With the Top 50 Housing Projects – ranked in order of total units – we wanted to gain an insight into the type of schemes driving affordable housing supply and find out who was behind them.
The projects – which include developments across England, Scotland and Wales – are those that have reached contract award stage in the last 12 months.
The list is intended to provide a snapshot of recent activity, hence why some of the schemes have been ranked on their masterplans and others by individual phases of bigger developments.
As such, the list reveals a high number of local authority-led regeneration schemes taking the top spots over the speculative developments from major housebuilders.
Private housebuilders like Barratt, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey – who are pressing ahead with speculative developments further down the list – have been particularly exposed by the housing market downturn and a collapse in land values.
“I think under the current market that’s what you’d expect,” says Jerry Gilbert, partner at Ark Housing Consultancy. “I think we’re seeing some improvement but certainly the amount of speculative development is behind where it should be and therefore the contribution to the number of affordable housing under section 106s is also behind where it should be.”
John Stewart, director of economic affairs at the Home Builders Federation (HBF), said speculative development is way behind where it should be, and, as a result, affordable housing through section 106s was suffering.
He said housebuilders have taken a massive hit on land values as a result of the housing market crash meaning they were struggling to fund section 106 demands – of which the largest element is affordable housing.
“It’s really a trade off,” he says. “You either maintain the affordable housing demand and have no housing or you revise the demands – the biggest of which is affordable homes – and then you get some housing.”
Telling in the Top 50 list is the different numbers of affordable homes that have been negotiated through section 106 agreements between councils and housebuilders.
“Many housebuilders have had to renegotiate section 106s to make schemes viable,” he says. “There are many sites out there – particularly large ones – which are, as the industry puts it, ‘underwater’. The only solution is renegotiation or no housebuilding. That’s the trade off.”
He said when it comes to negotiating a planning permission for an individual site, local authorities are having to be “realistic” about the regulatory burden they impose on housebuilders.
“Because affordable homes is the largest element of local policy demands, it’s inevitable it is the one that will be squeezed,” he says. “It will vary from site to site even in the same local authority. Then it will vary from local authority to local authority. It’s a very complicated picture.”
Stewart says there are still “big viability issues”. “Many local authorities have renegotiated and made sites viable,” he says. “The big worry is 2016 with Part L reform looming. That will add very significantly to costs.”
He said generally housebuilders have tended to look at more “buoyant areas” and “shorter term sites” to work on schemes pre-2016 because it was hard to predict after that date given the costs of Part L.
“2010 was the lowest aggregate completions in England since 1923. Last year was a little bit up, but household projections for England are for 232,000 households a year. There’s a massive shortfall.”
He said putting the eurozone crisis to one side, he expected to see a “modest increase” in total housebuilding numbers this year but we are talking about modest increases on low numbers.
“It’s difficult to see how, in the short term, we could see a significant increase in the housing market or housebuilding if we talk about the 12-month horizon. Therefore, the squeeze on affordable housing and section 106 demands is not going to go away.”
However, the overall picture is not necessarily that clear cut, explains L&Q’s group director of development Jerome Geoghegan.
The 67,000-home landlord, which operates predominantly in London and the South East, is involved in two of London’s major regeneration programmes – South Kilburn in Brent (3) and the transformation of the South Acton estate (2) in Ealing.
“South Acton is 11 phases so if you chop it into individual phases on an annual basis – to make it comparable to a speculative development scheme – it’s of a good size, but it’s not necessarily massive.”
A masterplan for the regeneration of the whole site was submitted in February, alongside plans for phase two of the project – which could see work on 105 new homes start onsite this year.
Geoghegan does agree, however, that affordable housing through section 106s is not where it should be.
“It’s undoubtedly true on the speculative side that percentages of affordable homes that are likely to be produced because of viability issues is reducing.”
Geoghegan says L&Q is looking at sites separately where it’s trying to maintain the percentage of affordable homes.
On the flip side – as is the case for local authority-led schemes like in Ealing and Brent – the use of public land is unlocking development.
“Land going in below market value is an effective means of generating a subsidy,” says Gilbert. “But that’s always an issue for local authorities because they are sacrificing an asset. It’s where housing sits in with their agenda.”
It’s also partly down to land availability – especially in London. “It’s always going to be the regeneration schemes that are the bigger ones because the ability to find land for a massive greenfield or brownfield site is limited anywhere to be honest,” adds Gilbert.
The list also gives a fair indication of the diversity of interventions that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) – the Government’s investment agency – is involved in, as it bids to unlock development.
“It’s about public money being the unlocking bit of a project so it works alongside the other bits including the private sector and local authority,” says Margaret Allen, an executive director for the HCA.
Its investment is being channelled through the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme, through its regeneration fund and through its accelerated land disposal programme, which is at the heart of the Government’s Build Now, Pay Later initiative.
Allen highlights the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust scheme (11), which will deliver 400 homes on the city’s Egghill site, as a good example of how public money is being used to help regenerate local areas.
“We’re putting money into that through our regeneration fund – through the public land initiative. It’s a former council housing site that’s been demolished over phases. Kier is doing some great work along with Birmingham in bringing that site to market, but also in replacing local authority public housing in a way that’s providing specific housing for families.”
Government money is also being used to regenerate former Coalfield areas, such as the Pleasley Hill regeneration scheme (35) in Mansfield.
“That’s a different kind of investment,” says Allen. “You put the money into reclaiming land that’s been used for industrial use in the past. But then once you’ve done that you want to do something with the land. On this site we’re doing shops and houses in consultation with the local authority and Meden Valley Making Places – which was the local delivery vehicle for the coalfields regeneration.”
The data captured on affordable units – which includes social rent, shared ownership, intermediate and ‘Affordable Rents’– is also telling as councils balance need against developer viability and sustainability.
