demolition began at the start of January, and the homes are scheduled for completion in spring 2021. Homes England have provided grant funding through its Affordable Homes Programme.
The Tanhouse site has been derelict for some years and the accommodation was previously bedsit-style flats. Plus Dane Housing needed to acquire the Old Transporter pub, which was privately owned, before work could go ahead on transforming the area and provide much-needed affordable housing in the neighbourhood.
As part of this development, Plus Dane and Engie have worked together to offer employment and training opportunities for Plus Dane customers interested in construction. There will be an Open Day on Tuesday 10 March from 11am to 1pm at The Community Shop at Priory House, Northway in Runcorn, offering the chance to find out more about Engie’s opportunities - including qualifications and three full-time jobs working on the development. There will be guaranteed job interviews for any customers who successfully complete the training.
To find out more about the training programme and job opportunities, please contact Plus Dane’s Engagement & Partnerships Team on 01260 288422.
Plus Dane Housing is a housing association with a social purpose. We employ over 500 people, and provide homes to around 30,000 people across Merseyside and Cheshire. We are proud members of the 5% Club with over 5% of our workforce made up of apprentices, graduate trainees or work placements.
Purfleet given green light for 61 new high-quality family homes
Planning permission has been granted for 61 high-quality family homes close to the train station in Purfleet by the Planning Committee of Thurrock Council. These new homes mark the first phase the £1 billion regeneration of the town centre and will create a gateway to the wider masterplan, connecting existing Purfleet with the new development and ensuring the whole community benefits.
The project is being delivered by joint venture partners, Swan Housing Association and Urban Catalyst, which together form Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited (PCRL).
Phase one, which will consist of a mix of spacious two, three and four-bedroom homes, is close to the railway station, with access to both the town centre and wider community spaces. Up to 30% of the homes will be available to purchase under the Government’s Shared Ownership scheme, which aims to make getting on the housing ladder more affordable. Work on the 61 homes is due to commence in spring/summer 2020.
This phase will also include a children’s play area, orchard walk and reinstate public access to Hollow Woods, and will form part of the 2.36-hectare development which has been designed to enhance the green links to Purfleet’s Conservation Area.
A minimum of 94 parking spaces - equating to 1.5 spaces per household - will also be provided, while much of the existing woodland will be retained so residents can enjoy the green space with the aim of creating a healthier, more active community.
Architecture is also deliberately in keeping with the woodland setting, reflecting the style of homes in the surrounding Conservation Area by making use of timber effect and Flint Gabions.
These new homes form part of the £1 billion planned regeneration of the town centre that will see PCRL, with local partner Thurrock Council, create a vibrant centre with shops, community amenities including a new health centre, improved railways and transport facilities, housing and job opportunities.
PCRL’s ambitious regeneration plans also encompass a state-of-the-art media village and entertainment studios, with the vison for Purfleet, which is already home to the High House Production Park, to become an international creative hub within the Thames Gateway.
Outline planning permission for the £1billion masterplan was granted by Thurrock Council in April last year.
Sir Tim Laurence, Chairman of PCRL, said: “We are excited to commence this project, which will form part of the wider regeneration of Purfleet, creating a vibrant place for people to live, work, learn, socialise and invest, and which is in harmony with its natural surroundings.
“The first phase is an opportunity to demonstrate PCRL’s commitment to realising our ambitious plans and to repaying the trust that the local community have placed in us.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with local residents - who have provided vital local knowledge and support in the development of our masterplan - to create a thriving Purfleet for everyone.”
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill said: “The Purfleet Centre redevelopment scheme as a whole will incorporate a number of significant infrastructure improvements which will include better access to the Thames riverfront, improvements to flood defences, high quality public open spaces, a new health centre, community facilities, and a new primary school alongside new shops and leisure facilities. The recently approved application will also create a significant area of public open space and play facilities for the benefit of new and existing residents, all of this along with 61 houses is showing we will put infrastructure before expansion.”
To find out more, visit ourpurfleet.com
£400m housing boost for Wales in 2020-21
Investment in new housing in Wales will reach £400m in 2020-21, thanks to a £175m budget boost from the Welsh Government, Housing Minister Julie James announced today.
This brings the total invested by the Welsh Government in building new homes to £2bn over this Assembly term.
Housing Minister, Julie James said: “Housing is a key priority for the Welsh Government, and this is reflected in our draft budget for 2020-21.
“We want everyone to live in a home that meets their needs and supports a healthy, successful and prosperous life. Good-quality homes are the bedrock of good communities and form the basis for individuals and families to flourish in all aspects of their lives.
“I’m delighted we are investing an additional £175m in housing schemes from April, taking total investment in new housing to £400m.
“This will help ensure we build more of the social and affordable homes that people need across Wales.”
Providing more social housing is a top priority for the Welsh Government and the new injection of capital funding for housing in the budget this financial year includes an extra £48m for the social housing grant programme, taking total investment in new social housing to £223.3m.
The Welsh Government’s draft budget allocates:
• £50m to fund housing loans - assisting Registered Social Landlords with development plans for new social housing and to help start to decarbonise existing homes;
• £35m to fund Help to Buy Wales - helping more people to access home ownership.
• £5m of capital funding will be invested in the land release fund, which is focused on developing public land for use for social housing;
• £10m to support Welsh modern methods of construction suppliers.
In addition, extra funding will also be targeted towards building more low-carbon homes, helping to respond to the climate emergency, as part of a £140m package to ensure a greener Wales.
Additional capital funding of £25m will extend the Innovative Housing Programme, responding to emerging evidence that modular and other modern methods of home construction can successfully deliver near zero-carbon homes. Around 450 extra climate-friendly social homes will be built across Wales as a result.
The Innovative Housing Programme supports those building affordable and market housing to develop new models of house building, building on the success seen over the last two years, and reflects the Welsh Government’s sustained commitment to supporting real change.
