Housing developments – plans and latest news
Housing Association magazine brings you a round-up of the latest housing developments in the pipeline, and shares construction news in the social and affordable housing sectors…
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.”
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 the 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.”
The purchase of the land from MLPL, who were represented by their development partner, Northern Trust in negotiating and finalising the disposal, is a major boost for the WMCA’s brownfield first policy as the region looks to deliver its goal of an additional 215,000 homes by 2031. Sandwell Council, which is the third largest authority in the West Midlands, needs to build 13,420 homes by 2026.
Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies said: “The Friar Park deal will see the combined authority and Sandwell Council working together to secure new homes that are of a high design quality, energy efficient and affordable. There will also be provision for homes built using modular construction techniques.
“The scheme will also include on-site apprenticeships and training for local people so they can learn the construction skills needed to build the new homes. This supports a key priority of the Sandwell Inclusive Economy Deal.
“We are proud as an authority to be providing a national exemplar of partnership working to drive forward growth and opportunity in our borough.”
The Friar Park deal is the latest example of one of the key objectives the WMCA was set up to do – intervene where the housing market was not delivering and negotiate to unlock stalled sites.
The authority has a multi-million pound war chest to transform brownfield sites into new housing and commercial developments to drive economic growth that all communities can feel and benefit from.
Councillor Mike Bird, the WMCAs portfolio holder for housing and land and leader of Walsall Council, said: “The WMCA has set aside hundreds of millions of pounds to help get stalled developments like this one off the ground.
“Sitting back is not the answer. We have to act and intervene to make things happen and I’m delighted that we are doing so in spades.
“Friar Park is the biggest residential, brownfield site we have unlocked so far and a flagship example of the nation-leading work of this region in the regeneration of derelict industrial land.
“It is a significant boost for our brownfield first policy which I am passionately committed to as we seek to meet future housing demand while protecting our environment.
“We will now work with Sandwell Council to bring forward a scheme that all can be proud of and will start creating new homes and jobs from next year.”
Julie Rossiter, head of property development for Severn Trent, added: “This is a great example of public and private sectors working together for the communities they serve and we are really pleased to be using our redundant land assets to provide much-needed new homes to the region.”
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.”
The Corporation’s vision is for the area to become a magnet for new business, education, research and development as well as for leisure and recreation.
Ebbsfleet Central will be a dynamic urban centre with a commercial core supported by quality homes, community and cultural facilities, serving the whole Ebbsfleet Garden City area and beyond.
Housing Minister, Esther McVey, said: “Projects such as Ebbsfleet Central have a key role in making sure we deliver the homes this country needs while protecting the countryside. The development will make the most of brownfield land and make a big contribution to delivering 15,000 quality new homes for families within the garden city, at least 30% of which will be affordable.
"However, it is not enough just to build new houses, we need to ensure we build proud communities with a sense of place. That’s why developments such as this are so important, providing facilities and homes for families in a thriving new urban centre at the heart of the community.”
The corporation bought the land from EIGP which is a joint venture made up of Landsec and Ebbsfleet Property LLP.
Ian Piper, Chief Executive of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation said: “Investors will see enormous potential in what Ebbsfleet Central will bring, for the local economy and for local jobs.
“Although it has taken years to reach this point with the land untouched by development, Ebbsfleet Central will be the beating heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City and is an exciting opportunity for the new communities already formed here as well as the new ones that will be created.”
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
The Welborne Plan was formally adopted in 2015. It sets out in some detail the Council’s Vision which is, in brief, for Welborne Garden Village to be a discrete new community of up to 6,000 homes to the north of Fareham with thriving new district and local centres, new jobs, schools, facilities, shops and community facilities. It also includes a number of policies for different areas of development such as affordable housing, open space and sustainability.
In January 2017 Welborne was confirmed as one of 14 new garden villages announced by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in a new initiative designed to bring forward, and support, much needed housing. This is significant as it shows there is support for Welborne at Government level and this will be key when seeking additional funding for infrastructure.
The Planning Application
The planning application has been submitted by Buckland Development Ltd who intend adopting the role of Master Developer for the entire site. It is twofold. The first part is a detailed planning application for the improvements to J10 of the M27 to create an ‘all moves’ junction. The second part seeks outline permission and sets out the principles of the development and when it will be provided.
Highlights of the proposal include:
• Major improvements to Junction 10 on the M27 and the local road network
• A new, sustainable community of up to 6,000 homes, with good public transport links to Fareham and the wider area
• More than 1,000,000 ft² (97,250m²) allocated for employment space shared evenly across office, light industrial and warehouse space creating around 5,735 new jobs
• Four distinct character areas across the development
• New community and health facilities
• A local pub and hotel
• One new secondary school, three new primary schools, nursery and pre-schools;
• New sports facilities, play areas and allotments
• 270 acres (108 hectares) of natural green space
The Planning Application is for up to 6,000 homes that cater for a whole community. Homes will range from one-bedroom apartments through to five-bedroom family homes, catering for first-time buyers through to larger family homes for those moving up the property ladder. There will also be an opportunity for people to build their own homes.
