PlaceFirst brings empty homes to life in Lancs

Specialist empty homes developer PlaceFirst and Together Housing Group are working in partnership to bring 27 empty homes in Colne, Lancashire, back into use.

The £1.7m scheme involves the refurbishment and remodelling of 27 empty terraced properties in Walton Street, Colne to create one three-bed and 26 two-bed energy efficient homes for affordable rent.

The 27 properties will be acquired by PlaceFirst from Pendle Council under a building licence following an open tender process.

The project will also deliver public realm improvements to the street and rear alleys with funding from Pendle Council. A number of properties in Walton Street not acquired by PlaceFirst will undergo external works to ensure a consistent, high quality appearance throughout the street.

Construction work will start in May 2014 and is due to be completed in May 2015 with the first release of homes planned for November 2014.

On completion, the homes will be managed by Housing Pendle, the Colne-based housing association which manages more than 3,500 homes across Pendle.

Pendle Council is also proposing a number of environmental improvements to properties in the Walton Street area as part of a wider regeneration strategy for the Waterside area of Colne.

David Smith-Milne, founder and managing director of PlaceFirst, said the work on the properties would be a "significant step forward" in the regeneration of Waterside.

He said: "The homes we are working on will be stripped back to their shells and completely refurbished to create affordable, high quality homes with household energy costs reduced by 60 per cent in most cases."

Julie Whittaker, housing and regeneration manager at Pendle Council, said: "These high quality refurbishments will not only improve this area of Colne, but will help to provide much-needed affordable homes in the area, whilst bringing empty properties back into use."

The architect on the scheme is PlaceFirst Architects, Appleyard & Trew is quantity surveyor, WML Consulting is retained as structural engineers and building services are provided by BCM Consulting.

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