Between 2016 and 2021, the Welsh Government will have invested £2bn in housing, recognising the importance of good, quality housing to support thriving communities. This will help deliver the Welsh Government’s commitment to deliver 20,000 new affordable homes across Wales by 2021.
Two schemes acquired by leading older peoples’ housing association
Housing 21, a leading not-for-profit provider of Extra Care and Retirement Housing, has acquired two new Extra Care schemes in Peckham and Kent from Hyde Housing. The news follows Housing 21’s acquisition of a Bury St Edmunds scheme from Orwell Housing earlier this year and a Nottingham scheme from Midland Heart scheme in 2018.
The acquisition of more specialist housing for older people of modest means strengthens the organisation’s position as of one of the largest providers of Extra Care and Retirement Housing in England.
Limetree House, Peckham
Limetree House, on Dundas Road in Peckham, is made of 54 apartments available for rent and Bellerophon House, on Doust Way in Rochester, Kent, has 41 apartments for rent. The schemes will now operate as part of Housing 21’s Extra Care Living offer, providing independent living with access to on-site care and support. Housing staff previously employed by Hyde Housing at Limetree House remain in their positions with new employer Housing 21. On-site care providers, London Care and Everycare, remain in place at the schemes.
Bellerophon House, Rochester, Kent
Kris Peach, Director of Extra Care at Housing 21 said: “We are delighted to welcome residents and staff to Housing 21 from both Bellerophon House in Rochester and Limetree House in Peckham.
“Over the next few years Housing 21 will continue to expand its offering in Retirement Housing and Extra Care and this will be done through the provision of new developments and also by acquiring existing schemes from other providers.
“Bellerophon and Limetree House represent two of the most recent acquisitions and by using our vast experience in the sector we can ensure we take these schemes forward and provide the best possible services for our residents.”
Enitan Scott, Housing Manager at Limetree House said: “It has been a positive feeling since the change-over happened. The effectiveness and smooth operation was great and quite impressive.
“I have had great support from Billie Fryer, who is Housing Manager at another scheme Housing 21 recently acquired and staff have been very kind to me, giving reassurance and words of encouragement. I am looking forward to meeting colleagues and managing another quality service provided by the organisation.”
For more information about Housing 21, visit housing21.org.uk.
Orbit builds on Homes England partnership with Trent & Dove
Orbit has signed a delivery partner contract with Midlands-based Trent & Dove for them to build at least 135 homes in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
The contract forms part of Orbit’s strategic partnership with Homes England which will provide grant funding of £128m for an additional 2,762 much-needed affordable new homes to be in development by 2022.
Orbit is one of the largest housing groups in the country with a growing property portfolio of over 43,000 homes spanning the Midlands, east and south.
Maggie McCann, Director of Regeneration and Partnerships at Orbit, explained: “Our partnership with Homes England supports our ambition to deliver 20,000 new homes over the next 10 years as we continue to play a key role in the growth of the UK housing market and fulfil our commitment to lead in building thriving communities. The contract we have just signed will enable Trent & Dove to meet its own development ambitions through the Homes England funding.
“This is a very positive step for the affordable housing market in the Midlands and Homes England is fully behind this partnership. We were very impressed with Trent & Dove’s experience of building high quality, affordable homes which are much-needed in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Formed in 2001, Trent & Dove provides affordable housing for rent and shared ownership. They currently have 6,000 properties covering East Staffordshire, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire.
Trent & Dove will build, own and manage the homes, which will be a mixture of affordable rent and shared ownership properties. A number of sites have been identified to deliver the 135 new homes and work has already started on two with three currently appointing contractors and two sites are in the planning system.
Charlie Riley, Director of Development at Trent & Dove Housing, said: “We are delighted to partner with Orbit to support our aspiration of becoming a 10,000 home organisation by 2022. Together, with both our experience and expertise, we can build the right homes in the right places for our customers. The partnership supports our mission of Transforming Homes, Lives and Neighbourhoods and we look forward to playing a pivotal role in providing more homes across our region.”
By the end of September 2019, Orbit had identified sites that will provide half of the strategic partnership programme of 2,762 homes by 2022.
HA submits plans for 128 new homes in Welwyn Garden City
Hightown Housing Association has submitted planning permission for 128 new affordable homes in Welwyn Garden City.
If approved, the new homes will bring 128 one and two bedroom apartments for rent and shared ownership to the area. 69 of these homes will be for rent and go to people in housing need nominated by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, and the remaining 59 will be offered through shared ownership (part buy, part rent) for aspiring homeowners.
Located at 29 Broadwater Road (opposite the Shredded Wheat site), the development will transform the current largely disused office building into new affordable homes.
The plans include a central communal green space for residents to relax in and enjoy. The development will be red brick with tall windows and takes inspiration from the traditional neo-Georgian architectural style of buildings in Welwyn Garden City such as the Council offices and John Lewis.
As well as having access to an attractive town centre, residents will be close to public transport links with regular trains into London in less than half an hour.
Hightown’s proposals mean they would aim to start construction in autumn 2020 and complete the development by summer 2022.
The scheme is one of several projects where Hightown has purchased the land directly and will enter into a contract to build the extra affordable homes rather than working in partnership with a house builder to deliver affordable homes as a planning obligation.
Hightown Housing Association is one of the UK’s fastest growing housing associations after building over 1,000 homes in the last two years, with plans to build at the same rate in the next two years.
Andrew Royall, Development Director for Hightown, said: “These exciting plans will bring much needed affordable housing to local people in Welwyn Garden City. We have been careful to ensure the look of the new homes will be in keeping with the local character of the area and the added green space for residents is a nod to the garden city ideals.”