All homes will be set in well-designed, generously proportioned streets in four distinct character areas which will be informed by the natural landscape. There will be a wide range of convenient walking and cycling routes, connecting homes to local facilities, the village and district centres, schools, shops, employment sites, parks and open spaces.
The Housing Mix
In addition to providing homes for market sale, the policy in the Welborne Plan stipulates thirty per cent ‘affordable’ housing. Of this 30%, 70% should provide affordable or social rent homes and 30% intermediate options such as shared ownership. The Plan also specifies a mix that includes both ‘Lifetime homes’ (homes that can be adapted to suit changing needs) and Passivhaus (eco-friendly) homes. That said, the Welborne Plan also recognises the huge amount of infrastructure required to bring the site forward so a degree of flexibility was intentionally written into the policies to allow percentages to be tweaked to mitigate the risk of high-level early costs making the site unviable.
Around £308M in infrastructure will be required to deliver Welborne and these costs must be borne by the developer. In the region of £100m will be needed in the early build stages.
To offset some of these costs, the developer is proposing 10% affordable housing and no Lifetime or Passivhaus homes until the milestone of 1,000 homes is reached.
A review would then be undertaken with subsequent reviews at intervals of 750 homes in order to deliver to the target of 30% affordable housing.
Photos: 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.
Havering is London’s greenest borough and creating even more high quality green areas is one of the Council’s top priorities. Through consultation with residents, it emerged that this was a priority for local people too.
As a result, children’s play areas were included in the plans with plenty of green space to make sure the scheme reflects the borough. The landscape will also be designed to encourage wildlife, with new bat boxes, trees for birds and plenty of flowers for bees.
As part of the project, Havering Council and Wates Residential have pledged to deliver a borough-wide legacy by investing in education, training and skills opportunities, and by employing local businesses to work on the scheme.
Some of these benefits are already being felt – in May more than 80 Havering entrepreneurs took part in a free two-week business training course, while in November local primary school children spent a morning using the computer game Minecraft to explore and redesign blueprints from the site.
Four Meet the Buyer events were held for local suppliers to learn about contract opportunities on the project. Employing local contractors means a lower carbon footprint and that money flows back into the local area. By the end of the project, this investment will make up a minimum of 10% of the total programme, valued at £100m of contracts to be secured by local businesses.
Kilnbridge Construction Services, which has offices in Rainham, has subsequently been awarded a contract to undertake controlled demolition of Napier and New Plymouth House, and a two-storey car park on Dunedin Road.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “Today marks the next key step in our borough-wide regeneration, signalling our commitment to delivering high-quality housing for local people.
“We have listened to the needs of the community and these plans reflect your feedback to create an estate fit for families and future generations. The Council is committed to consulting with residents throughout the 12 Estates project, and our wider regeneration programme, to help shape developments and communities together.”
Kate Ives, Development Director for Wates Residential, said: “This is fantastic news for Havering. We have been working closely with our JV partner to ensure that the new homes in Havering are high-quality and fit in with the unique feel of local area.
“The public consultations have been really helpful in identifying what local residents want to see from the borough’s largest regeneration project and we look forward to starting construction in spring 2020.”
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.”
The developments commenced include 52 family homes, which will be available for private sale and affordable rent, in Gateshead. This marks the start of the second phase of the £350 million Gateshead Regeneration Project – an initiative being delivered in partnership with Home Group and the borough council.
Also in partnership with Home Group and in Gateshead is an 82 bedroomed community wellbeing scheme, which will provide homes at affordable rent for people over 55. A high quality, responsive care and support service will enable them to live independently in a home environment, while the facilities, such as a restaurant, hairdresser, communal lounges and gardens are designed to foster community growth and cohesion.
The creation of 67 homes for affordable rent on a former school site off Robson Avenue in Peterlee, in partnership with believe housing has commenced, as has the development of 30 family homes for open market sale – through Galliford Try’s housebuilding division, Linden Homes - close to the historic, grade II listed Mowden Hall in Darlington.
The Middlesbrough project is adjacent to the James Cook University Hospital in the Brackenhoe area of south Middlesbrough. Here, Thirteen - which manages 34,000 properties from North Tyneside to York – would offer 100 properties for affordable rent whilst Sigma, which is new to the Teesside area and specialises in homes for private rent at market-level would offer 80 such properties through its Simple Life private rental brand. The remaining 195 homes would be sold by Linden Homes.
