PlaceFirst on site with Colne empty homes project

Specialist build-to-rent developer PlaceFirst has started work on a £1.7m scheme to deliver 27 refurbished homes in Colne, Lancs.

The project is being undertaken via a joint venture between PlaceFirst and Lancashire-based registered housing provider Together Housing Group, in partnership with Pendle Council.

The scheme will convert 27 empty terraced homes in Walton Street into one three-bed and 26 two-bed energy efficient homes for rent.

DJ Hughes will deliver the scheme over an eight-month programme, with completion anticipated in March 2015.

The 27 properties were acquired by Pendle Council under the former Housing Market Renewal programme.

High levels of insulation and air tightness mean the homes should be 50% less expensive to run than a typical terraced house in the local area.

On completion, the homes will be managed by Housing Pendle, the Colne-based housing association which manages more than 3,300 homes across Pendle and is part of Together Housing Group.

In addition, the project will deliver public realm improvements to the street and rear alleys, and a number of properties in Walton Street not acquired by PlaceFirst will undergo a facelift to ensure a consistent external appearance throughout the whole street.

Pendle Council is 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.

Martin Ellerby, head of new business and innovation at PlaceFirst, said: "These empty homes have been a real issue for the local community for several years but, working with Together Housing Group and in partnership with Pendle Council, we are transforming these properties into modern, energy efficient homes on the doorstop of Colne's historic town centre. This is our fourth project of this kind and through it we are helping to create fantastic homes that local families can rent."

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

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