Homebuilders begin work on Bristol site Hartcliffe Campus
A new community of 350 new homes moved a step closer this week after work started on a site in Hartcliffe, Bristol.
The development is a partnership between UK home builder Keepmoat Homes and the largest housing association in the South West, LiveWest, and forms a key part of the regeneration of South Bristol.
The land on part of the former Hartcliffe College Campus site, which was owned by Bristol City Council, will feature a range of two, three and four-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments.
Almost a third of the properties will be available through social rent or shared ownership schemes. The site was granted planning permission in July 2019 and the first residents are expected to be able to move into their new homes in Summer 2020.
Richard Young, Technical Director at Keepmoat Homes said: “We are thrilled to be starting work on the first phase of the development at Hartcliffe. This development will transform the local area, bringing much-needed housing to the community.
“We have created an excellent partnership with Live West and Bristol City Council, and we are looking forward to creating an attractive neighbourhood which hundreds of people will call home.”
Russell Baldwinson, LiveWest’s Executive Director of Development, said: “We are delighted that work has commenced at Harcliffe.
“The development will provide a wide range of homes, including much needed affordable housing in an attractive, exciting and vibrant new setting.
“Working with Keepmoat Homes and Bristol City Council, we have had a common goal of creating a high-quality new housing development which will provide our customers with a great place to live.”
The development will include a variety of ecological initiatives to support the local wildlife, including a wildflower “pollinator park”, a wildlife corridor and 450 new trees.
In addition to this, a swarm of blue butterflies and its sole food source, the kidney vetch plant, have been relocated to another area on the site, ensuring they are preserved and able to thrive.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, commented: “We are delighted to be involved with a project that addresses one of our city’s most urgent priorities – building more housing, particularly affordable homes in areas that need it the most.
“We want to make Bristol a city where everyone has a safe roof over their heads, and we cannot do that without developments like this.”
Demolition begins on £95m Park East redevelopment in south-east London
Demolition has begun on the £95million Park East redevelopment in Erith, south-east London. The project, which is being delivered by Wates Residential and Orbit, in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley, will see 320 new homes built, of which 80 per cent will for affordable rent and shared ownership to ensure a mixed, aspirational and sustainable community for local residents.
It comes after Wates Residential and Orbit completed six years of work on the nearby Larner Road estate, transforming it into the award-winning, mixed tenure community Erith Park with 587 new homes.
Team members from both organisations came together with guests from the London Borough of Bexley and former residents at a special demolition event on Wednesday to mark the significant step forward for the project. Work is expected to be completed by 2023.
As part of the venture, Wates Residential and Orbit have also pledged to kick start training opportunities from local residents by hiring at least 31 apprentices and at least 25 people in full-time employment from the local area.
Another of the unique training and employment initiatives that Wates Residential has brought to Erith is its Building Futures programme, which helps unemployed adults gain valuable practical experience and employability coaching to reinvigorate their career prospects. Seven students recently graduated from the two-week course having gained hands-on experience of a construction site.
Glen Roberts, Operations Director for Wates Residential, said: “The start of demolition is a significant moment for the Park East development, which will deliver hundreds of high-quality new homes and a lasting legacy for the area. “We are pleased to have been able to join together with our partners Orbit and the London Borough of Bexley to hear from residents about their fondest memories of the area. We are looking forward to the community being able to make new memories in Park East over the coming years.”
Caroline Field, Head of Regeneration for Orbit, commented: “We’re delighted Doreen and Mick could join us and to hear they are happily settling in their new home. We moved over 250 households from the old Arthur Street estate and aimed to find all of them a better quality home.”
Photos: Diane Auckland/Fotohaus
Park East - Site team members from Wates Residential including Glen Roberts, Operations Director, and Paul Nicholls, Managing Director. They are joined by Orbit's Maggie McCann and Caroline Field, and former residents Doreen and Mick Weekes, who attended the event with their wider family.
Park East 2 - (L-R) - Paul Nicolls, Managing Director of Wates Residential; Caroline Field, Head of Regeneration for Orbit; Maggie McCann, Regeneration and Partnership Director for Orbit; and Glen Roberts, Operations Director at Wates Residential
LiveWest and Bovis Homes announce strategic partnership to build nearly 2,000 homes
LiveWest and national house-builder Bovis Homes will deliver 2,000 new homes across the South West for shared ownership, affordable rent and for sale on three sites as part of a strategic partnership.
As the largest housing provider of affordable housing in the region, providing these homes will significantly contribute to LiveWest’s ambitious plans to deliver 16,000 homes over the next 10 years - which equates to a £2 billion investment into the South West economy.
The joint venture will see 678 new homes built in Exeter, 398 in Tavistock and the latest scheme to be announced will see 831 new homes built in Taunton.
The homes will be built over the next 15 years, with the first homes set to be completed in Tavistock from August 2021. The investment will create local jobs, apprenticeships and other opportunities.
Russell Baldwinson, LiveWest’s Executive Director of Development, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Bovis Homes to build much-needed housing, and provide local people and families with secure, long-term homes that they can afford to buy and rent.
“Livewest is continually looking at innovative ways to provide new homes, and being involved in commercial ventures such as this enables us to generate profits that we can reinvest into building more affordable homes in areas where there is a significant need.
“These three developments mean we provide the affordable homes that would have come forward through planning, but also additional affordable housing which LiveWest and Homes England are funding.
“With our ambitious strategy to build 16,000 homes over the next 10 years, we are looking forward to working with Bovis Homes across the South West on the next phase of our plans.”
Keith Carnegie, Chief Executive of Bovis Homes’ partnership housing division, said: “We are delighted with our joint venture with LiveWest to deliver much-needed, quality homes in the South West.
“This project will transform the area and shows our commitment to housebuilding in across the region, boosting investment and jobs. We look forward to a fruitful, long-term partnership with LiveWest.”
