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Nobles secures deal for £50m Warrington PRS project

Work is set to start in the coming weeks on one of the largest private-rented schemes in Warrington, featuring 362 apartments alongside 6,400 sq ft of retail, with Liverpool-based Nobles on board as main contractor.

Developer High Street Residential secured planning permission for the scheme in May last year, but the scheme will now go ahead after a £3m land deal was completed with Ram Properties in December.

Designed by Triangle Architects with Lichfields as planner, the scheme features a mix of one and two-bed apartments, as well as a multi-storey car park with nearly 800 spaces. All of these are being marketed for private rent.

Liverpool-based contractor Nobles is due to start on site this month and will complete the project in summer 2021. Other projects the contractor has delivered include the Phoenix Place student accommodation in Liverpool, and the restoration of the Neptune and Royal Court theatres in the city.

The project was given planning permission in May, after a decision was deferred by the council in April. To be compliant with Warrington’s planning policy, the scheme would need to class 20% of its homes as affordable, and the developer would have to provide a £279,000 contribution towards healthcare as well as more than £230,000 towards sport facilities.

However, following an independently-reviewed viability assessment, the developer has argued the scheme would not be viable with this level of contribution and has instead offered to pay £75,000 towards a travel plan for the site.

The scheme is among the largest PRS projects coming forward in Warrington, which has seen an increasing number of developments in recent months.

Plans by developer Carpenter Investments to build 189 apartments on the former AJ Beer timber yard on Station Road were approved in December, alongside a 39-home scheme in the town centre, brought forward by James Peacock Property.

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I seriously doubt that the scheme would not be viable with the required healthcare and sport contributions. A competent developer would have been aware of the financial requirements and should have factored these in. Its just another half a million on the profit, or it should have come off the site price. But its ok as the 500 or so residents will just have to make do with inadequate healthcare and sporting facilities nearby. I’m amazed that these viability arguments keep getting through every time.

By viability sceptic

This is a biggie for Nobles but to get PRS to work in Warrington it clearly had to be a contractor of a particular size to generate a land value given where rents are. Lets hope it doesn’t take them under.

By Oscar