Marijana No Comments

Dundee City Council submits plans for 35 new homes

Dundee City Council lodged a planning application to build its first social housing development for several years.

Submitted to planning officers by the council’s own architects, the proposal outlines plans to build 35 homes on land at Murrayfield Place, Murrayfield Drive, Whitfield Avenue and Murrayfield Terrace.

A number of the one- and two-storey homes would be adapted for tenants with disabilities as well as for those with additional needs.

City architect Ray Low told the Evening Telegraph that the homes would be the first “in-house” developed homes from the local authority for “quite some time” as the local authority has tended to partner up with housing associations such as Hillcrest in order to build new social homes.

A report accompanying the application stated: “The proposed development makes best and most appropriate use of land previously developed for residential use on this brownfield site with the addition of 35 plots of much needed residential accommodation.

“The proposed dwellings sit comfortably in their locality and respect the adjacent properties in terms of design and protection of amenity and they create high-quality living spaces for future occupiers.”

The council has until March 15 to consider whether or not to approve the application.

Source: Scottish Construction Now

Marijana No Comments

100 new affordable properties to be delivered for locals as part of Cockermouth development

This month will see a significant milestone for the proposed new Story Homes development in Cockermouth, ‘Strawberry Grange Phase 2’. The Cumbrian housebuilder’s proposals to build 224 houses will be taken to Allerdale Brough Council’s Development Panel on 22 January, where a decision will be made on whether planning permission shall be granted for the development.

Proposed plans for the second phase of the development shall include a mix of 100 new 1, 2, and 3-bedroom affordable homes provided as apartments, bungalows and houses, and 75 of these will be provided as affordable rented through a registered provider of social housing. The remainder will be sold on the open market with a discount of 35% applied. These affordable homes will help address identified local needs and will benefit households with a local connection to the area in accordance with Allerdale Borough Council’s policies.

This is the second phase of the Strawberry Grange development which was awarded the title of Best Residential Development in Cumbria at the 2017 UK Property Awards. The new properties will provide build continuity from the first phase of 96 homes which are currently under construction.

Catherine Oliver, a resident at Strawberry Grange, said: “My family and I have lived in our new home for just over 18 months. We chose the ‘Salisbury’ house type because of the generous kitchen/diner/family room and spend most of our time in this living space. We have fantastic neighbours and all the residents we have met on Phase 1 have been very friendly. All in all the development has a lovely community feel.”

The development will inevitably bring economic benefits to the area during the construction phase, including sustaining jobs for local sub-contractors and support for local businesses and supply chains. The construction of 224 new homes would support the employment of circa 690 people*and provide circa seven apprentices, graduates or trainees.*

New surface water drainage infrastructure including a SUDS pond will be constructed and a new gravity fed foul water drainage infrastructure will direct foul flows to the existing infrastructure located at Windmill Lane and Bellbrigg Lonning. The new SUDS pond and the provision of bat and bird boxes will bring about ecological benefits for wildlife, and the development secures the retention of two existing protected trees within the site. Toddler play equipment will also be provided within new landscaped public open space.

Upon the end of the first phase of the existing Strawberry Grange development, a bus route will be provided through the development, with a new bus service that will encourage new residents to reduce their use of private vehicles. A Travel Plan will also be implemented that will also encourage and assist new residents to use more sustainable forms of transport such as bicycles and public transport.

During the construction period, Story Homes will provide a safe permissive route through the site to ensure that local people can continue to access the open countryside beyond the eastern boundary. Once the development is completed there will be a clearly delineated pedestrian route through the new development to allow local people continued access to the open countryside. The route within the development will be clearly marked using a series of sign posts and stone flags set into the footpath.

David Hayward, Development Planner at Story Homes, said: “Our phase two submission for 224 homes at Strawberry Grange Phase 2 follows two years of planning with design input from local people and statutory stakeholders. We are committed to providing quality affordable housing within our scheme and in accordance with local plan policies. Our new development shall make an important contribution to the district’s housing supply, including the provision of 100 affordable homes available to rent or buy. We believe that our proposals for the homes at Strawberry Grange Phase 2 will bring numerous benefits to the local community and will provide people in Cockermouth the opportunity to take their first steps on the property ladder. We look forward to hearing the views of Allerdale Development Panel next week.”

Source: Cumbria Crack

Marijana No Comments

Detailed proposals submitted for 80 new homes in Gwernaffield

Detailed proposals have been entered which could see 80 new homes and a convenience store built in a village in Flintshire.

The Bromfield Group has been consulting on plans to develop land at Coppy Farm in Gwernaffield, near Mold.

The local developers have now submitted a formal application despite opposition from villagers.