Both the Taunton and Exeter developments have benefited from government-grant funding from Homes England.
Peter Jones, Head of Affordable Housing for South West, at Homes England, said: “It is great to be working with LiveWest and Bovis Homes in funding this development, designed to meet the needs of local people.
“This is an excellent example of Homes England working with partners to build more homes faster, helping communities and providing affordable housing. We look forward to increasing the supply of affordable housing in key cities and towns in the South West.”
LiveWest and Bovis Homes are also making financial contributions across the three sites including local shopping centres and community hubs. Further investment will be made to improve roads and sustainable travel initiatives.
Photo: Artist impression of the Exeter development
Planning approval for 375 new Teeside homes
Planning consent has been granted for a major new housing development on Teesside. The £59 million, 375 home project - on land to the west of Kirkleatham Lane, on the edge of Redcar - will be constructed by Galliford Try Partnerships North, in collaboration with Homes England, which currently owns the site.
As part of the proposal, approved by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, 80 of the properties are to be developed for private rent at market level and 108 for affordable rent and shared ownership. The partners that will provide these homes will be announced later.
The remaining 187 homes would be built for open market sale through Galliford Try’s housebuilding division, Linden Homes.
The new project is the largest, in terms of number of homes and the second biggest, in terms of value, of eight projects recently secured by Galliford Try Partnerships North, which will see the creation of just over 1,000 homes, with a total gross development value of £180 million, over the next five years.
“This new project has come about as part of our company-wide strategy to work with Homes England to tackle UK housing need.” Says Sean Egan, Managing Director with Galliford Try Partnerships North: “We have been able to bring forward a proposal that will deliver high quality new homes on a superb site on Teesside, offering choice for local people – be they looking to buy, rent privately or to rent via a social housing provider.
“We are in discussion with potential partners to provide the affordable rented and shared ownership homes and hope to be able to announce more details in the near future.
“This latest scheme is one of eight major projects secured in recent months, driving business growth and protecting and creating jobs and training opportunities throughout the North East.”
Galliford Try Partnerships North’s new projects include another Teesside initiative – a £62 million, 350 mixed tenure development adjacent to the James Cook University Hospital in the Brackenhoe area of south Middlesbrough and other developments in Darlington, Gateshead (two), Peterlee (two) and Washington.
In addition, work is nearing completion on a development of 92 new homes for social housing provider Thirteen, on Bishopton Road, in Middlesbrough – another scheme supported by Homes England.
Works begins on 94 new affordable homes in Cheshire East
Work is underway on building a development of 94 new houses to meet demand for high quality, affordable homes in Cheshire East.
The homes are being built by Seddon for Laurus Homes, a profit-for-purpose housing development company, part of Trafford Housing Trust. The site is 2.2 hectares and situated off Manchester Road and Biggs Way in Congleton.
Plans for the development were finalised alongside BTP architects and approved by Cheshire East Council in February 2019.
Named Giantswood Grove, the semi-rural development will provide a range of two to five-bedroom homes set in fully landscaped grounds comprising a mix of different elevations.
A total of 50% of the homes will be made available for shared ownership and affordable rent. The remaining half will be for private sale. Seddon’s Housing Partnership arm is delivering the build programme, with completion expected in Q3 2021.
Employment opportunities for local people within 15 miles of the site will be created, as well as eight dedicated apprenticeship positions and six traineeship placements, which enable young people with lower skill-sets to access apprenticeships in the future.
Duncan Williams, regional director at Seddon, said: “This mixed-tenure development is creating much-needed new homes in line with Cheshire East’s affordable housing policy. Construction is underway, with the team working closely with Laurus Homes to ensure local residents can move into the properties as soon as possible.”
Sandra Cooke at Laurus Homes, said: “Congleton has proven a very popular with buyers and it’s easy to see why. There’s a great range of shops and restaurants, with plenty of green space. We’re excited to be bringing stylish and spacious homes with a range of purchase options for buyers in Congleton.
“Giantswood Grove will be extremely well connected and within easy reach of the M6 and A34, providing great commuter links. As a profit-for-purpose developer, we’re proud to be bringing an affordable element to Giantswood Grove and to see the profits from the scheme be reinvested into the local community.”
Vicky Saunders, managing director at BTP Architects, said: “It’s great to see work begin on this development which will bring attractive new homes to the area. These are beautiful homes with huge floor spaces and we have considered every detail in their design. They will be a real asset to the area, providing more affordable housing options in Congleton.”
Kennaway Estate granted planning consent
Waugh Thistleton Architects’ design for the Kennaway Estate was approved on Wednesday 6 November when councillors for the London Borough of Hackney voted in favour of Southern Housing Group’s proposal to regenerate the estate.
The scheme will deliver 61 new homes, enhance the existing natural landscape and create designated pedestrian routes, play spaces, cycle storage facilities and other amenities. An exciting new workspace and much-needed community centre will help ensure that the scheme benefits the whole neighbourhood.
The 12 existing homes at Taverner House will be replaced by 61 new homes of between one and four bedrooms, together with new landscaping that will enhance and reinforce pedestrian connections across the site. More than 50% of the new homes provided will be affordable, comprising a mix of tenures including social rent, Hackney living rent, shared ownership, and outright sale to help contribute to the area’s vibrant community.
In collaboration with Source Partnership, Southern Housing Group consulted extensively with estate residents and neighbours during the design development to ensure a sensitive and characterful building proposal. Southern Housing Group has also created a Residents’ Charter that provides residents with assurances and security that protects their tenancy and offers them the right to return.
The proposed development is comprised of three distinct volumes linked by external walkways, and seven townhouses that echo the form and character of adjacent Victorian terraces. External materials and detailing take their inspiration from the immediate surroundings, ensuring that the building will sit comfortably within its context overlooking Clissold Park.
