Horrocks Mill, Onward Homes, p Onward Homes cgi

DK Architects designed Onward Homes' Horrocks Mill scheme. Credit: via Onward Homes

Preston to acquire first council homes in 20 years

Re-entering the social housing delivery scene, Preston City Council has agreed a deal with Onward Homes that will see the local authority take over 20 residences at the Horrocks Mill project.

Preston City Council last owned council homes around 20 years ago, when it sold its remaining properties to the Community Gateway Association.

By agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding with Onward, Preston City Council will acquire 20 of the 380 homes that are being built at the former Horrocks Mill site between Queen Street and Church Street. The project has been designed by DK Architects and includes flats, townhouses, and family homes. Of the 380 homes, more than 30% will be labelled as affordable homes and available as either affordable rent, shared ownership, or rent-to-buy.

The agreement with Onward is one of the first steps in the city council delivering its own affordable housing. The local authority will seek to develop its own affordable housing going forward, according to a council report.

Delivering council-owned housing has been a “longstanding aspiration” of Preston’s Labour Group, according to city council Leader Cllr Matthew Brown.

“We are now actively exploring options, through direct investment, ownership and through a partnership approach, to assist in meeting local housing needs for good quality, affordable homes,” he said.

“In the longer term we hope to deliver a substantial number of new council homes, if resources allow, whilst continuing to support existing registered social providers.”

Sandy Livingstone, executive director of property at Onward, added that his company was looking forward to working more with the city council on Horrocks Mill.

“Onward shares the council’s vision to boost the number of quality, affordable homes in Preston,” Livingstone said. “We have worked with the Council to develop our plans for the area to ensure these meet the needs of local people and align with wider ambitions for the city.”

Planning permission for Horrocks Mill was granted in December last year with the assistance of Nexus Planning. The project team included Lanpro, ERAP, Sutcliffe, Bowland Tree Consultancy, BEK, and Vectos. You can learn more about the project by searching application reference number 06/2023/0818 on Preston City Council’s planning portal.

Preston City Council is not the only local authority looking to provide more council-owned housing for its citizens. Salford City Council, through its in-house social homes division Dérive is delivering 146 homes.

Your Comments

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Best news ever So many families in inappropriate or in affordable accommodation A very good start.

By Veronica Afrin

Another ‘announcement’ rather than actual delivery by Preston.
They are “exploring” the potential. There isn’t, as yet, even a business case.
Preston have more ‘launches’ than Cape Canaveral. Expect to see a rehash of this policy a number of times yet!!

By Lanky Lad

I hope they are not pulling down horrocks mill down.feed.up of people destroying land marks and buildings.why can’t you leave them alone, they are out heritage of by gone pass,they were to last not the rubbish that’s built today

By Kath

Not enough.. and these are only flats

By Anonymous

@March 03, 2024 at 3:35 am
By Anonymous

Not all of this development is flats. Some of the buildings are townhouses.

Nevertheless, good news that there will be new council housing. Preston is getting the tenure mix in its city centre right (luxury, affordable, lots in between). Manchester take note.

By Rye

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