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Families in need moving into modular homes a year earlier

Families awaiting social housing in Northern Ireland will be able to move in a year earlier following a major shake-up in house-building methods.

An entire factory-built modular house can now be erected on pre-prepared foundations in a single day, ready for connection to gas, electricity and water supplies.

Clanmil Housing is working with the McAvoy Group builders to deliver new homes using an innovative off-site housing solution.

Forty on the site of the former Woodside’s foodstore in Carrickfergus in Co Antrim will be the first social homes in Northern Ireland delivered using off-site factory construction, Clanmil said.

They modules will be delivered to the site complete with kitchens, bathrooms, windows, flooring and decorated walls.

The £6.2 million housing scheme, a mix of family houses and apartments for active older people, is being built by Clanmil with the assistance of £3.1 million grant support from the Department for Communities.

The new homes, each made up of a number of steel-framed modules, will be manufactured and fully fitted-out by McAvoy in its Lisburn factory before being craned into position on site.

The construction method will reduce the build time for the Carrickfergus development by 56 weeks compared to traditional site-based building, delivering 40 new homes in just nine months.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The UK’s housing shortfall is only going to be addressed by radical innovation in building practices, such as modular housing.

This method of construction has real potential to help address the current housing shortage

David Orr

“This method of construction has real potential to help address the current housing shortage.

“In the UK, the Government sees off-site manufacture as a huge opportunity and has promised to support housing providers to build more homes in this way.

“It is really exciting to see a Northern Ireland housing association and a Northern Ireland manufacturer working together to harness innovation that can deliver homes in up to half the normal time.”


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Ultimate Guide to where new homes will be built across Nottinghamshire

At least 67,500 new homes are planned to be built in the county by 2032, providing homes for around 150,000 people – 10 percent of the current population.

It’s all part of the Government’s ambition, set in 2015, to build one million homes by 2020.

Rushcliffe was given the highest target of all the districts and boroughs in the county, and needs to find land for 13,000 houses over the next few years.

As part of this, it plans to build 3,000 houses at Fairham Pastures – the biggest new development in the county – on land south of Clifton, near the A453.

But all over the area, new estates and housing schemes are planned, from small-scale plots with five houses to massive new ‘garden villages’ around the new HS2 station at Toton.

Gedling Borough Council is well advanced with its target. Almost all of the houses which need to be built before 2028 have already been given permission.

The largest of these is the Chase Farm development on the former Gedling Colliery, where around 1,050 houses will be built.

Councillor Jenny Hollingsworth is the portfolio holder for growth and regeneration at Gedling Borough Council, and represents the Gedling ward for Labour.

She said their plan would “allow us to provide much-needed new homes, encourage economic growth and support regeneration”.

The total each area has to built is specified in a complex legal document called a Local Plan, which has to be approved by the Government.

The Gedling Local Plan was formally approved in the last few weeks.

Councillor Hollingsworth said: “The Local Planning Document addresses the key planning issues in Gedling borough and sets out a clear and locally distinctive vision for the future development of the borough.

“Thanks must go to our planning policy officers who have worked tirelessly to get this document adopted and to the residents who have had their say on what is, a hugely significant and important document that sets out the future development of the borough.”

Here we’ve outlined the areas in each part of Nottinghamshire where the houses will be built, as well as where the biggest new developments will be.

Some areas already have their local plans in place, while others are still being drawn up.

New homes by Local Authority:

Nottingham City Council: Within the city boundaries there are plans to build 17,150 between 2011 and 2028, and the city council is currently ahead of its target. Several sites are already under construction, including the former Bestwood Day Centre, (50 homes) Woodhouse Park, (241 homes) Chalfont Drive (345 homes) Radford Mill, Ilkeston Road (314 homes) Sandfield Centre, Derby Road (95 houses) Crocus Street, Canal Quarter (300 houses) Trent Lane Basin, Daleside Road (73 houses)

As well as the sites already being built, many more are in the pipeline. Some have already been given planning permission, such as 229 houses on the Forest Mill site, and the former Park Yacht Club site

Others have also been earmarked for development, including around 450 houses on the former Padstow School site. The Island site has also been set aside for development.

Rushcliffe Borough Council has the largest target of the districts and boroughs, of 13,150 by 2028. It originally appealed to the Government to have this number reduced, but was unsuccessful. The Fairham Pastures development will be the largest new development, with 3,000 houses.