Kirsten Haggart, Senior Associate at Waugh Thistleton said: “We are delighted to be working with Southern Housing Group and local residents to deliver much needed new affordable homes in Hackney.
All homes are dual aspect, maximising daylight and natural ventilation, while the palette of robust materials ensures it will be a handsome new addition to the family of buildings on the Kennaway estate. The provision of a community room and workspace, together with comprehensive new landscaping, will also enhance the strong sense of community that already exists here.”
Oliver Boundy, Southern Housing Group’s Executive Director Development & Growth said: “From the outset, we promised to invest in the Kennaway Estate and to support the community it serves. Receiving planning consent means we can start working to create new, high-quality affordable homes in an area where these are in desperately short supply.”
“As one of London’s largest housing associations, we’re proud of our social purpose. Building more genuinely affordable homes is a fundamental part of Southern Housing Group’s Growth Strategy and corporate plan.”
Radius Housing secures investment of £105m to fund social housing development
Radius Housing has today announced a new £105m investment from a range of UK and North American investors. This is the first such investment, known as a private placement, to be secured by a Northern Ireland housing association and will play a significant role in Radius’ plans to build new social and affordable housing across Northern Ireland.
Radius Housing is a leading housing association which manages more than 13,000 homes in Northern Ireland and constructs more than 400 new social and affordable homes every year. This £105m investment gives Radius the financial power to continue and expand their development programme. Private placement is a means of raising finance via investors with long term repayments, and the transaction is expected to provide funds in 2020, subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence.
The announcement of this investment comes after Radius visited London and North America in September where they presented their development plans to a range of investors. In July Radius was graded 'A1 Stable’ by Moody’s, the international credit ratings agency - the highest rating given by Moody’s for any housing association in the UK. This rating allowed Radius to engage with more than 20 potential investors from the UK and USA.
John McLean, Chief Executive of Radius Housing, said “We are delighted by the confidence shown by international investors in Radius Housing’s development ambitions and the strength of our governance. North American and UK investors responded positively to our vision and plans for growth through the construction of new social and affordable housing across Northern Ireland. There was a recognition that the social housing sector has consistently delivered against targets and that we operate in an effective regulatory environment. Crucially, they saw that, as an industry leader, Radius is best placed to grow further.”
“Having secured this investment of £105m of private finance, Radius is now in a strong position to develop even more new social housing projects in areas of high need right across Northern Ireland. This investment will also be a welcome boost for the local construction sector at a time when we there is considerable uncertainty. Social housing construction is one of the most important aspects of the construction sector, and we now plan to build on our initial target of constructing 400 new homes each year.”
Alan Thomson, Director of Finance at Radius Housing, added “Choosing to seek investors through private placement has given Radius a opportunity to secure a deal which supports our development goals by giving a longer repayment term at very competitive rates. Securing a Moody’s rating was particularly important given this was Northern Ireland’s first social housing placement. With the support of Barclays and our treasury advisers JCRA, we were able to articulate the strengths of Radius and the local social housing sector. While the social housing sector is looking at how it can secure finance to meet development needs, Radius is the first social housing provider to seek funding through private placement of this magnitude.”
Alex Morgan, Director at JCRA, who advised on the placement, commented “We were delighted to support Radius in achieving this fantastic outcome, which not only opens doors for the business, but also paves the way for other associations in Northern Ireland. We have worked closely with the finance team over the last few years to develop a strategy that unlocks the significant funding capacity of the business and ultimately supports the delivery of more affordable homes across Northern Ireland. We were particularly pleased with the outcome of the rating process with Moody’s, which quite rightly places Radius at the top of the UK sector.”
Bids open for council-led, custom-build development
The UK’s first-ever council-led development of custom-build plots with some specifically designated for first-time buyers, will welcome bids from buyers from 1 November.
Continuing to lead the way in pioneering housing, the six custom-build plots are part of a larger mixed-use development of 140 new homes at Lowfield Green by City of York Council, which includes a community-led housing scheme by Yorspace.
Two of the plots have been restricted for first-time buyers only, as they offer a more affordable option, and are designed to help people on to the property ladder. This supports the council’s pledge to offer a breadth of options to a range of lower-income households and is in addition to shared ownership of homes from the open market as well as council-owned homes. 40% of all the homes at Lowfield Green will be affordable and Homes England helped fund work done to prepare the site for development.
Custom-build plots are serviced with all required utilities – electricity, water and telephone cable – as well as with road access to enable buyers to get on site. With outline planning permission already secured, construction can begin immediately after detailed planning has been granted.
All plots are large enough for a detached home of between three and five bedrooms with an integrated garage if needed. They also benefit from south-facing back gardens and uninterrupted views of the new village green to the front. This former secondary school site has been sensitively master planned around a new green open space to contribute towards creating an attractive new place to live in the city.
The council is encouraging individuality, creativity and high-quality architecture on the plots. To support buyers in this, we have published a Design Code. Individual Plot Passports are also available to support architects, designers and homebuilders to design a new home within a broad set of parameters all pre-agreed with the local planning authority. Following these guidelines will help ease securing detailed planning permission and include maximum height and width, advice on materials and colours, and levels of sustainability to be achieved.
To support this innovative self-build project, City of York Council has engaged Custom Build Homes – the UK’s leading enabler of custom build housing - to deliver aspects of the development process including; consultancy, pre-agreed mortgage lending as well as leading the sales and marketing for the site.
Bidding for all 6 plots opens on 1 November and all bids need to be in for 29 November. Prospective purchasers will have the opportunity to view the plots, with the first viewings to be arranged by appointment only, on the morning of Saturday 9 November. All bids will be assessed and, if no suitable applications have been received by first time buyers, the allocated plots may be offered to other applicants. More detail is available by visiting lowfieldgreen.custombuildhomes.co.uk
Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said: “Supporting first-time buyers to secure a plot and build a home that they can afford is a first in the UK. We’re proud to be offering this addition to our affordable home options.