The 4,500 Monkton Heathfield ‘eco-town’ site (1) contains just 25 percent of affordable homes – possibly highlighting a premium for making properties eco-friendly – whereas other schemes on the list are closer to the 35 percent mark.
The Government’s Affordable Rent product – which allows social rents to be bumped up to 80 percent of the market rent – might not be universally addressing need in localities, but it should help schemes get off the ground, says Ark’s Jerry Gilbert.
Figures released by the Government in June show that a total of 15,698 affordable homes were started on site in the year ending 31 March 2012. Within the new starts, the majority (71 percent or 11,130) of starts on site for affordable housing were for Affordable Rent, reflecting allocations made under the Government’s new Affordable Homes programme.
“You’ve now got intermediate rents and Affordable Rents,” says Gilbert. “The introduction of Affordable Rents will make schemes more viable, but whether it actually makes them more affordable is another issue. It should, in terms of improving the viability of schemes, actually improve the situation. To that extent it’s healthy. But it’s about whether it’s addressing the need or not.”
Some housing associations argue, however, that the Affordable Rent regime is less viable in market terms than the old regime because the loss of grant is not equalised by the potential to charge greater rent.
Allen says what we are now seeing are projects which are becoming more tenure blind. “When you’re providing a range of products for people – whether they’re at 80 percent of market rent or 60 percent – they are providing a route to occupation, but affordable is pitched at the level that is relative to that area.”
The 67,000-home landlord is involved in a number of the largest schemes in the list – South Acton, South Kilburn, the Silwood estate and the 119-home development at Beaumont – re? ecting its ambitious 10,000-home pipeline. Last August it won its place on the London Borough of Brent’s construction framework for the South Kilburn regeneration alongside other social landlords including Genesis Housing, Network Housing, One Housing Group and Catalyst Housing. “As the phases come to the market they are offered to those that have pre-quali ed,” says group development director Jerome Geoghegan. “Through that process we have two sites under our belts, which are now onsite and under way. We’ve got a good deal of completions on a number of sites with some outright sale. Both the regeneration of South Kilburn and South Acton will see
L&Q deliver a mix of outright sale and affordable homes. “South Acton is a similar sort of time frame to South Kilburn,” says Geoghegan. The project sees L&Q team up with Countryside to deliver the regeneration. “We were awarded the whole project. We’ve commenced on phase one which produces a mix of outright sale and affordable homes and we’re just looking forward to a planning date, hopefully in July, which will deal with phase two (detailed planning) and also the masterplan for the whole of the estate on the assumption that we will get planning, which I’m hopeful we will.”
The Top 50 list was compiled by construction data specialists Barbour ABI – a company which tracks every planning application in the UK, including those associated with public, private and social housing. The list reveals the top 50 schemes, featuring affordable housing, which have reached contract award stage between 1 May 2011 and 30 April 2012 covering England, Scotland and Wales. Some of the construction costs, where they haven’t been provided, are based on external estimates.
1. Monkton Heathfield
Client: Somerset County Council/ Taunton Deane Borough Council
Total homes: 4,500
Timescale: Start 2013, completion 2028
When the then housing minister John Healey announced the second wave of potential eco-towns back in 2009, Monkton Heathfield was one of two sites around Taunton to make the list. The announcement was followed by a grant of £630,000 to explore ways of improving the sustainability of the development in areas such as sustainable transport, energy, surface water management and waste management. But Taunton Deane Borough Council now stresses that the scheme will not be an eco-town. The overall proposals for 4,500 homes on a former farmland site north east of Taunton are currently under the spotlight as part of the council’s ‘core strategy’ to prepare for future growth. The strategy has been under examination by an inspector and the council expects it to be adopted in August or September this year. The authority says the core strategy makes provision for 17,000 new homes in the area over the period to 2028 of which around 13,000 are in Taunton. So the 4,500 homes proposed in Monkton Heathfield, it says, play “a significant part in meeting the future housing needs of the County town”. By 2028, Monkton Heathfield is expected to be a new community with offices, shops, new schools, businesses and an energy centre to generate electricity. Development is now under way on the first phase at Monkton Heathfield, with works on a relief road and showhome. Outline planning permission has already been granted for 900 homes, a school, playing fields, local centre and employment space. Detailed permission was granted last May for 327 homes including 114 affordable, split between rented and shared ownership, plus a community square and park. They include terraced, semi-detached and detached homes and two larger three-storey blocks of flats. The developers are Persimmon and Redrow, which are working with Sovereign and Raglan respectively on the affordable elements of the scheme.
2. South Acton Estate Regeneration Masterplan
Location: Acton, London Borough of Ealing
Client: London Borough of Ealing
Total homes: 2,350
It will be a long road, but the journey to transform the London Borough of Ealing’s biggest estate has begun. The ambitious 15-year project is being undertaken by Acton Gardens, a partnership formed by Countryside Properties and L&Q and selected by Ealing Council to carry out the programme in 2010. Together, the partners plan to deliver 2,350 new homes, a community hub, retail centre, cafes and improved park facilities. Work has already begun on the £21m first phase, which will deliver the first 167 homes, including 80 for outright sale. A planning application for the whole masterplan and the second phase was submitted in February and is likely to be decided this summer. “Our vision is to transform the area into a vibrant place, where people want to live, want to buy into and where there are all forms of tenure,” says L&Q’s head of neighbourhood investment Jehan Weerasinghe. “It will be a community with a mix of incomes, which makes businesses, schools and the community itself more sustainable.”
