Collyhurst is one of the early stages of the £4bn Victoria North. Credit: via planning documents

Lovell primed for Collyhurst housing

The housebuilder is in line to deliver the 274-home first phase of homes in the area, as part of Manchester’s Victoria North housing masterplan.

Lovell is named in documents as the preferred tenderer in a process being run by Far East Consotrium, Manchester City Council’s joint venture partner on Victoria North, which was formerly known as Northern Gateway.

In an update report prepared for the local authority’s economy scrutiny committee, progress in various parts of the 383-acre Victoria North are provided, with Collyhurst the main item.

The 274 homes in Collyhurst phase one are made up of Collyhurst Village, a 244-home scheme made up of 100 new council houses and 144 homes for market sale; and 30 homes in South Collyhurst designed by Buttress Architects.

Both elements have been approved this year, with enabling works already under way on the Collyhurst Village site.

According to the report, FEC will manage the procurement of both the social and private sector homes as one scheme, and is also to act as development manager.

The report continues: “Now that a contractor has been selected, there is significant work that needs to be done over the coming months to maintain progress” – the first of these is completion of a legal agreement with FEC so FEC can enter into a building contract with Lovell Partnerships in time so work can start in autumn this year.

Submission of a bid for Homes England support and continued community liaison are the other key points, particularly as designs for the new 3.2-acre community park are refined.

Collyhurst phase one, along with 80 homes in New Cross and 634 at Victoria Riverside make up an initial development area of just less than 1,000 homes targeted for 2025 completion. Victoria North as a whole is billed at 15,000 homes over a 15-20 year period.

March’s meeting of Manchester’s executive signed off on the council’s share of the Collyhurst phase one budget, a sum of £31.2m. To minimise the call on the council’s own resources, a bid has been made to Homes England’s Shared Ownership and Affordable Housing Programme.

Lovell, which is owned by the Morgan Sindall Group, is wel versed in partnership delivery of such housing projects, with schemes it has recently been engaged on including homes for the Renaissance Consotrium in Miles Platting and a project with Together Housing Group in Salford.

The city council has also now completed the acquisition of the Creamline Dairies depot site in Red Bank as the joint venture continues to assemble land. Manchester signed off on capital expenditure of up to £2m for the deal in July 2020. The funding comes from the £51m secured from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Sir Richard Leese, council leader, said at that time: “The former dairies site will form a crucial access point to 25 acres of disused land close to Red Bank that will be repurposed for residential use.”

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