As well as this, there are several new developments, outlined below, which were sent to Government for approval in the last few days. Cotgrave : Rear of Mill Lane 180 homes; South of Hollygate Lane 190 homes. East Leake : Land off Rempstone Road (north) 235 homes. Keyworth : Land off Nicker Hill 150 homes; Between Platt Lane and Station Road 190 homes; South of Debdale Lane 190 homes. Radcliffe-on-Trent : Land north of Bingham 150 homes; Shelford Road 400 homes; North of Grantham Road 240 dwellings. Ruddington; West of Wilford Road 130 homes; Opposite Mere Way 170 homes.

Ashfield District Council: There are plans to build 7,211 houses between 2017 and 2032 across Ashfield. The largest new estate it plans to build is known as ‘Mowlands’, which will see up to 1,650 houses built. There is also a plan to build on is the former Rolls Royce site in Hucknall, where 900 houses and a new £3.6 million school will be built. There are also plans for 480 on land south of Broomhill Farm.

Bassetlaw District Council is still in the process of drafting its local plan, so the targets are not yet set in stone. The figure it is currently working towards is 6,525 between 2019 and 2034.

Broxtowe Borough Council : A total of 7,249 new homes could be built across the borough by 2028 – 1,144 of which have already been built. The two largest new schemes will be at Toton and Chetwynd Barracks, where 1,000 houses will be built by 2028, and more are expected on each afterwards. Another 500 will also be built at Bramcote, while Awsworth will see 250, Stapleford 240 and Eastwood 200. The final details of Broxtowe’s Local Plan are not yet finalised though. It has been sent to the Government for final approval.

A spokesman for the council said: “We believe the Local Plan will help to provide Broxtowe with the housing it needs to thrive. We’re always happy to receive new planning applications as part of our commitment to providing a good quality affordable home for all residents of Broxtowe and look forward to the exciting new opportunities over the coming years.”

Gedling Borough Council : A total of 7,250 homes will be built across the borough as part of the council’s plans by 2028, though many of these have already been given planning permission, and some are already being built. These include the Chase Farm development, which will have around 1,050 houses.

Mansfield District Council: A total of 9,024 homes will be built across the district by 2033 – 4,147 of which already have planning permission already. Large developments are expected around the A617 Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Route, which will include 1,700 houses and a range of new infrastructure.

Source: West Bridgford Wire

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What Turns Buyers Away From New Build Homes?

Although nine out of ten new build home buyers would purchase a new build again, a New Homes Survey by the HBF reveals that bad press and general misconceptions continue to tarnish the sector. Survey results suggest that the primary concern is build quality.

According to a recent survey by specialist insurer BLP Insurance, nearly one-quarter of people view low quality to be a big disadvantage of buying a new build over an older property. Those residing in the north of England, which accounted for 29% of survey respondents, were more apt to regard low construction quality as a major disadvantage compared to those in London and the Southeast (21%).

Other perceived disadvantages of new builds that respondents identified included:

  • Lack of character (26%)
  • Room sizes (24%)
  • Sale price (21%)

Respondents in the 16-24 age group expressed concerns about cost (32%) when purchasing a new build home while those over the age of 55% viewed lack of character (30%) as the principal disadvantage of buying a new build. They were less likely to regard cost as an important factor (18%).

The BLP Insurance survey also indicated that 29% of residents did not see any special advantage in buying a new build home. Those in the over-55 age group were particularly sceptical about the benefits. (41%)

BLP Insurance CEO Kim Vernau said that subpar build quality was a growing cause for concern in the British housing market. As developers struggle to deliver enough new homes to meet the high levels of demand, quality and practical design were being compromised.

As homebuyers become more conscious of the problems caused by the poor build quality, everyone involved in the construction of new homes will have to take a position of greater responsibility and dedication to ensuring ongoing quality in the build process. Otherwise, the number of new build home buyers cannot grow.

Source: CRL

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Plans revealed for 2,700 new homes in Rushcliffe

Some 2,700 new homes are set to built in the Nottinghamshire borough of Rushcliffe.

The plans are part of an effort to build 13,150 new homes by 2028. Rushcliffe Borough Council has submitted its Local Plan Part 2 that outlines key housing allocations in the borough over the next decade.

The Plan includes policies and proposals for housing, Green Belt, employment, retail, open spaces and nature conservation.

The sites could deliver 2,700 of the new homes in Bunny, Cotgrave, Cropwell Bishop, East Bridgford, Gotham, Keyworth, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Ruddington and Sutton Bonington.

The Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Waste Management, councillor Roger Upton said: “The recently submitted Local Plan Part 2 has been produced to provide new housing, employment and other development opportunities across the Borough.

“In the autumn we anticipate an examination hearing and this will be an opportunity for all interested parties to be involved and present individual concerns for consideration by the Inspector.

“Following examination the Council will consider any required modifications and if the Inspector then determines the plan is sound and legally compliant, it could be adopted by the end of the year.

“Also addressed in the plan is the importance of trees in the borough, with policies in place to protect against the loss of mature trees and woodland from development.

“There are other policies within the plan that relate to the natural and built environments. In particular the plan seeks to ensure that new development contributes to the enhancement of the green infrastructure and biodiversity network across the Borough.”

Source: The Business Desk

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Figures show not enough homes are being built to meet demand

New figures have revealed not enough new homes are being built to cater for the future needs of Powys.

Research has shown that in the county, around 17,600 new homes will be needed by 2026, which meant 880 would need to be built annually by then.

However, the figures also revealed just 21 per cent of the target annual figure had been built over the last year.

Earlier this year, Powys County Council’s new local development plan had identified land for a range of uses, including housing, commercial and industrial development. Newtown has been highlighted as a key area for housing in the plan.

The Welsh Government has insisted it is investing in housing in the region.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are investing a record £1.7 billion in the housing sector to tackle a range of issues, including building homes and improving existing housing stock. We have abolished Right to Buy, ensuring that when we build new social housing we keep it for those who need it.

“We have recently quadrupled the Wales Property Development fund and launched the Stalled Sites Fund. Together they will provide nearly £430m over the next 17 years to support small and medium sized businesses to develop new homes in areas and sites which are not attractive to the bigger developers.

“We have a commitment to build 20,000 affordable homes this Assembly term and we have also announced an independent review of affordable housing supply to examine whether more can be done to increase supply and maximise resources.”

Source: Shropshire Star

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Housing development on former hotel site launched

A new residential development on the site of a former Sheffield hotel has been launched.

The former Beauchief Hotel site on Abbeydale Road South will be transformed into a gated community of 30 homes and landscaped open spaces.

The former hotel building, which was constructed in 1900 as the Abbeydale Station Hotel, will be converted into six two-bedroom apartments featuring original features such as high ceilings and restored period fireplaces.

There will also be 24 new build homes, with a mix of detached family houses and apartments.

Property consultancy Knight Frank, on behalf of Brantingham Homes is launching the development, known as The Beauchief. The show apartment will be open to the public by appointment from the 18 August.

Louise Platts, residential development sales negotiator at Knight Frank, said: “The Beauchief offers a rare mix of period conversion and new build homes, in a highly sought-after part of Sheffield. The apartments are ideal for first time buyers using the Help to Buy scheme, but we also expect strong levels of interest from those searching for a family home in a desirable, secure location.”

Source: Insider Media

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More SME house building firms enter the market

Development finance applications are on the rise but the size of loans is falling, says specialist packager Thistle Finance.

The Edinburgh-based firm has seen a 9% fall in the average size of development finance loan applications during the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter.

But the number of applications it received between April and June was up 15% on the first three months of the year.

Thistle Finance says this reflects not just increased development activity but the growing number of SME firms entering the market and taking on smaller projects.

Analysis of its second quarter data revealed a shift in activity levels away from London and the South East. Between April and June, applications for development projects outside London and the South East rose by 18%, with the South West and North West particularly active.

Mark Dyason, managing director of Thistle Finance, commented: “It’s happening slowly but we’re seeing a fundamental shift in the development sector.

“A long tail of smaller developers is emerging and gradually increasing its market share, empowered by the proliferation of specialist lenders offering better rates.

“The supply deficit represents a major commercial opportunity and regional start-up and SME developers, with lower level schemes, are highly active.

“The new wave of developers is increasingly aware that consumer demand is moving away from undifferentiated developments to more bespoke projects that better reflect the character of the areas they are in. The monopoly of the major developers is gradually being eroded.”

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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Average size of development finance loan applications down 9%

The average size of development finance loan applications fell by 9% from Q1 to Q2, specialist packager, Thistle Finance has found.

But while average loan sizes were down in Q2, the number of applications submitted to Thistle Finance between April and June was up 15% on the first three months of the year.

This reflects not just increased development activity but the growing number of SME firms entering the market and taking on smaller projects.

