Vistry picked for Blackburn housing

The housebuilder has provisionally agreed terms to buy land south of Whalley Old Road from the local authority, where 165 homes will be built.

Vistry Partnerships, formed in 2020 by the merger of Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Galliford Try Partnerships, has been named in a decision paper issued by Blackburn with Darwen Council detailing the outcome of an informal bidding process for the site.

BwD and Lea Hough & Co have representing two private landholders who own two of the three parcels that make up the site. The council itself is the third vendor, owning just over half the site in acreage. Anglo Eastern Trust and Sheila Jacques are the other vendors.

Outline consent was granted in February 2021 for up to 165 homes, with Cass Associates taking the scheme through the planning process.

A two-stage tender process was then launched in October 2021, setting out the terms of bidding, which included committing to a Section 106 contribution of £580,000 for highways and sustainable transport.

Twelve first bids were narrowed down to three, with Vistry emerging triumphant from that shortlist. Each of the three bids proposed 80% market sale housing and 20% affordable.

Whalley Old Road, Vistry Partnerships, p SEC Newgate

The layout for the Vistry Partnerships project. Credit: via SEC Newgate

Vistry’s plans include building a mix of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses on the site. Of the 165 proposed homes, 132 will be sold under Vistry’s Bovis Homes brand. The remaining 33 will be available for shared ownership.

Ian Hilliker, managing director for the North West at Vistry, shared his excitement for the project.

“This prestigious site presents a fantastic opportunity for us and we are excited to have been identified as preferred bidder for what would be our first site in Blackburn and indeed Lancashire,” Hilliker said. “Once complete, these homes will be a major boost to the region’s housing supply and the inclusion of shared ownership will help local people to get on the property ladder.”

WHN Solicitors acted for the vendors on the land deal.

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