3. South Kilburn Regeneration Developer Framework
Location: London Borough of Brent
Client: London Borough of Brent
Total homes: 1,800
Timescale: 2011 to 2015
“Having cranes swinging in the current economic environment is quite an achievement”, is how Brent Council’s South Kilburn programme manager Abigail Stratford sums up the authority’s pride in the progress being made on this huge regeneration project. The vision? To transform South Kilburn with high quality mixed tenure homes. The council is steering each phase through to detailed planning, to ensure quality from the beginning. Homes have just been completed in the first phase at Albert Road in partnership with L&Q and five sites are about to be handed over to Catalyst to develop, including an award-winning design for Cambridge and Wells Court by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Planning permission is currently being sought for a further 510 homes, including new flats on the site of two tower blocks. Overall the masterplan is for a total of 2,400 homes, including 1,500 for existing estate residents, to be built in phases until 2023. The 1,800-home construction framework contract was awarded by Brent last August.
4. Oakham Heights
Client: Larkfleet Homes Ltd/Hawksmead Ltd
Total homes: 1,096
Timescale: Start early 2012, completion 2022
In a few years’ time, there will be a new community on the edge of the market town of Oakham, Rutland. Oakham Heights will have nearly 1,100 homes, a care home, retirement community, office space and a new home for the Rutland County Show. There will also be open spaces, children’s play areas, a new community centre and improved facilities for local rugby and football clubs. A new hotel and pub restaurant are also being planned for the community. Planning permission was granted for the whole scheme last year despite opposition from local residents concerned about the size of the project, which will swell the population of the town which currently stands at around 10,000. Work is now under way on the first phase, known as Leighfield Park, which involves 143 properties, including nine affordable homes. Larkfleet is working with Nottingham Community Housing Association on the affordable housing element. It promises that the development will offer a number of sustainable features, including allotments and solar PV for all first-phase homes.
5. Windsor Park, London Road
Client: Barratt (Northampton)
Total homes: 700
Timescale: Start early 2012, completion early 2017
This scheme involves a 72-acre site on the edge of Buckingham, where Barratt, David Wilson Homes and Bovis have secured planning permission for a new development on farmland. The project involves 700 new homes with a mix of house types, as well as a new primary school, public open spaces, play areas, two football pitches, a sports pavilion and local highway improvements. Bovis says there will also be a £3m contribution to local services. The developers will be working with a social housing provider on the shared ownership and rented homes, but the name of the selected partner has not yet been released. Bovis has already opened showhomes and a sales office on the site. Aylesbury Vale District Council, which takes in Buckingham, recently endorsed a target of 9,000 extra homes across the district by 2031, on top of an existing commitment of some 450 new build homes a year.
6. Riverside Quarter
Location: Wandsworth, London
Client: Frasers Riverside Quarter Ltd
Total homes: 504
Timescale: Start February 2011, completion January 2013
Frasers Property’s development overlooking the Thames at Wandsworth will, the company says, create a ‘vibrant’ new mixed use neighbourhood. The new ‘quarter’ already features four buildings with a total of 204 apartments. Work is now under way on two buildings with commercial space, which will provide 121 private apartments. At the time of going to press, Frasers Property was in negotiation with a housing association about the affordable housing on the site. As part of the development, river works have been carried out to improve the confluence of the Thames with the Wandle. The scheme also features a combined heat and power system. Frasers also currently has planning approval for the landmark ‘sky gardens’ scheme in Vauxhall.
7. King William Street Quarter and Eastern End, Thames View
Location: Barking, London Client: London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Total homes: 477
Timescale: First homes expected to be complete towards end of 2013
In what is the first entirely privately funded affordable housing scheme in the UK, Barking & Dagenham Council has sealed a deal with contractor Laing O’Rourke, its investment arm Explore Investment, and institutional asset developer Long Harbour. The project will see the new homes managed and maintained by the council, with a return from the income to the investors. After 60 years, ownership of the properties will pass to the council. All of the homes will be let at an affordable rent, with just over a fifth at close to social rent levels. King William Street Quarter, the site of the former Lintons estate which was cleared in 2008, is already the site of 31 new council houses, the first new council housing in the borough for a quarter of a century.
8. Excellent Homes for Life
Client: Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council
Total homes: 466
Timescale: Phased, starting early 2012, duration approximately two and a half years
Excellent Homes for Life is a major PFI-funded project, developing council homes for rent at 27 sites across Kirklees. The local authority is working with Regenter Excellent Homes for Life – a consortium made up of Regenter, Wates Living Space and Pinnacle PSG. Under the deal, Regenter, through Pinnacle PSG, will manage the homes for 20 years. In all, there will be 466 homes, including 35 specifically designed for wheelchair users and 140 Extra Care homes for older people, including 10 earmarked for people with dementia. All will meet Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards. The authority is working with Wates to maximise the employment, training and other economic benefits from the construction work, which is already under way.
9. Rectory Park
Location: Northolt, London
Client: London Borough of Ealing
Total homes: 425
Timescale: Whole regeneration likely to last until 2019
When Ealing Council asked residents of Rectory Park back in 2007 what they thought about the place where they lived, overall satisfaction with the estate was low, with structural problems, poor housing conditions and low quality public space particular concerns. After a consultation exercise the council decided to ‘start from scratch’ – opting for a full demolition and rebuild scheme for the estate, which is made up of houses and flats built between the 1950s and 1970s. Network Housing Group, selected by the council to take on the redevelopment, is working with contractor Hill Partnerships on the scheme. Following demolition this summer, the first phase of new homes is expected to be completed by December 2013.
10. Gateways to Oldham
Client: Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
Total homes: 420
Timescale: Completion due 2014
Cost: £113m (PFI contract)
The Primrose Bank redevelopment – currently a failed 1960s ‘streets in the sky’ estate – is one of four new build schemes which come under the Gateways to Oldham PFI project. Almost 320 council homes are being refurbished as part of the project too, and there will also be new community centres, shops and open space. The Inspiral Consortium, made up of Regenter, Great Places Housing Group and Wates Living Space, is delivering the £113m PFI contract. Under the 25-year agreement, Great Places will manage the 317 new build council-owned homes while Wates will be responsible for repairs as well as the new development. Residents are delighted to see work now underway.