A campaign website has been set up by members of the ‘Gwernaffield Says No’ group, who said the area did not have enough facilities to support the growth in population.

80 new homes

They said: “Dwellings in Gwernaffield would grow from 358 to 438 – up 22 per cent with the potential for a further 90 plus houses accessible via the land marked in blue on the plan.

“The population of Gwernaffield could grow from just over 800 to 1200 – up 50 per cent.

“So too would the consequential traffic, pollution, noise and the pressure on amenities like water, sewerage, electricity, broadband and the village primary school, local GP surgeries and hospitals.”

Criticism has also been raised over the fact the development only includes two affordable houses.

However, the Bromfield Group said the homes would be suitable for couples and families.

They said: “In terms of the social benefits of the proposed development, the scheme will provide housing within the accessible and sustainable settlement of Gwernaffield.

“The type of housing proposed reflects a need for first time buyer up to large family houses.

“There is a high demand for this type of housing in Gwernaffield and the surrounding area, predominantly providing dwellings suitable for couples and families.


80 new homes

Proposed design

“In terms of the economic benefits that will arise from the proposed development, in the short term the proposal will offer employment opportunities and additional spend within the locality during the construction period.

“In the longer term new housing also delivers significant economic benefits including jobs, additional spending in the local economy and an increase to local authority revenue.

“The convenience store will create jobs and provide a location for the sale of local produce as well as keeping some local spend within the community.”

Flintshire Council is aiming to make a decision on the proposals by mid-February.

Source: Deeside

Marijana No Comments

‘Three million new homes needed’ to solve housing crisis

A housing charity has called for the Government to spend £214 billion on creating three million new homes to solve the social housing crisis.

In the wake of the Grenfell disaster, Shelter brought together 16 independent commissioners from across the political spectrum to write a report on the issue.

It urges ministers to invest in a major 20-year housebuilding programme and massively extend the criteria for who is applicable for social housing.

The report recommends building 1.27 million homes for “those in greatest housing need”, including homeless households, the disabled and long-term ill, or those living in very poor conditions.

It also wants the Government to create 1.17 million homes for what it calls “trapped renters”, younger families unable to get on the housing ladder, as well as 690,000 homes for older private renters who face housing insecurity beyond retirement.

The authors of the report, who include former Labour leader Ed Miliband, ex-Tory chairman Baroness Warsi, Baroness Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, TV architect George Clarke and Grenfell survivor Ed Daffarn, spent a year speaking to hundreds of social tenants, more than 30,000 members of the public as well as housing experts.

Their findings suggest it would require an average yearly investment of £10.7 billion to pay for the new homes, but analysis by economic experts suggests up to two-thirds of this could be recouped through “housing benefit savings and increased tax revenue each year”.

The charity said that, on this basis, the true net additional cost to the Government would be about £3.8 billion on average per year over the 20-year period.

Baroness Warsi said: “Social mobility has been decimated by decades of political failure to address our worsening housing crisis.

“Our vision for social housing presents a vital political opportunity to reverse this decay. It offers the chance of a stable home to millions of people, providing much needed security and a step up for young families trying to get on in life and save for their future.”

Mr Miliband said: “This is a moment for political boldness on social housing investment that we have not seen for a generation.

“It is the way to restore hope, build strong communities, and fix the broken housing market so that we meet both the needs and the aspirations of millions of people.”

Other suggestions in the report, which will be presented to Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday, include creating an Ofsted-style consumer regulator to protect residents in social housing and private renting, a new national tenants’ voice organisation and improved national standards in maintaining publicly-owned homes.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a priority for this Government and our Social Housing Green Paper seeks to ensure it can both support social mobility and be a stable base that supports people when they need it.”

He added: “Our ambitious £9 billion affordable homes programme will deliver 250,000 homes by 2022, including homes for social rent. A further £2 billion of long-term funding has already been committed beyond that as part of a 10-year home-building programme through to 2028.

“We’re also giving councils extra freedom to build the social homes their communities need and expect.”

Source: iTV

Marijana No Comments

Another decade of declining housebuilding for UK

Figures released by think tank, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) show the present decade will be the worst for UK housebuilding since the Second World War. With one year to go the CPS predicts average annual house building in the 2010s will be around 130k per annum.

House building over the last 50 years has followed a declining trend (where the figures below refer the annual average over each decade):

  • 1960s – 300,000
  • 1970s – 260,000
  • 1980s – 175,000
  • 1990s – 150,000
  • 2000s – 147,000
  • 2010s – 130,000

Between January 2010 and June 2018 England built a total of 1,089,190 homes – around 253,700 lower than that achieved in the 2000s. To match the 1.34m recorded in the 2000s, house building would need to accelerate to a level not seen since 1977. The same trend has been identified for both Great Britain and the UK.

