Social housing developer United Living has launched a new business arm, United City Living, focused on the private rented sector with a planned pipeline of projects in Manchester and the North West.
The division is being headed up by Charlie Dunn, who has been in post as managing director for United Living North over the last three years since the business was originally established in April 2015. Joanne Jamieson, former managing director at Wates Residential, will be taking over as North MD.
The business will focus exclusively on building schemes within the PRS market across a number of UK cities.
Dunn told Place North West that Manchester and Birmingham will be the company’s two primary areas of growth and that the PRS market was “too big” for the business to ignore.
United Living is currently working on one PRS scheme in the North West, having been granted planning permission for a 125-home development at 4-26 Liverpool Street in Salford in April 2018.
The business has also recently submitted a planning application for a 156-unit scheme in Talbot Road in Trafford after pre-application discussions with the local authority. If approved, the company aims to redevelop a vacant site with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom properties.
Dunn said: “We’re hoping that it forms part of the wider strategic plan for Manchester, certainly for Trafford.
“It has been overlooked really as a development area but we believe that sector of the city is prime for development. There certainly appears to be an appetite for among the local authorities.”
Aside from the Salford and Trafford schemes, Dunn said the company has an additional 250 residential units in the pipeline across two potential plots in central Manchester and Salford. United Living is also eyeing sites in Warrington, and is set to work on projects both as a direct developer and consultant.
Dunn said the launch of the division represents the culmination of 18 months of ongoing partnerships including with North East investment business High Street Group.
United Living operates from regional offices in Wolverhampton, Sheffield and Altrincham. The latter is currently home to 20 full-time staff with plans for more hires as the PRS department grows.
“We’ll expect to double those numbers in the course of this year as we get both Salford and Trafford onto site,” Dunn said.