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New builds to launch in High Wycombe

Developer Inland Homes is launching the next phase of homes at High Wycombe development Centre Square across the weekend of 26/27th September.

The Pavilion Apartments and Alexandra House are due to launch in September, with final completions in March 2021.

They are eligible for Help to Buy.

Vicki Noon, sales and marketing director at Inland Homes, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the next phase of homes at Centre Square next month.

“These apartments make perfect homes for a range of buyers, especially those looking for their first home, with properties situated at the centre of everything the town has to offer.

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“Being just across the road from the Eden Centre and with fantastic transport links within walking distance, the properties are in a prime location to thoroughly enjoy the lifestyle that town centre living brings.

“And, with all apartments available on the Help to Buy scheme with just a 5% deposit needed to secure a home, buying a property is made even more affordable for those looking to buy new in High Wycombe.”

The Pavillion Apartments have seven apartments, comprised of one and two bedroom properties.

Alexandra House will offer a contemporary selection of 36 one and two bedroom apartments, each with an underground parking space and access to a private communal courtyard garden.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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Housing minister calls for VAT reduction to support construction recovery

Housing minister Kevin Stewart is calling for the UK Government to reduce VAT charged on construction works to existing buildings to 5% to support the sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, Mr Stewart said that while successive Scottish ministers have made such requests at various points in recent years, the “exceptional circumstances” faced by the construction industry as a result of the pandemic has brought this issue to the fore once again.

Setting out the benefits the reduction would bring, Mr Stewart added:

  1. A reduction in the cost of such work would undoubtedly encourage and enable domestic investment (which can be undertaken safely under well-developed safe operating practices which have been developed and adopted by industry) at a time when many households are reluctant to invest due to financial uncertainty.
  2. The pandemic is clearly bringing major changes in our working and home lives and existing buildings need to be adapted in order to support these new patterns of behaviour. Without this we risk losing buildings that could have been re-purposed and may well force people to work in unsatisfactory conditions at home. A reduction in VAT would significantly increase building flexibility and also send a clear signal that government is actively responding to these changing patterns.
  3. In responding to the climate crisis it is essential that we make best use of existing buildings and the current favourable VAT treatment for new buildings is a perverse incentive in this respect. Making our existing buildings as heat and energy efficient as possible will be critical to meeting our net zero carbon emissions in the future and a reduction in VAT would undoubtedly incentivise such investment.

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The minister said: “It is at the request of industry that I write to urge you to reconsider this vitally important matter with a view to delivering the stimulus that this VAT reduction would provide.

“Many industry partners have commented that this is probably the single most significant change that could support recovery in the domestic construction sector.

“Successive Scottish ministers have made such requests at various points in recent years but the exceptional circumstances faced by the construction industry as a result of the pandemic has brought this issue to the fore once again.”

Hew Edgar, head of UK government relations and city strategy at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said: “RICS fully endorses this call from the Scottish Government and have long been advocating for a change to the VAT regime to stimulate the repair, maintenance and enhancement of existing property as part of a build back greener approach to construction.”

Source: Scottish Construction Now

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Plans for 90 new homes in Mold formally submitted

Plans to build 90 new homes in Mold have formally been submitted to Flintshire Council.

Gower Homes originally set out its intention to redevelop land off Ruthin Road on the outskirts of the town last August by holding a public consultation.

According to documents put forward to the local authority, the scheme would be delivered in partnership with Clwyd Alyn Housing Association and Cornerstone Flintshire.

It would consist of 40 per cent affordable housing, as well as public open space, landscaping and road improvements.

However, opposition was voiced by members of a local campaign group as the site at Plas Aney is currently allocated as green barrier land.

In a statement previously posted on the Protection of Green Barriers Action Group website, representatives said: “Letters have been delivered to a number of residents adjacent to the proposed development.

“This means that we must now act and co-ordinate our responses via the action committee so as to gain the greatest effect and ensure this development does not go ahead.

“The field is part of the Mold Town Council Future Plan and has been identified as green barrier.

“The council has gone to great expense to get expert advice from consultants, and there is the possibility of someone just riding roughshod over the top and ignoring the advice and wishes of the council and the residents.”

The number of houses outlined in the formal proposals is three more than originally set out by the Wrexham-based housing company.

The firm has acknowledged that the site is on green barrier land, but said the lack of available housing sites elsewhere in Flintshire meant the development could be justified.

They added that it would provide social and economic benefits for the area.

Comments are currently being invited on the application via the Flintshire Council website.

The authority is aiming to make a decision by mid-May, although timescales are currently impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

By Liam Randall

Source: Deeside

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The 21,000 homes set to completely transform Essex – here’s exactly where they will be built over the next 18 years

A major policy document formalising where more than 21,000 homes should be built in the next 18 years has been given the green light.

The final Inspector’s Report on the examination of the Chelmsford Local Plan received by Chelmsford City Council on Tuesday, 25 February, concludes that the plan is legally compliant and sound, subject to a number of changes which were the subject of public consultation last autumn.

This means the city council can now formally adopt the plan.