11. Tessall Lane, Northfield
Location: Egghill, Birmingham
Client: Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust
Total homes: 400
Timescale: Start summer 2012
Kier Partnership Homes announced in June that it had landed the deal to build the latest phase of the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust development at Egghill. Kier is already developing 58 new homes on the site. This latest phase will involve a further 400, made up of 122 houses and flats for rent and 278 houses for outright sale. Egghill is the first scheme by the trust to develop properties for sale alongside affordable housing and the partners say all of the homes are being built to ‘exceptional’ standards of design, space and energy efficiency. The scheme also includes a neighbourhood park. Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust was set up in 2009 by Birmingham Council to build new council homes.
12. Granby Estate
Client: Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
Total homes: 387
Timescale: Start 2012
Edlington, where the Granby Estate is situated, was a housing market renewal funding area. After the pathfinder scheme funding was withdrawn, Doncaster Council sealed a development agreement with Keepmoat to allow for hundreds of new homes to be built. The council agreed to set aside funding to clear the homes remaining on the estate after the end of the pathfinder programme. Planning permission for the new homes was granted in February this year. The development features a mix of houses, flats and bungalows, with 271 homes for outright sale and 116 affordable homes, which will be spread throughout the development and split between two-thirds rented and one third intermediate housing. The homes will meet level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
13. Oldchurch hospital site
Client: Swan Housing Group
Total homes: 376
Timescale: Completion of the first phase of affordable homes March 2012
Oldchurch hospital, originally a workhouse built in 1838, was closed in 2006 and services were transferred to the new Queens Hospital. Swan’s development of part of the site comes after a decade of regeneration work in Romford town centre, which lies around 200 metres from the development site. Swan’s scheme, which is being delivered by Swan New Homes, features market sale and shared ownership units as well as homes for affordable rent. The homes for sale range from one-bed flats priced at £160,000 to five-bedroom homes, which will sell for £320,000. The first units for sale were launched in May by Swan’s in-house sales department. Swan has also been developing the northern section of the site to provide key worker accommodation.
14. Homelands Farm, phases 2 and 3
Location: Bishop’s Cleeve, Gloucestershire
Client: Bovis Homes Ltd
Total homes: 372
Timescale: Start 2012, completion 2013
Bovis Homes is building this phased development on the doorstep of its south west regional HQ in Bishop’s Cleeve, a village north of Cheltenham. The first phase of the scheme was completed in April this year and included 11 affordable units, seven for rent and four for shared ownership. Sovereign Housing Association was the affordable housing partner in the first phase, but the arrangements for the second and third phases had not been confirmed as we went to press. The planning permission is for 372 homes in these phases, with 115 of them slated to be affordable and spread in 11 clusters throughout the development. Some of the homes are to be developed by Taylor Wimpey.
15. Ladderswood Place-shaping programme
Location: New Southgate, London
Client: London Borough of Enfield
Total homes: 365
Timescale: Start 2013, completion 2017
One Housing Group and Mulalley were chosen as preferred partners for the £80million Ladderswood regeneration scheme last year. This is a flagship project for Enfield Council, which says it wants to create a ‘sustainable new community where people will want to live, work and enjoy’. The first phase of the project includes 365 homes, including 129 affordable units. The regeneration of the area also includes building a new community centre and more than 4,000 square metres of commercial space, with plans for an 80-bedroom hotel. There will also be a new park area. Mulalley has called it ‘an “exciting opportunity”, while One Housing Group has heralded it as a “landmark development”.
16. DGHP regeneration programme
Location: Dumfries and Stranraer
Client: Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership
Total homes: 347
Timescale: The work is expected to be completed in 2014.
When Dumfries-based contractor R&D Construction went into administration last year it was a blow to the local economy – and to Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership’s substantial regeneration programme. The £77m programme, launched in 2009, involved the demolition of some 400 properties and the development of 500 new homes. But DGHP had to reprocure the contract for the work that was outstanding when R&D collapsed – including 140 homes in various stages of construction, 57 that were not yet built and a further 150 homes for private sale. DGHP says the new deal will “transform and complete areas of very poor quality housing and low demand into attractive developments in both Dumfries and Stranraer”.
17. North Prospect, phase two
Location: Plymouth, Devon Client: Plymouth Community Homes North Prospect Housing
Total homes: 344
Timescale: Start November 2012, completion November 2015
Doing nothing was no longer an option in North Prospect, according to Plymouth Community Homes. Ninety percent of more than 400 homes it surveyed in the area had major structural issues. So the association has embarked on a 10-year £168m programme to regenerate the estate, with plans for the demolition of some 800 homes and the development of more than 1,100 new homes as well as the refurbishment of hundreds more. Work is also under way on a new community hub (pictured), with space for a nursery, library, retail units and office space. The second phase of the scheme – awarded to developer Barratt – will deliver 344 energy efficient homes. A planning application for the latest phase is set to be submitted this summer.
18. Aberfeldy New Village, phase 1
Location: Poplar, East London
Client: Poplar HARCA
Total homes: 342
Timescale: Start 2012, completion 2015
The plans for the new homes at ‘Aberfeldy New Village’ reflect what the team behind them calls a ‘warehouse aesthetic’, borrowed from the warehouses once found around the docks of east London. The transformation is expected to take 15 years and to create 1,176 mixed tenure homes, plus a community centre, shops, health facilities and faith centre. The homes will replace 297 existing ones which are to be demolished. The new buildings will range from a 10-storey tower to lower rise courtyard housing. All homes will achieve level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. The first phase of the scheme involves three buildings, with a total of 342 flats. Landlord Poplar HARCA is working with contractor Willmott Dixon on the scheme.