“We are also delighted to have the expertise of Custom Build Homes to support us with our first serviced self-build plots.
“By implementing our low-energy recommendations from the Design Code, these self-build homes will be affordable to run in the long-term. They will also align with our Passivhaus ambitions for the homes we plan to build as part of our Housing Delivery Programme.”
Tom Connor, head of operations at Custom Build Homes, said: “It is incredibly refreshing to work with a council which is so proactive in their supply of serviced plots for custom-build in their area. Lowfield Green promises to be an excellent place to create a home and live in one of the most beautiful cities in the country. We are delighted to part of the development and sales process.”
Ryan Blair, head of residential sales at Custom Build Homes, said: “The design code attached to the development remains as flexible as possible, allowing plot purchasers to design a home which truly is bespoke to them. Bidding for the plots opens on 1 November 2019 and Custom Build Homes looks forward to supporting bidders as they realise their potential to live in a home designed and created for them."
New affordable homes to be built in the heart of Watford
A former Town and Country Club has been demolished to make way for 39 much needed affordable homes for the residents of Watford. The club closed following a decline in business in 2018 before being bought by Hightown Housing Association.
Hightown Housing Association’s Halsey House scheme will bring 39 one and two-bedroom apartments to Watford town centre. 23 of these homes will go to people in housing need nominated by Watford Borough Council, and the remaining 16 apartments will be offered through shared ownership for aspiring homeowners.
Located on Rosslyn Road, the development will be in the well-connected and vibrant Watford town centre, providing easy access to the newly renovated high street and extended Intu shopping centre. It will be moments away from key local sites such as Watford Colosseum and Watford Palace Theatre.
As well as having access to an attractive town centre, residents will be close to public transport, less than a mile away from Watford Junction and Watford High Street train stations, and a journey time of 15 minutes to Euston, London, making it the perfect location for the development.
The scheme includes funding from Homes England, and is one of several projects where Hightown has purchased the land directly and entered into a contract to build the homes rather than working in partnership with a house builder in a section 106 agreement.
Hightown will start construction in autumn 2019 and aims to complete the development by spring 2021.
Hightown Housing Association is one of the UK’s fastest-growing housing associations after building over 1,000 homes in the last two years, with plans to build at the same rate in the next two years.
Andrew Royall, Development Director for Hightown, said:
“We’re delighted with the opportunity to transform a disused site, into high-quality affordable homes for people in the local community. Building homes in such a well-connected and central location are vital for people who would otherwise be priced out of their local area.”
Planners 'Beam' with joy in Barking & Dagenham
Barking and Dagenham’s planning committee members are beaming with joy after they secured more affordable homes in a cross-borough development.
At the committee last night at Barking Town Hall, the Councillors agreed to increase the number of new homes being built on the Dagenham side of the Beam Park development by almost 200, including 132 more affordable homes. A total of 330 new homes will now be built in the next phase, up from 132, together with a new public leisure centre serving Beam Park and the wider community.
Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “This is fantastic news and shows our determination to deliver more homes local people can afford, together with great facilities and improved transport connections.”
The development which straddles the boundary between Dagenham and neighbouring Havering will eventually provide more than 3,000 new homes, and includes two primary schools and a new station.
Pat Hayes, Managing Director of the Council’s regeneration company, Be First, said: “This is a great result. It’s good news for local people and fantastic success for our planners who have put in a lot of hard work to secure this win for local people.”
The application now has to be agreed by Havering Council before returning to the Mayor of London for final approval. Construction is likely to start in summer 2020.
Photo: Be First
Multimillion-pound affordable housing scheme set for Wilmslow
A multimillion-pound affordable housing development is to be built in one of the UK’s most glamorous towns – Wilmslow in Cheshire.
The 52 shared ownership and affordable rent homes will be developed by Weaver Vale Housing Trust’s new shared ownership and sales brand, Prospa Homes.
The homes are being built by the Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West division as part of its prestigious David Wilson Homes ‘Stanneylands’ development, in the heart of Wilmslow, which will see 174 new homes built in total over the next five years.
The development will include three-bedroom family houses, featuring generous outside spaces, one and two-bedroom duplexes, and one and two-bedroom flats all with high specification interiors. The shared ownership homes will be marketed under ‘Prospa Homes’, Weaver Vale’s new development brand.
All properties will be available for affordable rental and with shared ownership sales starting at £72,000* for a 40% buying share, it’s hoped these homes will enable local people that are currently priced out of the local market, to get onto the housing ladder.
Wayne Gales, Chief Executive at Weaver Vale Housing Trust, said: “This development will make a real difference in enabling local people to get a foot on the housing ladder in an area where high house prices have meant home ownership has been out of reach for many.
“This is our largest development to date in our ambitious plans to develop 460 homes over the next four years. This is part of our wider commitment to tackling the housing crisis across Cheshire and the North West.
“We are delighted to be working with David Wilson Homes to create high-quality houses across a range of tenures to enable more people to get onto the housing ladder.”
With average house prices in Wilmslow currently standing at £456,297**, Prospa Homes is aiming to provide a welcome addition to the local housing market by offering shared ownership homes available from £72,000 for a 40% share, allowing both first time buyers and families to get onto the housing ladder in this sought after Cheshire town.
The development is due to be completed in 2025.
For more information visit www.prospahomes.co.uk
WMCA and Sandwell Council deal unlocks biggest brownfield housing site in region
A huge swathe of former industrial land in Sandwell is to be turned into homes after lying derelict for decades.