The local plan provides a long-term strategy that will ensure local needs for new homes, employment, shops, open space and supporting infrastructure, are met in a sustainable and appropriate manner. It has also been drawn up following significant consultation with local communities and other stakeholders.

The council has planned for a total of 21,893 new homes to be built between 2013 to 2036, in order to meet its housing commitments.

Housing completions between 2013 and 2017 have totalled 3,090, around 8,100 homes have been given planning permission and are set to be built and another 220 commitments are set to be given planning permission.

The majority of the remainder of the 10,400 homes have been allocated to three major growth areas.

The “Chelmsford urban area” has been earmarked for 3,400 new homes.

Development north of Chelmsford will be centred most notably in north east Chelmsford and Great Leighs as new garden communities comprising of 4,500 homes.

The council says that development here will help to bring forward the Chelmsford North-East Bypass and provide a secondary access into Broomfield Hospital.

This growth area around South Woodham Ferrers will accommodate around 1,130 homes.

Leader of Chelmsford City Council, Councillor Stephen Robinson, said: “We are delighted to receive the Inspector’s Report which concludes that the Local Plan will provide an appropriate basis for the planning of the council’s area.

“It now allows us to make arrangements to formally adopt the plan as council policy. We will use this plan to deliver more infrastructure to go with development, genuinely affordable housing and to ensure that it is really sustainable.”

By Piers Meyler

Source: Essex Live

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Number of new build homes started dips by 11%

The number of new build homes started across England fell by 11% in July to September 2019 compared with the same period a year earlier, Government figures show.

Some 39,510 new builds were started during the quarter, down from 44,480 between July and September 2018.

But the latest total was up 2% compared with the previous three months. Between April and June last year 38,860 new build homes were started, according to figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The figures also showed that 46,000 new build homes were completed between July and September last year – 11% higher than the same period in 2018.

New home completions were also up by 2% compared with the previous quarter.

The number of new house builds was strongly affected by the economic downturn from the start of 2008, when there was a period of rapid decline to a trough in 2009.

From 2013 to 2018, starts and completions grew again gradually.

But the report said that more recently, while completions have continued to grow, there has been a slowdown in starts.

It added that there are relatively high rates of new build starts in local authorities stretching from west of the London commuter belt across the Midlands to East Anglia.

Areas with relatively high rates of completion include Dorset and south Derbyshire, the report said.

By Vicky Shaw

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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Plans submitted to build 148 new homes on outskirts of Gloucestershire town

Details of the next stage of the huge housing estate that is being built on the outskirts of Lydney were revealed by developers just ahead of the Festive break.

Crest Nicholson lodged a reserved matters planning application for 148 new homes to be built on ‘parcel four’ of the land between Highgrove Way and the A48 Lydney bypass.

The development has already been given outline planning permission, with the latest application seeking to put down definitive layouts and designs for the new homes.

The initial outline plans for 750 new homes on the site were eventually approved after a long battle with Forest of Dean District Council planners in 2015.

According to documents filed just before Christmas, it will be the third phase of the building scheme on the new estate.

The next tranche of houses will be built to the south east of phases one and two with the eastern boundary of the new builds to be the A48 itself.

According to the application, “parcel 4 includes residential development which has been informed by the physical constraint of the land…

It adds that it would see “… infrastructure including the road to be delivered to finish the main spine road and the need to deliver quality residential development of high density to meet the current market.”

Of the 148 new homes, 44 have been set aside as affordable homes, of which 29 would be designated for social housing.

Areas of public open space is also included within the plans as are a number of proposed drainage ponds.

A noise bund and newly-planted trees would shelter the site from noise of passing vehicles on the A48.

In total there would be 12 one bed dwellings, 27 two beds, 64 three beds and 33 four beds, all of which would be two storeys in height.

In total it would lead to more than 139,000 square feet of housing being built.

The consultation process on the latest plans began on Christmas Eve, December 24, and runs until Tuesday, January 14.

By James Young

Source: Punchline Gloucester

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Plans submitted to build 41 new homes on edge of small Gloucestershire village

Plans have been submitted to build 41 new homes on a field outside the small Gloucestershire village of Alderton.

The application made by Poole-based GVD Group to Tewkesbury Borough Council is for a “residential-led development on the eastern edge” of the village.

Within the 41 dwellings, 20 would be built as affordable homes and would lie just south of the B4077 Dibden Lane, the main road that connects the village from the east.

According to documents filed with the plans, the two hectare site is “situated on an area of rough grassland that rises gently” and forms part of the “eastern gateway approach into Alderton.”

It is flanked to the south and east by open countryside and to the north by agricultural fields while the western border flanks the existing village buildings.

The application is for outline planning permission so exact details of how the dwellings would be arranged has not been included in the initial designs.

According to the developer 21 of the dwellings will be proposed for ‘market’ sale, while 10 would be allotted for ‘social’ housing and a further 10 as ‘intermediate’ housing.

Alderton has a current population of around 750, a figure boosted by similarly-named gateway developments to the south and west of the village in the past 20 years.

The plans will now go forward to a period of public consultation that will conclude on the final day of 2019.