19. Pill Gardens/Woodville estate/Forches estate
Location: Braunton and Barnstaple, Devon
Client: North Devon Homes
Total homes: 335
Timescale: Start summer 2011, completion 2015
North Devon Homes’ (NDH) entry in the top 50 takes in significant proposals across three sites. Work is already under way on the Forches estate in Barnstaple, where 111 defective precast reinforced concrete (PRC) properties are to be replaced with 143 new homes, including shared ownership and outright sale properties as well as homes for rent. NDH says the new Code Level 3 homes will bring about improvements in living standards and help tackle fuel poverty. It also wants to replace PRC homes in Pill Gardens, Braunton and has planning permission to develop 122 new homes on the Woodville estate, Barnstaple – another PRC estate – but is currently refurbishing some properties after an unsuccessful bid for Homes and Communities Agency funding.
=20. Upton, sites F and G
Client: Keepmoat Homes
Total homes: 324
Timescale: Start summer 2012, completion June 2018
Work has now started on the homes which will make up the first phase of a new community on the edge of Upton. The project has been discussed by its partners – Northampton Council, English Partnerships (which later became part of the HCA) and the Prince’s Foundation – for a number of years. The vision for the community involves more than 1,000 homes, a primary school, medical centre and shops. Keepmoat won preferred developer status for this phase back in 2010. As well as 324 homes – which include 17 live/work units – this phase also includes a 77-unit supported living scheme, a pub, nursery, convenience store and cafe. Keepmoat is partnering with Metropolitan Housing Trust on the affordable housing element of the development.
=20. Wornington Green
Location: North Kensington, London
Client: Catalyst Communities Housing Association
Total homes: 324
Timescale: Start January 2012, completion October 2015
Wholesale demolition and rebuild of Wornington Green was found to be the best solution to the problems facing the estate including poor design and problems with overcrowding and under-occupancy. The estate, built between 1964 and 1985, is mostly made up of flats in six-storey blocks. These will be replaced by new homes, with a return to traditional street patterns and a mix of sizes and tenures. The first phase involves the construction of 324 homes, with 174 at affordable rent and the rest slated for private sale. Contractor Ardmore Construction began work in January this year and offers are already being made to existing tenants for the new homes. The whole regeneration is expected to continue until 2023 and will deliver additional community facilities.
=22. The Furlongs
Client: Crest Nicholson Plc
Total homes: 300
Timescale: 2010 – summer 2014
Residents are already living in homes completed in this scheme on the northern fringe of Hereford – unsurprisingly, given its name, not far from the city’s racecourse. A total of 300 homes, both houses and flats, will eventually be built on the site, which is made up of nearly 13 hectares of agricultural land. The scheme also includes a central square and public open space with children’s play areas. Of the 300 homes, 105 will be affordable, both rented and shared ownership. The affordable homes are spread throughout the site and will be phased with the homes for outright sale. The section 106 agreement allows for contributions towards local schools, an extension to the parish hall and funding for sports facilities, including Hereford’s skate park.
=22. Badsey Road
Location: Badsey Road, Evesham, Worcestershire
Client: Taylor Wimpey Midlands
Total homes: 300
Timescale: Completion 2014
There’s a rural feel to the homes being developed by Taylor Wimpey Midlands on former farmland on the edge of the town of Evesham, as the two sister developments have been named Lavender Fields and Poppyfields. The firm is building 300 homes, including 30 percent affordable housing. The planning permission allowed for a variety of properties and houses on the site are already being marketed. The affordable housing partner in the scheme is Cottsway Housing Association. The site had been slated for housing in Wychavon District Council’s Local Plan and – prior to its merger with George Wimpey – Taylor Woodrow had applied for planning permission back in 2006.
24. South Bank phase 1
Client: Homes and Communities Agency
Total homes: 295
Timescale: Start April 2012, completion 2016
This scheme is set to make national waves as the biggest zero-carbon housing development to be built in the UK under the Carbon Challenge initiative. Work has recently got under way on the seven-hectare site near Peterborough United’s London Road football ground. The 295 homes are to be built to level 6 standards – the highest possible under the Code for Sustainable Homes. There will be a mixture of houses and flats in a seven-storey block, plus shops and office space, with of course the latest zero-carbon energy generation and environment-friendly features. This first phase, known as Vista, is being developed by Morris Homes. The company says its aim is to build homes “that make sustainable living easier and provide long-term savings for homeowners”.
25. Shillingston Drive
Client: Persimmon Homes (North West)
Total homes: 250
Timescale: Uncertain as yet
Persimmon Homes is pressing ahead with its bid to gain planning permission for 250 family homes on this greenfield site in Shrewsbury, but concedes that “the planning application does not enjoy public support”. In a bid to address local concerns, it has included what it calls a “substantial EcoPark” in the proposals. The park would include sustainable urban drainage ponds, with pond dipping platforms for educational purposes, formal areas of open space, an equipped play area, and informal areas of open space for wildlife conservation. It has proposed that 20 percent of the development would be affordable housing and says it has already held discussions with several interested social housing providers about taking on the affordable housing element of the scheme.
26. Regency Park
Client: Taylor Wimpey (South East)
Total homes: 225
Timescale: Uncertain as yet
The new homes making up Taylor Wimpey’s Regency Park development are being built on the site of a lorry and coach park in Eastbourne, not far from the town’s Princes Park. The scheme features a range of flats, penthouses and townhouses, outdoor playing space and a replacement community building and will prove, according to the local authority when it approved the plans, an attractive development on the approach to the seafront. A planning application has recently been submitted to Eastbourne Council for the latest phase of the scheme, a five-storey building with 42 flats. This involves revisions to the original approved plans because of negative feedback from potential buyers over the size of flats, according to documents submitted to the council.
