Approval for 18 new family homes in Woolton, Liverpool, will help pave the way for affordable homes elsewhere in the city.
City councillors gave the green light to Redrowâ€™s homes on the former Lower Lee School site, off Beaconsfield Road, at yesterdayâ€™s meeting of the planning committee (Nov 1).
It now means money from the sale of the Council-owned site can be invested into one of a number of projects by Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH), under the umbrella of the award winning Liverpool Housing Partnership.
Gareth Stansfield, Redrowâ€™s development manager, explains: â€œThe partnership is a collaboration between the City Council, LMH and ourselves. The Council provides surplus land in its ownership – some of which is developed by Redrow for private sale, while LMH build and refurbish homes for affordable sale or rent on others.
â€œThe land receipts generated from the sale of Council assets within the partnership are â€œring fencedâ€ for future housing investment and help subsidise social housing developments that would otherwise be commercially unviable. This approach means that the Council doesnâ€™t have to fund the programme from its own resources, but can reinvest the income received to support the delivery of affordable housing across the city.â€
Cllr Frank Hont, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing, adds: â€œItâ€™s a win-win situation, as Liverpool gets both the high quality family housing it needs to attract new people moving in or to keep residents in the city and, in doing so, is able to expand and improve its affordable housing stock.â€
The Lower Lee development is the latest in a number of Redrow schemes to be given planning approval within the Liverpool Housing Partnership, following on from sites in Woolton, Fazakerley and West Derby.
Lower Lee special school, in Beaconsfield Road, ceased to operate in 2009 and buildings were demolished in 2015, with the four acre site currently unused and closed to the public.
Following the decision, in its place Redrow will build a mix of three and four-bedroom detached houses from its Arts & Crafts inspired Heritage Collection, which combines traditional looking exteriors with high specification interiors designed for todayâ€™s family life.
Local residents consulted prior to the planning application were complimentary about the appearance of the homes, the low density layout and the proposed preservation of mature trees.
Construction at Lower Lee is scheduled to start in January 2017, with the first homes due on sale during the summer months and ready for occupation later in the year. The homes will be built to Lifetime Homes Standards, allowing them to be easily adapted for all stages of life.
â€œThe site is within an established neighbourhood and therefore close to local services, public transport and schools, making it well suited to new homes of this nature,â€ Gareth Stansfield adds.
â€œIt is another example of Redrow bringing a redundant site back into use and follows successful redevelopment of the former Watergate School, in Woolton, to create Knights Park and Redbridge and Bank View schools in Fazakerley to form Redbridge Park.â€
The Liverpool Housing Partnership is set to deliver 1,500 homes over a five-year period. Earlier this year the partnershipâ€™s inception was named â€˜Property Deal of the Yearâ€™ title at NW Insider magazineâ€™s 2016 Merseyside Property Awards.