Wates picked for council housing JV

Wates Living Space has been selected as preferred development contractor to deliver 241 homes across five sites in Manchester under a partnership model created by the city council, Homes & Communities Agency and Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

The Housing Investment Fund uses available development land owned by Manchester City Council and the Homes & Communities Agency, along with finance from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund. The aim of the joint venture is to stimulate home building in the city at a time when property development has been stymied by the economy, while reducing the usual risks associated with a development as the contractor's overheads are minimised and they have no sales risk.

Wates Living Space will draw up planning applications for the scheme that will be submitted to the planning authority in December.

Plumlife have also been appointed as the sales and marketing team for the sale properties, and Places for People have been chosen to act as agent to let and manage the rental properties. GVA will act as the technical supervisor for the partnership.

Pozzoni is the architect for the development.

A tenure mix across the five sites has been developed to ensure each location fits in to the property requirement for the local area – including appropriate levels of owner occupation and private rented properties.

Housing Investment Model site tenure:

  • Former Oakwood, Darley Avenue, Chorlton Park: 97 units, 60 for sale, 37 market rent
  • Former Ossington Court, Hawkswick Drive, Northern Moor: 30 units, 14 for sale, 16 market rent
  • Former Woodwise Nursery, off Woodwise Lane, Brooklands: 18 units for sale
  • Off Clowes Street, West Gorton, Ardwick: 29 units, 10 for sale, 19 market rent
  • Gorton Monastery, off Gorton Lane, Gorton North: 67 units, 21 for sale, 46 market rent

Buyers will be able to access the Government's Help to Buy equity scheme to receive up to 20% towards the value of the property, making the new homes available to purchasers who can sustain a mortgage but may not have the required deposit.

The partnership will generate a revenue return from their investment through rents and a capital return through house sales.

It is hoped the Housing Investment Fund will be heard by the planning committee early 2014, and if approved start on site will begin in spring 2014.

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for housing and regeneration, said: "Manchester's forecasted population growth in the coming years means we need to act quickly and innovatively to ensure our housing stock is capable of supplying the demand. Our Housing Investment Model is one way we are supporting residential growth – pushing forward development opportunities to ensure new and attractive homes are available and affordable to residents."

Cllr Kieran Quinn, chairman of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said: "The current economic climate has seen home building slow down to an almost standstill, with levels of development not keeping up with the demand throughout Greater Manchester. This new innovative model tackles these issues by promoting development opportunities while at the same time ensuring new attractive, affordable homes are available for our residents."

Deborah McLaughlin, North West executive director at the HCA, said: "The appointment of delivery partners for the Greater Manchester Housing Investment Fund is a major step towards us seeing work start on the ground. In the current economic climate, innovative funding models such as this play a fundamental role in unlocking housing schemes and driving economic growth, so I'm looking forward to seeing how things progress in 2014."

Lee Sale, regional business director for Wates Living Space, said: "Our appointment will also unlock a number of local training and employment opportunities for local people throughout the city as we work hard to ensure that our role in the project delivers true social and economic value."

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