£47m plans approved to build new homes

£47m plans approved to build new homesPlans for building a £47 million Woodford Grange housing development in Winsford have been given the go-ahead by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Chosen developer, Keepmoat, will deliver 401 new homes on the 30 acre brownfield site off Woodford Lane West, where home hunters and first-time buyers will now have access to a collection of two, three and four bedroom properties under the government-backed Help to Buy scheme.

There will be 130 affordable properties built on behalf of the Council within the development; these are understood to be the first local authority houses built within the Borough for nearly 40 years.

A green corridor and a small central village garden will be created at the heart of the development. In addition significant investment will be made in outdoor play facilities at Hebden Green and Oakland schools and a state of the art 3G pitch at Winsford Academy.

Prior to submitting plans, Keepmoat hosted a public consultation event at Hebden Green Community School to hear any concerns and include local input.

Gareth Roberts, regional managing director for Keepmoat in the North West, said: “Working in partnership with the Council, we have identified key ways to regenerate a surplus piece of land and really invest in Winsford while creating housing solutions – particularly for first-time buyers.

This major new scheme will also create new job opportunities, which supports the Council’s aspirations for Winsford.  We’re delighted that this shared vision for Woodford Grange has been given the go ahead and we look forward to getting on site.”

Councillor Angela Claydon, Cheshire West and Chester Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is really good news for Winsford. The partnership will provide a true mix of properties including 130 homes built for the Council which will give people a real choice from a range of new build homes”

Help to Buy sales hit 73,000 homes

The number of people joining the housing ladder continues to grow as new figures show more than 73,000 homes have been bought under the government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes.

With housebuilding at its highest level since 2007, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said the figures demonstrated how the schemes were getting the country building, as part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

Mr Lewis said: “Our long-term economic plan has turned this country around from the one we inherited, suffering from a crashed economy and a housing market where builders wouldn’t build, lenders wouldn’t lend and buyers couldn’t buy.

Now numbers of first-time buyers are at their highest since 2007, housebuilding continues to climb and planning permissions are at record levels.

All these measures combined are helping record numbers of people into a new home, including 73,000 households benefiting from Help to Buy and we will keep striving to get that total even higher.”

The figures show that more than 38,000 households have been supported by the government’s Help to Buy (equity loan) scheme, with the average price of homes under the scheme £212,000, well below the £271,000 UK average. The scheme has also brought down the average deposit needed.

Government schemes represent only part of the total, with Halifax figures this week showing 326,500 first time buyer purchases last year, up 22% on 2013.

The Help to Buy (equity loan) scheme was introduced (along with other Help to Buy products) to support people who can afford a mortgage, but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders in the wake of the financial crisis.

As it applies to new build homes it creates much needed new housing to meet long term need, and stimulates economic growth by creating and protecting up to 76,000 construction sector jobs.

National success story

The figures show the government schemes are helping every part of the country, with some of the main towns and cities benefiting from the Help to Buy (equity loan) scheme being:

  • Leeds – 628 sales

  • Milton Keynes – 516 sales

  • Peterborough – 512 sales

  • Birmingham – 465 sales

  • Bedford – 454 sales

House building continues to climb

House building UKMore homes are being built thanks to the government’s action to help homebuyers and fix the broken housing market, Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said today.

The latest statistics published today show 36,230 new housing starts in England between April and June, an increase of 18% on the same quarter last year.

It brings the total number of starts over the last 12 months to 137,780, a 22% increase on the previous year and the highest level of house building since 2007.

Mr Lewis said today’s figures are further evidence that the government’s long-term economic plan to improve the housing market is working.

Almost 40,000 households have bought a home through Help to Buy, with over 80% of sales going to first time buyers purchasing new build homes. The direct result is a new generation of homeowners and a 34% increase in private house building during the first year of the scheme.

At the same time the construction sector has been growing for 15 consecutive months, and is currently experiencing the sharpest rise in house building orders since 2003, while companies are taking on new workers at the fastest rate since 1997.