Pipeline projects are 360 homes on land to the west of Kirkleatham Lane in Redcar, in partnership with Homes England; construction of a 70 bedroomed extra care facility with Housing 21 in Peterlee; the development of up to 51 new homes on the site of the former Ayton Secondary School, in Washington – mainly for private sale but with some for affordable rent – and an 80 unit residential community wellbeing scheme. This is also in partnership with Home Group and in Gateshead.
In total these developments are expected to have over 600 people working either on-site or providing office-based support.
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.
Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “The redevelopment of this site will reinvigorate the area, bringing in high quality homes at prices local people can afford to rent or buy.
“It also creates a new and more direct link between Beaversfield Park and Hounslow West underground station, opening up this fantastic green space and improving connectivity, both of which are key elements in our Local Plan.”
Darrell Mercer, A2Dominion Chief Executive, said: “We are proud of our strong relationship with Hounslow, having developed 2,600 homes in the borough.
“Bath Road is a 100% affordable scheme, set to provide 176 much-needed new homes, and is the latest example of our positive contribution to the area.
“With over 300 homes in the development pipeline in total, we look forward to continuing to invest in Hounslow.”
The development is being built by construction firm Higgins, with the planning scheme designed by Colwyn Foulkes & Partners and the delivery architect being Fourpoint Architects.
With construction work having started in August 2019, the scheme is due for completion in summer 2021. The shared ownership homes will be marketed through A2Dominion’s sales and marketing brand, Fabrica and the affordable rented homes will be allocated via Hounslow Council.
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.
Housing Needs surveys have shown an ongoing need for more affordable homes in Stretton on Fosse where people are being forced to move away from the village as they cannot afford to live there.
The third phase has been named Dyas Green in honour of Chairman, Derrick Dyas, who is retiring during WRHA’s 30th anniversary, having been one of the founding members back in 1989, before becoming Chairman in 2008.
Warwickshire Rural Housing Association Company Secretary, Richard Mugglestone, commented: “Returning to Stretton on Fosse where we first began back in 1989 makes our anniversary even more special and we are honoured to name phase 3 after our long-standing Chairman, Derrick Dyas.
“We have forged excellent partnerships with the rural communities of Warwickshire and are now looking ahead to ensure our affordable homes help to sustain our rural villages over the next 30 years and beyond.”
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.”
Ian Gray, Homes England on behalf of York Central Partnership, said: "This is a really exciting and important milestone towards the delivery of our ambitious plans at York Central.
"A lot of hard work has been put in by York Central Partnership to get this far and this contract demonstrates our commitment to delivering the ambition and vision for the site."
Paul Brown, Managing Director, UK Civils at John Sisk & Son, said:
"We are delighted to have been selected by the City of York Council to work with the stakeholders on this exciting project and to progress the design of some of the key enabling infrastructure. This is a project of huge ambition which will transform underused land in the centre of York into vibrant and distinctive residential neighbourhoods, cultural spaces and a high-quality commercial quarter. We are really excited to be able to bring our broad range of experience and commitment to a collaborative approach to the project."
The budget necessary to commission this work was agreed by Executive in July 2019.
The York Central Partnership (YCP) members, Homes England, Network Rail, the National Railway Museum and City of York Council, have been working collaboratively for the past four years to develop proposals to unlock the potential of the brownfield site.
The partnership has secured planning approval, subject to the finalisation of the S106 agreement, for its outline planning application and assembled a potential £155m funding package for infrastructure works.
This includes £23.5m of a total of £37.2m from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and Leeds City Region Growth Deal, which will also fund the ambitious plans to transform the front of the railway station.
The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, a £1 billion package of Government funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region. The aim is to create around 20,000 new jobs and add £2.4 billion a year to the economy by the mid-2030s.
City of York Council has also received a Local Growth Fund contribution of £3.1m, from York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP and has agreed to borrow £35m to be repaid using retained business rates from the York Central Enterprise Zone.
The council’s £77.1m bid for the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund is at an advanced stage, with a decision expected in the autumn.
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.
Springfield’s Chief Executive, Innes Smith, said: “We expect to start selling homes at Easterfield later this year. The development, which is near to Drummossie Hotel, the University of the Highlands and Islands, Inshes Retail Park and just 15 minutes from Inverness Airport, will include of mix of private and affordable high-quality homes.
“We have grown Springfield by focusing on customers and on geographic expansion across Scotland. This approach is successful for us. Springfield started as a small developer in Moray. We now have three great brands operating across Scotland, have listed on the AIM market and have 750 employees and hundreds of sub-contractors building around 1,000 homes this year.
“In recent years, we’ve developed a stronger presence in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and we are already highly active in Dundee and Perth. Now we are in a position to include Inverness in our portfolio, which is the next step for our growth.”