Urban Splash debuts family houses at New Islington

Urban Splash is close to submitting plans for a terraced street in New Islington, Manchester, that it claims will contain the first family houses by the developer, with 29 two, three and four bedroom properties.

Designed by London-based architects DSDHA, no images have yet been released of the houses.

Splash hopes to start on site later this year with show houses due for completion in early 2009.

The houses will include their own private gardens leading into a secure central communal kick about space for kids to play in safety. The space has been designed to be flexible so purchasers can decide which rooms they want as bedrooms and which as living space themselves.

Richard Hattan, director of development, Urban Splash, said: "This is a first for Urban Splash and we're really excited about the houses, we've worked hard with the architects and we've all thought about the little things we think would make our own homes better.

"For example we've created a concealed charging station in the downstairs cloak cupboard. You can charge your phones, computers and ipods all in one place, so you've not got leads trailing all around the house."

The family homes are being built to exceed the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, which has replaced the Eco Homes rating system in line with English Partnerships' standards. The houses will include such features as, better insulation, soundproofing and 'day lighting'. They will also receive their heat and power from the private New Islington utilities network, which generates a significant proportion of electricity required on site.

Hazel Blears, Communities Secretary, last week visited the site to see progress of the 30-acre, 1,700-home scheme.

Among a series of announcements made during the visit, Splash said it would be working with Hacienda designer Ben Kelly on the redevelopment of Stubbs Mill in New Islington. Formerly a machine works, making and assembling equipment for the cotton industry including mills within the surrounding area, it is planned to turn Stubbs Mills into "shell" apartments and 15,000 sq ft of commercial space, comprising office, retail and leisure facilities. The scheme is waiting for planning permission and Urban Splash plans to start work on Stubbs Mill in early 2009.

Also, a second competition is to be held shortly to find a developer and architect team to design and construct a mixed-use scheme on another major plot in New Islington. The first developer competition in New Islington resulted in Taylor Wimpey being selected for The Botanic scheme which is currently on site. The next competition is expected to launch in early June.

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