27. Lyde Road Key Site
Location: Yeovil, Somerset
Client: Barratt Homes (Exeter) Ltd
Total homes: 210
Affordable: Number not available
Timescale: Start due autumn 2012, completion 2016
Some homes are already complete and others are under construction in this major residential development named Wyndham Park on the edge of Yeovil. But a detailed planning application for this third phase – described as the final piece of the jigsaw for the site – was still to be considered by South Somerset District Council as our list went to press. The work involves 210 homes on a site in a residential area about a mile from the town centre. The overall development also includes a new school and a riverside park and has a requirement that 35 percent of the homes across the scheme should be affordable, with Magna and Spectrum housing associations working with the developers on the affordable housing elements.
28. Laurieston Transformational Regeneration area phase 1A
Client: New Gorbals Housing Association
Total homes: 201
Timescale: Start 2012, completion 2014
The vision for this part of central Glasgow is to ‘remedy the mistakes of the 1960s that have blighted Laurieston’, by reconnecting it to surrounding neighbourhoods and transforming perceptions of the area. Work has recently got under way on this first phase, which involves 201 new homes for rent for New Gorbals Housing Association to replace demolished tower block housing. Later phases will include homes for sale as well as leisure and retail space. There are also plans for a green city park and a new bus and rail interchange. The consortium Urban Union, made up of McTaggart Construction, Keepmoat and Robertson Group holdings, is delivering the project. It has pledged to provide local job and training opportunities.
29. Canning Town and Custom House regeneration
Location: London Borough of Newham
Client: London Borough of Newham
Total homes: 179
Timescale: Start final quarter 2012
According to the updated masterplan the £3.7bn redevelopment of the Canning Town and Custom House area of east London will mean that “instead of large estates with all properties looking the same, redevelopment will happen on an area by area basis, giving each residential area its own unique personality”. This entry in our top 50 is for perhaps one of the key phases: the £600m regeneration of the town centre at Canning Town. The development, expected to begin in the final quarter of this year, will include a new Morrisons superstore, shops, homes and an energy centre. The scheme is being developed by Bouygues Development and its consortium partner One Housing Group.
30. Tregunnel Hill
Location: Newquay, Cornwall
Client: The Duchy of Cornwall
Total homes: 174
Timescale: Start summer 2012, completion autumn 2014
Dorset has Poundbury – and soon Cornwall will have Surfbury. That’s the name being given locally to the Duchy Of Cornwall’s new development in Newquay. The Duchy says the scheme will ‘set a benchmark’ for sustainable development in the county. This development incorporates homes, including 48 affordable homes to be managed by Guinness Hermitage, and employment space. The building work is to be carried out by CG Fry and Morrish builders, which have worked at Poundbury for more than 20 years. Devon-based Wainhomes, which is also part of the Duchy’s consortium, will be starting work on the first phase of growth area work later this year.
31. Severn Quay
Location: Chepstow, Gwent
Client: Wynddel Property Management
Total homes: 169
Timescale: Start spring 2012, completion 2015
“The most fashionable address in the West” is how Wynddel is pitching its riverside development in Chepstow, with speculation that penthouses in the scheme may attract celebrity buyers. The company describes the homes on offer as “five-star housing” – with sweeping views of the River Wye. The scheme, designed by Rio Architects, is being developed on a five-acre brownfield site. It features eight office units and a cafe as well as houses and flats with smart technology and a promenade and lookout deck beside the river. Work got under way on the site in March, after a holdup caused by the discovery of part of a medieval wall.
32. Menorah School site
Location: Dollis Hill, London
Client: Network Housing Group
Total homes: 160
Timescale: Start April 2011, completion spring 2013
Described by Network as one of its flagship schemes, it involves the redevelopment of a site that once housed a private school, which has since relocated. Network is working with contractor Kier on the development, which involves homes for shared ownership and outright sale as well as affordable housing. The association secured £11.95m in Homes and Communities Agency funding for the project under the 2008-2011 affordable homes programme. It says it worked hard consulting with local residents and local politicians to win support for the scheme, particularly as it was a high density proposal, in an otherwise low rise area of the borough.
33. Mill Farm Close
Location: Pinner, London Borough of Harrow
Client: Catalyst Communities Housing Association
Total homes: 158
Timescale: Completion 2015
When Shireene Burrowes and her two daughters moved into their new three-bed home this spring, it was a landmark moment for the regeneration of the Mill Farm Close estate. Ms Burrowes and her children were the first tenants to move into a new home developed as Catalyst replaces the poorly-insulated homes on the estate with new energy efficient ones. The project began back in 2008 when Harrow Council and local residents selected Catalyst as a partner. Residents voted a year later to transfer to the housing association to allow the scheme to go ahead. Since then, says Catalyst, tenants have been heavily involved in shaping the plans for the estate. As well as rented homes, the redevelopment also involves shared ownership and those for private sale.
34. Land off A390
Location: St Ann’s Chapel,
Client: Pillar Land
Total homes: 155
Timescale: Planning still pending
In June 2009, fresh planning permission was granted for this site at a higher density than the original application – lodged some 35 years ago – and with affordable housing provision. An application to extend the time limit of that outline approval is now being considered by Cornwall Council. The scheme involves a range of flats and terraced, semi-detached and detached houses. The proposals include 22 affordable homes, with seven for rent and 15 for shared ownership. This is lower than usual requirements – but because of the existing earlier planning permission, a lower figure was agreed. The scheme also features three public open spaces.