The equivalent of more than 32 football pitches at Friar Park in Wednesbury will be transformed into a 750-home community following the purchase of an old sewage works by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The former works, which has been bought from Midlands Land Portfolio Ltd (MLPL), the property development arm of Severn Trent plc, covers just under half the overall 26.4 hectare site, with the remaining majority of the site owned by Sandwell Council.
The deal, a joint venture between Sandwell Council and WMCA, unlocks the biggest brownfield housing site in the region, helping to reduce pressure on the green belt.
The WMCA, of which Sandwell is a member, will fund a major clean-up of the land, which has been home to a hospital and iron foundry in the past. The WMCA will then work with the council on an ambitious masterplan for the site, with full community consultation, before bringing on board development partners.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, negotiated a housing deal with Government that has made cash available for regeneration of brownfield land across the region, including this project at Friar Park.
He said: “This prominent site, one of the biggest in the Black Country, has sat derelict for more than 30 years with no developer taking it on.
“It cannot be right that our green belt is being targeted for new homes while major sites like this are left untouched year after year. The WMCA is embarking on a ‘brownfield first’ policy for this exact reason, and I am delighted that we have been able to strike this latest deal alongside Sandwell Council and Seven Trent.
“Together, thanks to this landmark deal, we can ease the pressure on greenbelt land whilst also delivering good quality homes for local people.”
Photo: David Warburton WMCA head of land and development, Cllr Yvonne Davies Sandwell Council leader, Julie Rossiter head of property development for Severn Trent and Andy Street Mayor of the West Midlands, at the Friar Park site
Major land acquisition will create the heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City
A major new centre at the heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City in Kent is to be created after a deal to buy land was completed. Ebbsfleet Central will deliver a new commercial and residential centre within the Garden City providing jobs, community and cultural facilities and 15,000 new homes – 30% of which will be affordable housing.
Since its inception in 2015, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation had the vision for a brand new dynamic centre with a commercial focus around Ebbsfleet International.
Whilst the land has been stalled to development up to now, the acquisition by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation of the 125 hectare (310 acres) site means that it can take control and unlock the site, in order to deliver the full potential for the Garden City.
The purchase of the land confirms the Government’s commitment to Ebbsfleet Garden City and the development in an area which is strategically located to road and rail networks including a European high-speed rail hub, 17 minutes from Central London and two hours from Paris.
Michael Cassidy CBE, chairman of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation board said: “This is the most exciting project to happen in Ebbsfleet Garden City to date and we aim to create a centre that is vibrant and creates economic opportunities that will be enjoyed by people for years to come.
“We will now be talking to developers and investors to maximise the enormous potential Ebbsfleet Central will bring for all.”
There are currently more than 1,700 homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City with an estimated 4,000 residents living in the housing developments. Eventually up to 15,000 homes will be created.
It already has its first primary school in Castle Hill, a second is being built at Springhead Park and a third is in the pipeline for Ebbsfleet Green along with plans for a major secondary school at Whitecliffe.
The first supermarket has already opened with another being built in what will be the first village centre in Castle Hill. A new hotel and pub are also planned for the village centre in addition to the first pub and hotel that opened in 2017 in Ebbsfleet Green.
A new bridge built by the corporation which will link residents to Ebbsfleet International station will open in Spring of next year.
Welborne Planning Application – a new Garden Village in Hampshire
Plans for a new garden village in Hampshire to build a community of up to 6,000 homes, new schools, facilities, shops and community facilities will be determined on 16 October.
Welborne will be determined by the Planning Committee of Fareham Borough Council and officers are recommending approval. It has been more than a decade since plans for the new community in Hampshire first emerged.
The aim of this briefing is to explain the approach being put forward by the applicant, Buckland Development Ltd, and highlight some of the key issues that will need to be considered by the Planning Committee.
The full planning application is online at fareham.gov.uk
Photo: The illustrative CGIs used for this briefing have been provided by the master developer.
First plans approved for London’s £1bn regeneration project
The first plans for a £1 billion housing regeneration scheme in London have been approved, marking a significant step forward for the flagship home building programme.
Joint venture partners Havering Council and Wates Residential submitted plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site in Rainham in May this year.
On 10th October, the plans were agreed at a Strategic Planning Committee meeting. The plans will now be considered by the Mayor of London before the final decision is issued.
The site is one of 12 included in the ’12 Estates’ regeneration programme, which will see around 5,200 homes delivered in Havering over the next 12 to 15 years. The £1 billion project will seek to double the amount of council rented accommodation and more than double the number of affordable housing.
The plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site include 126 affordable homes, with a number earmarked for families, and a further 71 homes for private sale targeted at local buyers. All residents who have been moved off the site to enable the regeneration have been guaranteed the right to return.
The Council has committed to increasing the housing stock across the borough, and aims to deliver homes for local people whilst protecting the uniqueness of the area.
The plans were subject to extensive public consultation, with more than 600 one-to-one meetings with local residents and businesses taking place across the wider regeneration project.
Woodhead doubles up as affordable housing projects start on two sites
WORK is underway on a pair of projects that will help meet the growing demand for social housing in Leicestershire.
Woodhead Group has started work on-site for 29 homes across the city of Leicester with Leicester City Council and a further eight in Coalville with North West Leicestershire Council, adding to the 24 already completed in the Leicestershire town.
With over 600 households across the city currently on a waiting list, the project for Leicester City Council is one of their largest new builds undertaken by the council in more than a decade.
The Coalville project will revitalise a once-dilapidated site in an area once known for its anti-social behaviour.
Tom Woodhead, business services director at Woodhead Group said: “Having two projects running across Leicester is an important moment for us. In a time where the country is experiencing a housing crisis, it’s great to be able to invest our time into Leicester and be part of the housing solution for the local people.
“With every new build project, our aim is to provide the best quality affordable housing we can to future residents."
The work for North West Leicestershire Council and Leicester City Council has been procured through both EEM and DPP3 frameworks respectively, with both projects set for completion in 2020.