A decision on the outline plans is expected to be made in March 2020.

By James Young

Source: Punchline Gloucester

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House building doubles within 10 years in the West Midlands

The number of homes built in the West Midlands last year doubled compared to the start of the decade, according to official figures.

Nearly 17,000 homes were built during 2018/19 – a 15 per cent rise on the previous year and twice the national average increase. The total compares to just 7,500 homes built in 2011.

The building programme has provided a major boost to housing bosses who are under pressure to create 215,000 homes in the region over the next decade in order to meet demand for the growing population.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has pledged to identify brownfield land for new homes, to regenerate run-down sites and avoid building on open green space where possible.

These sites include Friar Park in Wednesbury where 750 homes will be built on a former sewage works and Steelhouse Lane in Wolverhampton where 150 homes will spring up on industrial land.

Gareth Bradford, WMCA director of housing and regeneration, said the West Midlands economy was growing faster than any other region outside London but this growth and the thousands of new jobs being created was driving ever higher demand for housing.

He said: “These figures are great news for our region and show how the West Midlands is leading a house building revolution in the UK.

“We are turning derelict land into vibrant new communities and developing new modern, construction methods so we can build more homes at pace. At the same time we are training local people in the skills needed to build these new homes.

“Ultimately we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity of a decent home and a worthwhile job but making sure we have enough homes in the future is a major challenge and there is still much to do.

“The good news is that since 2011 we have doubled the number of homes being built each year and these latest figures show how we have already hit the average annual rate we needed to hit in 2031.

“So this collective effort by the region, which has seen councils, local enterprise partnerships and others working together through the WMCA housing and land delivery board, has radically closed the gap between what we planned to deliver and what has actually been delivered while all the time retaining a focus on brownfield land.

“This underpins the commitment we gave to Government in our Housing Deal last year so it’s great to see the region turning ambition into a reality that people can see and touch.”

The need to meet housing targets has also seen counties surrounding the Black Country and Birmingham asked to help meet the demand.

South Staffordshire Council has said it is inevitable some green belt land will have to be built on in order to meet demand.

By Richard Guttridge

Source: Express & Star

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Nearly 200 homes planned for former secondary school site in Wolverhampton

Almost 200 flat-pack homes are set to spring up on the site of a former secondary school in Wolverhampton.

Northicote School in Bushbury was reduced to rubble in July last year.

Now 196 homes could be built in its place in Northwood Park Road with the timber-framed houses built at LoCal Homes in Walsall before being put together on site.

Several meetings were held by Accord Housing Association and WV Living for the future of the site in the aftermath.

And now a planning application has been submitted by WV Living to Wolverhampton Council to kick-start the revamp of the disused site.

It says: “The main objective of the scheme is to address the housing shortage in the area, especially with regard to the offer of new build homes for local residents.”

The proposed houses will be split into 147 for private buyers and 49 which will be socially rented.

Gardens, parking spaces and four access roads will be created at the heart of the development – with the roads connecting with Northwood Park Road.

And two football pitches on Northwood Park will be improved as part of the plan, with new goal posts, surface improvements and markings.

Northicote School closed following a merger with Pendeford School to form the North East Wolverhampton Academy.

It was classed as failing by Ofsted – becoming the first school to receive the rating – before undergoing a turnaround under the guidance of headteacher Sir Geoff Hampton, who was knighted for his role.

By Thomas Parkes

Source: Express and Star

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Plans to build 600 new homes in East Renfrewshire given green light

MAJOR plans to deliver more than 600 homes for social rent have been backed by council chiefs.

East Renfrewshire Council’s cabinet members approved proposals which lay out how affordable housing will be provided across the area between 2020 and 2025.

The plan includes building 561 social rented houses and the purchase of 50 homes for social rent to support the council’s new build projects.

It is based on funding from the Scottish Government’s affordable housing supply programme and will see the authority work with social landlords and private developers.

The programme aims to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2021, with East Renfrewshire set to receive £6.3m of funding in 2019/20 and £6.7m in 2020/21.

Councillor Danny Devlin, housing and maintenance services convener, said: “The approval of our plan is good news for the people of East Renfrewshire.

“It highlights our ongoing commitment to the delivery of more homes for social rent, including our own new council homes, and ensuring that those with a range of needs will be provided with a safe and accessible home.

“Our new build housing programme has been a fantastic achievement with families, those facing homelessness, and tenants requiring adaptions moving into their brand new homes in Barrhead. I look forward to seeing this ambitious project continue.”

Since works began in 2018, 45 three-bed homes and one-bed flats, including fully adapted wheelchair flats, have been completed and are now home to families, elderly and those who faced homelessness.

The scheme, know as the strategic housing investment plan, will run beyond the government funding currently announced.

“However, Scottish Government guidance advises that councils should plan for funding to continue at the 2019 funding level,” a report to cabinet members revealed.

The council will prioritise developments with the “greatest certainty over timing and deliver-ability”.

Now the plans have been submitted, the government will set out the agreed projects to be funded in East Renfrewshire over the next three years.

Source: Barrhead News