Buckley Hill Lane Council Housing, Sefton Council And MCAU, P PLANNING Doc
An old layout of Sandway Homes' Buckley Hill Lane project, which has been pushed back and reduced to 63 homes. Credit: via planning documents

Sefton housing arm pushes back delivery dates

Neil Tague

The start of the third development within Sandway Homes’ first wave of projects has been put back to March 2023, although it remains confident of securing £30m with the sale of 141 homes.  

The figures are revealed in report to Sefton’s cabinet on the phase one business plan for Sandway. Members are asked to note the progress of the organisation and approve its ongoing work, including the sale of phase one affordable housing to registered provider Together Homes. 

Sandway has three live projects: the first is Meadow Lane, Ainsdale, where 48 homes are to be delivered in March 2023, the original start date of May 2020 having slipped back by six months in the pandemic. 

Work on site was also delayed at Barton Close in Crossens, where 30 homes were started on in February this year, these are now due for delivery in November 2022. 

At Buckley Hill Lane in Netheton, 70 homes have been reduced in volume to 63. The start of construction has been put back by more than a year to March 2022, with completion due three years later. Sandway hopes for a grant allocation of £1.05m from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on this scheme. 

Sandway’s decision to pursue timber frame construction, on sustainability grounds, has not gone without a hitch. As the report notes: “Due to global supply chain and Covid-19 related issues, the programme for handover of homes on the phase 1 schemes will be materially later than the dates assumed in the original business plan.

“The primary reason for handovers having to shift to the back of the programme is mainly (but not solely) due to delays relating to availability of timber frames.” Factors including the US purchasing large quantities of Canadian lumber stock intended for Europe are named. 

In spite of that, the financials forecast at the outset of phase one have not been adversely affected, with housing markets remaining healthy. Income from housing sales and grants is expected to be slightly healthier than originally expected, at just above £30m.

The projection for earnings before tax, forecast at £1.3m for the period in September 2020, has improved to £1.7m, with the last year having seen house prices rise by an average £8,000 per house across the developments. 

Officers request that cabinet puts back the start of phase two within the Sandway business plan. 

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