Woodhead said: “Long-term, these builds will provide a boost across the larger local economy, with a resurgence in housing encouraging local businesses from trades and suppliers to re-invest."
Work underway on the first of over 1,000 new NE homes
In just six summer weeks, regeneration and housing specialist, Galliford Try Partnerships North, has started construction on four North East sites that will deliver 230 new homes and announced the partners it will work with to build 375 more.
Projects in Gateshead, Peterlee and Darlington – which will provide homes sale and affordable rent – are all underway, while a detailed planning application has been lodged for a 375 property, mixed tenure development in Middlesbrough, with Thirteen and Sigma Capital.
And the division is gearing up to launch a further four new ventures, which will add 481 more homes, taking the gross development value of recently secured work to just over £175 million.
Managing Director, Sean Egan, said: “It has been a very productive few months in terms of securing new business and it is great to see that we are now getting to site to deliver. This follows a year or so of change within the structure of the business – particularly in the development team – that is now beginning to pay dividends.
“It is particularly pleasing to see that we are forging relationships with new partners and extending operations into parts of the region where we have not been working for some time. With a number of other new, significant opportunities emerging, I am confident that we will build on this platform and continue to drive annual turnover up over the next two years.”
Transformation of former supermarket site gets underway to deliver 176 new affordable homes
The former Morrisons site in Hounslow is being transformed thanks to a £40m project that will provide 176 new affordable homes for Hounslow.
The 100% affordable homes scheme, which is located on Bath Road, was given the green light by Hounslow Council.
It is being developed by A2Dominion, a leading residential property group with a social purpose that has worked in the borough of Hounslow for more than 70 years.
Helping to meet housing demand in the borough, the scheme includes 83 homes for affordable rent and 93 properties for shared ownership, designed to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.
A new 6,100 sq ft supermarket, play area and outdoor space for residents are other key features of the scheme.
Photo L-R: London Borough of Hounslow Councillor and Leader of the Council, Steve Curran; A2Dominion Development Director, Doreen Wright; Hounslow West Cllr, Bandna Chopra; A2Dominion CEO, Darryl Mercer; London Borough of Hounslow Assistant Director of Planning & Development, Sarah Scannell and A2Dominion Development Director, Danny Lynch at the Bath Road construction site.
CHP breaks ground on largest land-led development
Essex housing association CHP has started work to transform a derelict brownfield site in the centre of Braintree into 74 new high-quality affordable homes.
The East Street development is CHP’s largest land-led scheme to date. The homes due for completion in summer 2021 will include a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom flats and houses for affordable rent and shared ownership.
CHP Growth and Partnership Director Carl Hockey said: “Securing the land and planning consent to provide 74 new homes for the local area is fantastic and highlights CHP’s continued commitment to providing homes for people that they can afford, in places where they want to live and call home. This scheme is part of our ongoing commitment to help tackle the housing crisis in Essex by building 365 new homes a year or a new home a day.”
The housing association is working with Rose Builders and architects Ingelton Wood on the East Street development and the project is partly funded by grant from Homes England.
Warwickshire HA comes full circle to complete anniversary development
Warwickshire Rural Housing Association (WRHA) has returned to Stretton on Fosse to complete the third and final phase of development during its anniversary year.
Thirty years ago in 1989, WRHA developed its very first scheme of 10 affordable homes at Harolds Orchard in Stretton on Fosse, specifically for local people. In 2009, the housing association returned to build an additional four properties for phase 2 during its 20th anniversary year.
Now WRHA has come full circle to complete the third and final phase of five affordable homes for its 30th anniversary.
These latest homes are providing a lifeline to local people. A mix of two and three-bedroom houses, plus one bungalow, have been completed and all the new residents have a local connection to the village.
Photo: Company Secretary, Richard Mugglestone at the official opening at Stretton on Fosse with Chairman, Derrick Dyas.
York Central site begins to take shape as contract is awarded
A road, access bridge and rail link essential to the development of York Central have moved a step closer with the announcement that City of York Council has selected John Sisk & Son as construction partner to deliver infrastructure to open up the site.
The contract, the first to be awarded, is for a detailed design review which will lead to a Reserved Matters planning application, due later this financial year.
The approved plans for the York Central site include proposals to build up to 2,500 homes, and a commercial quarter creating up to 6,500 jobs adding a £1.16 billion boost to the economy.
John Sisk & Son will work with the council and partners to refine and finalise the design of the first phase of essential infrastructure for the access bridge, the spine road and the NRM rail link. This will inform a decision by Executive to proceed with a costed construction programme for York Central enabling infrastructure.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the council, said: "The delivery of York Central is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build much needed affordable homes and new public spaces, attract better-paid jobs, and create sustainable transport links for the city.
"We look forward to working with the York Central Partnership to secure further improvements to the scheme and with Sisk to begin this essential first phase of work in preparing the York Central site for development.”
Image: Park Street
Springfield expands to Inverness with key land acquisition
Springfield Properties (AIM: SPR), a leading housebuilder in Scotland offering private and affordable housing, is pleased to announce its first land acquisition in Inverness as the Group continues its geographic expansion into the Highlands.
With this purchase at Easterfield Farm in Inverness, along with other land recently secured in surrounding areas, Springfield is establishing a strong foothold in the Highlands, adding to its developments in major cities and towns across Scotland.
With this 14-acre development for approximately 90 homes, Easterfield Farm will become the first Springfield development in the city, marking a key milestone for Springfield as it continues to execute its growth strategy. Springfield expects to begin selling homes at Easterfield Farm later this year.
In total, Springfield is considering plans for approximately 3,000 new homes across a number of developments in, and around, Inverness and in Highland towns and villages, including Ardersier, Drumnadrochit, Dornoch and Beauly.