A growing pipeline of new projects is also emerging from the reformed planning system. Last year successful applications for major housing schemes were up 23%, and planning permissions were granted for 216,000 new homes.

Tenants exercising their Right to Buy

Mr Lewis said the latest figures for Right to Buy sales, published today, show hard-working tenants are also benefiting from government assistance.

Between April and June 2,845 council owned properties were sold, a 31% increase on the same quarter last year, and bringing the overall number of homes sold under the reinvigorated Right to Buy to nearly 22,500.

Receipts from additional sales are now being recycled into building new affordable homes. In the last quarter councils received £211 million, and started work on 675 new homes, bringing the total number of replacement homes started to almost 3,700.

More than 480,000 new homes have now been delivered since July 2010, including almost 200,000 affordable homes.

Help to Buy scheme gets Britain building

Help to Buy helps Britain buildingOver 35,000 aspiring homeowners have been helped onto the property ladder through one of the government’s Help to Buy schemes, Kris Hopkins announced today.

The minister welcomed the key role this scheme is playing in the government’s long-term economic plan, both helping people buy their own home but also boosting house building and creating jobs in construction.

A help onto the housing ladder

New figures today show that since the launch of Help to Buy 14 months ago, 22,831 people have bought newly-built homes through the Help to Buy: equity loan scheme.

There have also been 7,313 sales through the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee and 5,173 sales through the Help to Buy: NewBuy scheme. This takes total sales through Help to Buy to over 35,000.

All sales through Help to Buy: equity loan – and three-quarters of overall sales through all elements of Help to Buy – are new-build properties.

Since the launch of the scheme, house building is up a third compared to last year and at its highest level since 2007, while 216,000 planning permissions were granted in the last 12 months.

Recent estimates still show that Help to Buy accounts for just 3% of overall house sales

Help to Buy across the country

Nationally, 86% of Help to Buy: equity loan sales were to first-time buyers, while the average house price under the scheme was £206,084 – far lower than the £252,000 average house price. The vast majority of Help to Buy: equity loan sales – 94% – are outside London.

Overall, the highest numbers of Help to Buy sales are in:

  • Leeds: 580
  • Wiltshire: 506
  • Central Bedfordshire: 458
  • Milton Keynes: 417
  • Peterborough: 379

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “In 2010 we inherited a broken housing market, where hard-working people who could afford a mortgage were locked out of home ownership because they couldn’t get the deposit together.

“Help to Buy is changing that – to date, this scheme has enabled 35,000 people buy their own place with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.

“And with house building up a third over the past year, it’s clearly having a wider impact, getting workers back on construction sites and building the homes communities want and need.”

Regeneration scheme set to boost the Carlisle economy

£50m regeneration scheme will boost Carlisle economyWork has begun on the next phase of a major £50 million redevelopment project in Carlisle that will create new jobs and build hundreds of homes.

Located close to Heysham Park off Wigton Road, Lovell is building almost 500 new homes phased over a number of years. Almost half of the properties have already been completed.

The next phase of the development, named Parkside, will feature a total of 65 new homes. A new sales centre and two show homes will open this summer to show case the properties to prospective purchasers.

Clare Noakes, regional sales manager for Lovell in the North West, said: “It’s exciting to begin work on the next phase of new homes. We look forward to delivering more high quality homes for families in Carlisle.

“The venture will also provide much needed new homes for first time buyers, offering an impressive specification and excellent value for money. Purchasers can also take advantage of our developer offers and the Help to Buy scheme, which has just been extended to 2020.

“Lovell has invested substantially in the local area, bringing a redundant site back into use while bringing hundreds of new construction jobs to the area. In addition, the development continues to stimulate the local economy by introducing an influx of new residents.”

Parkside is a modern development situated in an already well-established residential area on the edge of Heysham Park, a magnificent mile long stretch of greenery which includes playgrounds and sporting facilities.

Government set to build more homes for private rent

Government set to build more homes for private rentHousing Minister Kris Hopkins has announced a deal that will see the building of 500 homes in London specifically for private rent.