Because these figures do not take into account building conversions for home ownership, it cannot be directly compared to the government’s broad aim to deliver 300,000 homes a year. But the CPS believes even with this factored in the figures for the current decade are lower than the 2000s.

The figures become even more alarming once the growth in population is taken into consideration. In the 1960s there was one home built for every 14 people in England, in the 2010s that figure is now down to one new home for every 43 people.

A report published today by an independent commission led by housing charity Shelter Building for our future: a vision for social housing has said 3.1 million homes will be needed over the next 20 years to help solve the housing crisis.

Source: Environment Analyst

Marijana No Comments

New affordable housing scheme in Deeside could help to tackle homelessness

A new affordable housing scheme could help to tackle homelessness in Flintshire, it has been claimed.

An application has been entered to build 12 flats on land near St Andrew’s Church in Garden City.

The development would be constructed by Wates Residential, who said it would be targeted towards vulnerable people experiencing difficulties accessing permanent accommodation.

It forms part of Flintshire Council’s Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP), which aims to meet the housing needs of the local community.

The land formerly belonged to the Church in Wales and was bought by the authority in March 2017 with funding from the Welsh Government.

In a planning statement, Wates said: “A key challenge facing the council is the rising cost of providing bed and breakfast / emergency accommodation for people who present as homeless.

In response to this, the council has established its work place project, a partnership between Flintshire County Council Housing Solutions, Communities for Work and Job Centre Plus.

“The project aims to provide housing linked to support and employment for people who are currently subject to a homeless duty.

“Through the project, an experienced mentor will be assigned specifically to support clients through the process ensuring that the client is on a work programme and pathway which is bespoke to the individual.

“The new housing scheme presents an opportunity for tenants to utilise the new facilities at the St Andrew’s Hub, providing and encouraging regular social interaction, training and support.

“Clients on the Work Place Project will be given apprenticeships, job placements and training opportunities on this and other SHARP schemes utilising the St Andrew’s Hub for classroom-based training.”

A community library previously occupied the site but has since been demolished.

new affordable housing scheme

The development site at St Andrew’s Church, Garden City. Source: Wates Residential

The proposed flats have been split into two blocks, one made up of eight two-bedroom flats and another with four one-bedroom flats.

A total of £1.1 million was successfully secured in funding from the Welsh Government to support it via the Innovative Housing Programme in October 2018.

It followed a presentation to the Design Commission for Wales in August 2018 and a subsequent interview with officials from Cardiff Bay.

Some of the flats will come with external roof gardens.

Wates added: “The properties have been designed specifically for this scheme with a vision to create a small, intimate community, made up of a mixed demographic and tenancy across the different sized units.

“The external roof gardens have not only been identified as a way to maximise usable space on site, but it is envisioned that these small, intimate and semi-private spaces will also promote a sense of individuality and personalisation for residents, ultimately creating a sense of ownership; a place or home where people want to stay and live in.

“The development of this site will provide housing in the Garden City area and make a positive contribution in strengthening the community as well as remove a vacant site that could otherwise fall foul of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.”

Comments are being invited on the proposals via the Flintshire Council website until February 8, 2019.

The authority will then make a decision on them at a later date.

Source: Deeside

Marijana No Comments

Construction growth slows as Brexit delays building projects

Output in Britain’s construction sector grew at the slowest pace for three months in December as Brexit worries continue to hold the industry back.

The Markit/CIPS UK Construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 52.8 in December, down from 53.4 the previous month.

A reading above 50 indicates growth but economists had been expecting a reading of 52.9.

December’s modest rate of expansion was the slowest seen since September 2018.

Tim Moore, of IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: “UK construction firms signalled a slowdown in housing and commercial activity growth during December, which more than offset a strong performance for civil engineering at the end of 2018.

“Subdued domestic economic conditions and an intense headwind from political uncertainty resulted in the weakest upturn in commercial work for seven months.”

Commercial building was the worst performing category, while work on civil engineering projects was the strongest area of construction activity.

Construction companies cited “heightened political uncertainty” resulting in delays to spending decisions among clients, especially in relation to commercial development projects.

Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, added: “With a slight rise in new orders and a softening in overall activity growth, firms continued to be impacted by Brexit-related uncertainty and reluctance by clients to place orders especially for commercial projects.”

However, business confidence was the highest since last April and well above the near six-year low seen in October.

Survey respondents were buoyed by a boost to growth from work on big-ticket transport and energy infrastructure projects in 2019.

Source: BT