Home England has announced today (Apr 14) that it acquired £180m worth of housing sites in the last financial year, with the 19 sites having capacity for 5,000 new homes across the country.
The Government’s housing agency completed several of these major purchases in the lead up to the end of the financial year, which in the context of Covid-19, shows a positive long-term view of housing demand, with a strong pipeline of projects ready to support the recovery of the housebuilding sector.
Homes England is able to attain challenging or stalled sites due to its experience and resources, unlocking development opportunities for much-needed new homes on the market across the country.
Included in the new sites is the 37-hectare Panshanger Aerodrome in Welwyn Garden City, with the capacity for 815 homes. An expected 30% of these will be affordable housing and come with a new primary school, a community centre and self-build plots.
The site’s infrastructure will be delivered by Homes England before marketing to developers in parcels, making the delivery quicker and more efficient.
2.5 hectare of land in Digbeth has been acquired from Birmingham City Council, forming one of the largest development sites in the city centre, with total capacity for 1,000 new homes and 25,000 square metres of employment space.
Other sites include Brislington Meadows in Bristol, Burtree Garden Village in Darlington and land just south of Rugby, Warwickshire from the County Council expected to deliver over 900 homes.
Simon Dudley, interim Homes England Chair, said:
“It is testament to the hard work and dedication of colleagues and our partners that we’ve met such a strong year-end at this challenging and unprecedented time.
“I want to reassure the sector that Homes England is very much open for business and investing in a long-term pipeline of development opportunities to support market recovery.
“The need for new housing will remain a priority, so we will continue to do business with partners across the sector to create opportunities for future development and support the government’s housebuilding objectives.”