Mark Dyason, managing director, Thistle Finance, said: “It’s happening slowly but we’re seeing a fundamental shift in the development sector.

“A long tail of smaller developers is emerging and gradually increasing its market share, empowered by the proliferation of specialist lenders offering better rates.

“The supply deficit represents a major commercial opportunity and regional start-up and SME developers, with lower level schemes, are highly active.

“The new wave of developers is increasingly aware that consumer demand is moving away from undifferentiated developments to more bespoke projects that better reflect the character of the areas they are in. The monopoly of the major developers is gradually being eroded.”

Applications for development projects outside London and the South East rose by 18% during April to June, with the South West and North West particularly active.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Work underway to build almost 100 homes on former council depot in Nuneaton

A new £14.5million housing development is now underway at the former home of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council depot.

Once finished the land that used to play home to the St Mary’s Road council depot will instead boast 83 houses and 12 flats – all of which will count as affordable.

The council has never divulged how much the land was actually sold for but Midland Heart and and Derby-based developer Partner Construction are behind the new housing development, which is reportedly worth £14.5m.

Joe Reeves, executive director of growth and corporate affairs at Midland Heart, said: “There is much need for new affordable housing in Nuneaton with demand outstripping supply.

“This is an unusually significant development for Midland Heart – 83 houses and 12 flats – and all will be at affordable rent or for shared ownership, giving first time buyers a chance to step on to the property ladder.

“This is very much in line with our ambition to develop in areas where people want to live and where quality affordable housing is in demand.”

Brent Davis, executive director for operations at the Town Hall , said: “This new development will deliver many new affordable homes for local residents and do much to enhance this pleasant residential area.

“The land has been released for development following the relocation of the council depot to a more suitable location and the move has been welcomed positively by local residents.”

Planning permission for the new homes was granted back in May .

The council’s maintenance and cleaning teams since 1959 before making the move to the new super depot in Gresham Road.

A waste licence has still not been secured for the new council depot in Gresham Road.

The new depot has not been without controversy as the council has come under-fire about the £1.2m over spend on the project .

There have also been issues about the fact that the new depot did not have a waste licence when it opened and was having to continue to use the old depot to get rid of waste.

It is still unclear if the council’s application to the Environment Agency for a licence has been approved.

Source: Coventry Telegraph

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Green Belt must be ditched to solve housing crisis: IEA

Green Belt regulations are standing in the way of young people getting on the housing ladder, a right-wing think-tank has claimed.

Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), said the only “meaningful” way to resolve the housing crisis and build the required number of new and affordable homes was to sweep away out-dated rules protecting the Green Belt.

Mr Littlewood said: “The only meaningful way to solve the issue of unaffordable housing is to liberalise the planning system and build more homes.

“The concept of the Green Belt is widely out of date, as much of the land protected by Green Belt regulation is not environmentally valuable or scenic in the first place.”

He was commenting after a report was published by environmental group, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), warning against the abuse of planning regulations.

The report said there were 460,000 homes planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt.

The CPRE report stated: “Moving Green Belt boundaries when reviewing local plans makes it easier for local authorities to release land for housing, but is only supposed to take place under ‘exceptional circumstances’.

“This strategic shrinking of the Green Belt, as a way of getting around its protected status, is as harmful as building on the Green Belt itself.”

But Mr Littlewood claimed that, because house prices have risen four and a half times since the 1970s, we are facing a crisis in the UK whereby there is simply not enough affordable housing.

He said: “No other OECD country’s experience has even come close. The UK’s housing crisis must be addressed, and even mild embrace of planning liberalisation is a step in the right direction.

“In essence, we are prioritising the protection of dump sites over the opportunity for young people to get on the housing ladder.”

But the CPRE report disagreed with such arguments, claiming building on the Green Belt was “not solving the affordable housing crisis, and will not do so”.

It pointed out that, in 2017, 72 per cent of homes built on greenfield land within the Green Belt were still unaffordable by the government’s own definition.

Andrew Montlake, director at Coreco, said: “Why should the new generation lose the Green Belt? There needs to be a proper joined up, long-term housing plan that is outside of party politics.

“It is never dealt with properly by any government despite being an election priority. They can deal with a better planning system, and better tax regimes, and so on.”

He added: “The government should have nationalised their own house builder and set to building proper affordable homes in areas needed.

“I do agree that empty homes should not be left empty for five years or more, however.”

Source: FT Adviser