This is the fourth deal under the government’s £1 billion Build to Rent scheme – and the largest to date, paving the way for new jobs in the construction industry

Overall through this innovative new fund, work will be underway on 10,000 new homes for private rent by 2015.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “With millions looking to live in and around London, there is a real demand for good quality homes available to rent on flexible terms.

“Today’s Build to Rent deal is our fourth and the largest to date. It will deliver nearly 500 homes on sites across the capital and in Chelmsford, offering greater choice for tenants.

“And with more sites being considered as part of this £1 billion scheme, we’re looking to get even more homes built specifically for rent across the country.”

New homes in and around the capital

Under the terms of the deal, Genesis Housing Association will receive £45.5 million to build 485 homes for private rent across 4 sites in London and Chelmsford. The homes will be a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom properties.

In each case, Build to Rent homes will form part of wider developments, with affordable housing and home ownership schemes including Help to Buy also available.

Building homes for rent

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “With London’s population soaring, and to help address a 30-year failure to build enough homes, we have set the most ambitious house-building targets in City Hall history.

“The private rented sector has a huge part to play in this. More well-designed, good quality homes to rent will help rebalance the capital’s rental market, improve services for tenants and stimulate new development and economic growth as well as providing the new homes that hardworking Londoners so desperately need.”

Housing scheme boost set to create thousands of jobs

HousebuildingMulti-billion pound package will help aspiring homeowners to buy their own home, create new jobs and boost the construction industry.

New measures will help hard-working people realise their home owning aspirations, support the construction of thousands of homes and give a boost to businesses eager to grow and provide jobs.

The Chancellor confirmed in the Budget last week that the Help to Buy equity loan scheme will help up to 120,000 more households purchase a new build home by being extended to 2020.

The scheme has so far helped more than 25,000 households to buy or reserve a home and currently supports up to 30% of all new build homes in England.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “This year’s Budget shows how house building is central to our long-term economic plan, with measures to get Britain building and support to help hard-working people realise their dream of home ownership.

“This multi-billion package will boost house building, particularly on brownfield land, create new jobs and allow up to an additional 120,000 aspiring homeowners to buy a home.

“The moves will get workers back on site across the country, including at large sites like Ebbsfleet, help smaller builders to restart work on stalled developments, and make sure people who want to build their own home can.”

Help hard-working people to have a home of their own

  • The Help to Buy equity loan scheme will be extended to 2020 by the investment of £6 billion to enable an estimated additional 120,000 people to purchase their own home. This is in addition to the £3.7 billion which is supporting 74,000 people into home ownership by March 2016.
  • A new ‘right to move’ for existing social tenants to help increase their mobility by making it easier to move for work.
  • A new ‘right to build’ which would give self builders a right to a plot from councils and establish a £150 million Custom Homes Service Plots fund, to support the provision of up to 10,000 new serviced building plots for custom builders.

Get Britain building again

  • A £525 million Builders Finance fund will help small and medium sized developers access finance to support the delivery of housing schemes of between 15 and 250 units.
  • An Estate Regeneration fund will provide £150 million to help kick start and accelerate the regeneration of housing estates.
  • We will work with the local councils to set up an urban development corporation, to accelerate the delivery of up to 15,000 new homes and commercial opportunities in Ebbsfleet.
  • We will also publish a garden settlements prospectus by Easter for areas keen to bring forward locally-led proposals for more housing.
  • We will work with the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority on proposals to unlock the construction of 11,000 new homes at Barking Riverside.

Support businesses to grow and create jobs

  • Red tape will be cut for businesses through a review of permitted development which will look at making a wider ‘retail’ use class to provide greater flexibly for businesses looking to adapt or expand, and to make it simpler to convert underused warehouses into residential use.
  • We will introduce a series of measures to improve the process for getting major infrastructure projects underway and respond to a consultation on allowable solutions for zero carbon homes.
  • Cities and local areas will be supported in attracting new businesses and creating jobs, with a £100 million Cambridge City Deal to support infrastructure and housing proposals. And tax incentives for businesses in Enterprise Zones are being extended in order to allow more businesses to take advantage of the benefits on offer.