35. Pleasley Hill regeneration
Client: Mansfield District Council
Total homes: c154
Timescale: July 2012 to July 2015
The boarded-up terraced homes of Pleasley Hill have been the first sight of Mansfield for many driving into the town from the north. The homes, built for workers from Pleasley Colliery, have suffered from low demand for years. Now the area is to be redeveloped and the demolition of many of the properties has already begun. Some properties in the regeneration area will be taken over by the TREES Group, a project with veteran’s charity Joint Forces Alliance which will retrain ex-soldiers in construction. These homes will house ex-forces personnel and homeless people. The council has chosen Westbury Partnerships for the new build homes and is currently negotiating the contract before planning is sought. If all goes to plan, show homes could be ready by next autumn.
36. Osiers Road
Location: Wandsworth, London
Client: Taylor Wimpey (South West Thames)
Total homes: 152
Timescale: Planning permission granted March 2012
This mixed used scheme in Wandsworth, south west London, will be built around a central public square and will feature buildings ranging up to eight storeys in height, with commercial space on the ground floor and 152 homes on the floors above. The development will sit on a site formerly occupied by empty factory, warehouse and office units, near Frasers’ new Riverside Quarter (see entry number 6 on our list). The affordable homes will be split equally between rented and shared ownership homes, built as one, two and three-bed units. All of the homes will be developed to level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and will meet Lifetime Homes requirements, with 10 percent of them specifically designed to be adapted for wheelchair users.
37. Hatchcombe nurseries/Grange Road
Location: Torquay and Paignton, Devon
Client: Torbay Borough Council
Total homes: c150
Timescale: Not yet confirmed
This entry in our list takes in two plots of land: one at Hatchcombe Nurseries, Torquay, and one at Grange Road, Paignton. The idea is to develop between 65 and 75 units of affordable and open market Extra Care housing on the first site and between 60 and 75 units of affordable and open market housing on the second. Torbay Council says a planning application is expected to be submitted soon for the first site. The application for the Grange Road site is, it says, not so imminent. Contracts were awarded to Sanctuary and Sovereign housing associations for the two lots but no further details are available at this stage.
38. Middlemore Farm
Client: Bellway Homes
Total homes: 147
Timescale: Start end 2012, completion end 2015
Bellway is currently going through the final stages of the planning process for this development on the northern edge of Daventry, Northamptonshire. The company plans to build a mix of flats, houses and bungalows of between two and four bedrooms on the 2.7 hectare site, which was once farmland. Bellway’s scheme is set to include 44 social homes, split between rented and shared ownership and spread throughout the site. There will be an area of public open space with a ‘village green’ feel, retaining existing mature trees. The homes are set to be built to at least level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
39. Silwood estate regeneration phase 4C
Location: South east London
Client: London & Quadrant Housing Trust
Total homes: 146
Timescale: First handovers June 2012, completion due October 2012
The Silwood estate, on the borders of the London boroughs of Lewisham and Southwark, has been redeveloped over a number of years. Over six phases, the project has seen the demolition of existing homes to create 900 homes and a range of community facilities, including a new community centre and an award-winning “cyber centre”. The project has meant large-scale decanting of residents as more than 500 properties, including four 11-storey tower blocks, were demolished. Silwood Phase 4C is the final regeneration phase, involving the development of 146 homes, split between 82 for general needs rent and 64 shared ownership. The first handovers were due at the end of June. It is due to complete in October 2012.
40. Willis Street, Ida, Follet and Brownfield
Location: Brownfield estate, Poplar, east London
Client: Poplar HARCA
Total homes: 144
Timescale: Start 2011, completion 2014
This scheme is part of Poplar HARCA’s ‘Reshaping Poplar’ initiative, designed to regenerate the Brownfield estate and the wider area. Many homes on the Brownfield are being refurbished, but hard-to-let bedsits and one-bed units have been demolished to make way for new homes. This scheme has two main elements: a new 20-storey tower, with 90 homes for sale and 22 for shared ownership, and 32 new homes for rent in Ida Street, Follet Street and Brownfield Street, including large family houses and six wheelchair-accessible homes. The tower is designed to work well with the nearby Erno Goldfinger Balfron Tower. Contractor Telford Homes is working on this development. Social rented homes are now complete and the tower is expected to be completed in 2014.
41. Cross Croft/Back Lane
Location: Appleby, Cumbria
Client: Story Homes
Total homes: 143
Timescale: Five phases, with a three-and-a-half-year build programme
Story Homes’ bid to build this development of 143 new homes in Appleby has run into significant local opposition. As this list went to press, the council was due to consider deferring the scheme, with the developers committing to amend their plans to meet concerns. The site is mostly former grazing land but also takes in an Arts and Crafts-style house which is set for demolition. The plans feature terraced, semi-detached and detached houses and flats, designed to “appeal to the whole spectrum of potential house purchasers”. Around 20 percent of the homes will be affordable, with 21 for rent and eight for shared ownership. Riverside Housing Association has been involved in the discussions over the affordable element.
42. Falstaff Road, Parson Cross
Client: Sheffield Housing Company
Total homes: 142
Timescale: Planning permission granted April 2012, building scheduled to begin summer 2012
Sheffield Housing Company (SHC), the joint venture formed by the council, Keepmoat and Great Places Housing Group, plans to build some 2,300 homes on local authority land across the city over the next 15 years. This scheme in the Parson Cross area replaces run-down council housing, which has now mostly been demolished, with 142 new homes. The majority will be for outright sale, with 10 percent slated to be rented homes managed by Great Places. All of the homes will meet the requirements of level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and three are to be built as exemplar homes to level 6. This scheme and the one at number 49 in the list are the first to be delivered by SHC.
