All homes available to rent in the first phase of specialist developer Placefirst’s refurbishment of Liverpool’s Welsh Streets have been taken by tenants days after completion.
Last week saw Placefirst finish work on 25 remodelled Victorian terraced properties at High Park Street and Voelas Street in Princes Park.
The project was a pilot scheme to demonstrate how the vacant homes that make up the wider Welsh Streets area could be brought back into use.
Of the 21 available to rent on the first weekend of launching, all have been signed for by occupiers. These are a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes.
The first residents should be moving in by the end of September, and Placefirst is aiming to complete the next phase by spring 2018, moving outwards from Voelas Street on a street by street basis.
In June, Liverpool City Council approved Placefirst’s masterplan for the Welsh Streets, creating 250 new homes in total, including both refurbished houses and new-build. There will also be improvements to the streets, drainage and the creation of communal gardens to the rear.
To address a shortage of larger homes in the area, 124 of the houses will have four bedrooms, while 109 will have three. The remaining 61 will be two-bedroom.
The plan is for 30 of the houses to be affordable rent, 35 will be shared ownership/rent to buy, 194 will be let at market rent and 35 will be available to buy.
Welsh Streets has been a problem area in Liverpool. The network of terraces was built in the 1870s for Welsh workers moving to Liverpool. As part of Labour’s housing market renewal programme, the homes, which had become dilapidated, were due to be demolished and rebuilt. The programme was then scrapped, and while a later plan for redevelopment was brought forward in 2014, a campaign to save the buildings meant that then Secretary of State Eric Pickles overturned planning approval for the scheme in 2015. Placefirst then came on board as a developer in 2016, due to the company’s refurbishment experience.
David Smith-Milne, managing director of Placefirst, said: “Most of our applications are from people living in the L8 area or those who used to live here and want to move back. There has been a real mix of families, couples, people sharing and single people who have all signed up immediately for these reinvented rental homes.
“It has always been our plan to provide great quality homes for local people, so to see exactly that happening is hugely rewarding for everyone.”