43. Elizabeth House, Surrey
Location: Cheam, Surrey
Client: Viridian Housing
Total homes: 131
Timescale: Construction due to start September 2012, first phase completion end 2013
Viridian Housing was chosen by Sutton Council to regenerate the site of the outdated Elizabeth House sheltered housing scheme in Cheam. Working with contractor United House, 16,000-home Viridian will be developing new flats for affordable rent, shared ownership and private sale. The homes will mostly be for older people and will include Extra Care facilities, with a small number of homes reserved for younger adults with learning disabilities or physical and sensory impairments. The flats will be split across four residential blocks, with facilities such as a communal sitting room, conservatory and laundry. The development is designed to achieve level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
44. Extra care and affordable housing project
Client: Portsmouth City Council procurement service
Total homes: 123
Timescale: Work due to start July 2012
Portsmouth’s ambitious plan to provide new Extra Care housing and affordable homes has been hit by the reduction in affordable housing grant. Originally the council and its partner on the scheme Housing 21 had been hoping to build up to 180 units on a number of sites around Portsmouth. Now the scheme comprises two projects, both on the site of former nursing homes, with discussions continuing about a third. Work is due to start in July on the first at Caroline Lodge, Portsea, to deliver 43 units. Preparations are continuing for the second component at the Alexandra Lodge site in Hilsea, involving 80 units. Housing 21 has already worked with the council to develop an Extra Care ‘village’ in Portsmouth.
=45. Hartley Wood
Location: Pennywell, Sunderland
Client: Gentoo Homes/Gentoo Sunderland
Total homes: 120
Timescale: Already completed
Gentoo Homes’ 120-home development in the Pennywell area of Sunderland appears in our top 50 because of a planning application to modify highways and landscaping details, submitted after the development had been completed back in 2009. Gentoo says this scheme was designed around a ‘village green’ theme, with tree-lined avenues and open spaces. The homes are two and three-bedroomed houses and bungalows, developed in 18 different styles and all built to Eco Homes “Very Good” standard. The scheme architect was John Thompson. Gentoo is a trail-blazer on green construction, recently completing 28 low energy bungalows built to ‘PassivHaus’ standards, the first development on such a scale in the UK.
Location: Upper Edmonton, London
Client: London Borough of Enfield
Total homes: 120
Timescale: Start 2012, completion of first homes expected 2014
The Highmead regeneration project is designed, according to the London Borough of Enfield, to deliver “a high quality development that will act as a catalyst for change “. The scheme, on the site of an 11-storey former council housing block, shopping parade and car park at Angel Edmonton, involves 120 mixed tenure homes, community space and more than 1,000 square metres of retail space. The main building is to be eight storeys high, with some terraced houses and a three-storey community building. The council is working with developer Countryside Properties and Newlon Housing Trust on the Hawkins/Brown-designed scheme, which will own and manage the affordable element of the scheme.
=45. Liskey Hill
Client: RS Developments
Total homes: 120
Timescale: Start expected third quarter 2012. Completion first quarter 2014
Housebuilder RS Developments is planning to build 120 new homes on a farmland site in the seaside village of Perranporth. The application has proved controversial locally: many residents of the village objected to the plans, largely on the grounds of the scale of the scheme, although the parish council supported the application in principle. Cornwall Council resolved to grant planning permission in March, and is still negotiating the section 106 agreement. Sixty of the homes in the development will be affordable, cross-subsidised by the outright sale homes. A report to council members on the application said there was an ‘acute’ level of housing need in the parish – with 115 households on the Cornwall HomeChoice register wanting to live in the village.
48. Forest Homes/Beaumont estate
Location: Leyton, London
Client: London & Quadrant Housing Trust
Total homes: 119
Timescale: Planning permission granted 2011. Completion due November 2013
This is the latest phase of an ambitious programme by L&Q to transform a deprived area of Leyton, east London, into a ‘thriving, safe and forward-looking community’. The programme began back in 2002 when some 2,600 council homes transferred to L&Q, becoming known as Forest Homes. The stock transfer was based on a £118m investment programme, involving the demolition and replacement of 600 homes and the refurbishment of a further 2,000. Since then, more than 300 new homes have been built to replace the tower blocks which have come down. The latest phase of development work, which gained planning permission last year, is a development of flats and family homes for affordable rent and shared ownership options.
49. Norfolk Park
Client: Sheffield Housing Company
Total homes: 116
Timescale: Planning permission granted April 2012, building scheduled to start summer 2012
Norfolk Park was once an area of poor quality council housing and deprivation. But major regeneration efforts – including Single Regeneration Budget funding, a new school, tram links and more mixed tenure housing – have been changing the face of the area over the last decade. This scheme is another project by the joint venture regeneration vehicle Sheffield Housing Company (see number 42) which has plans to build mixed tenure developments across the city. The scheme involves 116 new homes, most of them for outright sale but 11 of them affordable, split over two parts of the site. Eugien Jaruga, Director of Partnerships with Keepmoat, said it is “testament to the commitment of all those involved” that the regeneration is close to delivery.
50. Elizabeth House, Wembley
Location: Wembley, London Borough of Brent
Client: Octavia Housing & Care
Total homes: 115
Timescale: Completion expected 2013
This development is just one of a host of schemes forming part of the regeneration of the Wembley area, including the ‘Wembley city’ development and a new civic centre. Brent Council says it wants the area to become one of the most thriving parts of London. Octavia won planning permission for this site in Wembley town centre last year. Its new development, which replaces an old office and residential building, will rise between five and 13 storeys and will include 115 one-bed to three-bed flats, underground parking and a ground-floor retail unit. The idea is to create an ‘elegant’ landmark building, with views of the new Wembley stadium. Octavia is working with Willmott Dixon on the scheme.
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