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Number of new builds registered in England and Wales up almost 8%

There was a 7.9% increase in new builds submitted with the Land Registry for registration in England and Wales in August this year compared to the same month in 2018, official data shows.

Of the 93,574 sales received for registration in August 2019 some 72,806 were freehold, a 4.5% decrease on August 2018, and 12,411 were newly built, a 7.9% increase on August 2018.

The number of detached properties registered reached 22,213, up from the 21,968 recorded in July and 18,523 in June. Semi-detached were the most popular with 25,283 registered in August, up from 24,848 in July and 21,623 in June.

But terraced homes were equally popular with 25,244 registered in August, up from 25,115 registered in July, but this was down on the 21,721 registered in June, the data also shows.

There were 15,565 flats and maisonettes registered in August, down from the 15,915 registered in July but up from the 14,393 registered in June.

The most expensive residential property sold in August was in the City of Westminster for £16.5 million while the cheapest residential property sold in August was in Sunderland for £18,500.

The most expensive commercial sale taking place in August 2019 was in Southwark for £129.3 million and the cheapest commercial sale was in St. Helens for £105.

There were 743 residential properties in England and Wales for £1 million and over registered, of which 410 were in Greater London, five in the West Midlands, six in Greater Manchester and one in Wales.

Source: Property Wire

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UK Construction Industry in Sharp Slump

UK construction firms saw another tough month in September, according to the latest IHS Markit Construction PMI, which fell to its lowest level since April 2009 on Wednesday after activity fell at its second fastest pace for a decade last month and suggests the sector is in danger of another brush with recession.

The IHS Markit Construction PMI came in at 43.3 for September, down from 45.0 previously and when markets had been looking for no change. This marked the third consecutive decline for the index, which has zig-zagged lower ever since topping out at 55.8 in July 2018. It comes after commercial, civil engineering and residential construction firms all suffered in September.

Commercial firms were again the weakest link, with many suffering due to client hesitancy, which is said to be the result of the Brexit process. Civil engineering activity was reported sharply lower while housebuilders, long the star of the UK construction show given the home supply and demand disparity, saw their fourth consecutive decrease in building. Input costs rose due to higher charges for fuel and some raw materials while employment across the sector fell at its fastest pace since the end of 2010.

“Falling demand from investors and brutal, margin-slashing competition among contractors have sent confidence skittling. Many contractors are now fighting on two fronts, and are being squeezed by rising input costs just as new orders fall sharply,” says Gareth Belsham, director of national property consultancy and surveyors Naismiths. “Britain’s construction sector has become adept at riding out both feast and famine. But even by its volatile standards, the rapid slowdown in demand is causing concern.”

PMI surveys measure changes in industry activity by asking respondents to rate conditions for new orders, production, hiring intentions, prices and inventories. A number above 50.0 indicates industry expansion while a number below 50 is suggestive of contraction. The survey results often correlate with official measures of output, although they can often be wide of the mark too.

The UK construction industry has struggled since the June 2016 Brexit referendum, which has hit the commercial construction sector particularly hard, leading the industry to fall into recession in 2017. Output contracted for three consecutive quarters that year before seeing only a tepid and short-lived recovery in 2018, which has since unwound as the Brexit saga rolls. But the under-the-cosh industry is also now having to cope with the impact that an uncertain global economic backdrop is having on clients.

“The downturn in the construction sector is continuing to worsen, with the risk of a no-deal Brexit largely to blame. The PMI is consistent with construction output falling by about 2.0% in Q3, building on Q2’s 1.2% decline,” says Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “The construction sector could revive quickly if the risk of a no-deal Brexit subsides; in aggregate, the corporate sector has ample cash reserves.”

Tombs, who’s been rated one of the UK’s top forecasters by Bloomberg and Reuters, says the housing market could soon experience a revival because of a decline in the cost of borrowing, which is now feeding through into lower mortgage rates. However, his forecasts suggest the overall construction sector has now seen two consecutive quarters of decline, which is enough to return it to recession at a time when the broader economy is also weak.

UK GDP growth was 0.3% in July, up from 0% previously and marking a strong start to the third quarter for an economy that shrank by 0.2% in the three months to the end of June. The earlier result had seen economists fret about the prospect of a technical recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction, although the probability of that happening is now tipped as low.

“We’re revising down our forecast for quarteron-quarter GDP growth in Q3 to 0.3%, from 0.4%, in response to signs that the rebound in industrial production is shaping up to be smaller than we had anticipated. Nonetheless, our forecast still exceeds the MPC’s 0.2% expectation and likely would be sufficiently strong to persuade the Committee that lower interest rates are not warranted,” Tombs wrote, in a recent note to clients.

The UK economy has slowed in recent years amid elevated inflation that’s at times crimped consumer purchasing power, slowing business investment and more recently, a global economic slowdown that’s put the German economy on the door of recession and left the Eurozone at risk of stagnation. Amid that latter slowdown, central banks the world over have rushed to support their economies with lower interest rates and other assistance measures, although the Bank of England (BoE) is yet to follow suit.

Written by James Skinner

Source: Pound Sterling Live

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Supply of new housing increases by 15% in 2018-19

Total new housing supply in Scotland (new builds, refurbishments and conversions) increased by 15% in 2018-19, to 22,273 new housing units, or 2,953 more homes than the previous year, the sixth consecutive annual increase in total housing supply, and the highest annual figure since 2008-09.

Two sets of housing statistics have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The Annual Housing Statistics update includes information on total new housing supply in Scotland across all sectors to end March 2019, and on stock by tenure estimates up to end of March 2018, along with information on various elements of local authority housing in 2018-19 such as stock, lettings, house sales, evictions, housing lists, and housing for older people and people with disabilities.

The Quarterly Housing Statistics update includes latest quarterly information on new build housing and affordable housing supply. The affordable housing supply statistics are used to inform the Scottish Government target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 homes for social rent, over the period 2016-17 to 2020-21, and reflect the number of affordable homes delivered that have received some form of government support through loans, grant or guarantees. A new section has been added that compares how the level of affordable housing supply per head of population varies between Scotland and other UK countries, to help meet demand for cross country analysis on this.

Key findings from the Annual Housing statistics update:

New housing supply: New housing supply (new build, refurbishment and net conversions) increased by 15% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, from 19,320 to 22,273 new homes.

Housing supply figures include private-led and social sector new builds, as well as conversions and rehabilitations. Housing association new builds increased by 1,041 homes (33%) and private-led new builds increased by 2,679 homes (21%), whilst local authority new builds decreased by 51 homes (3%), refurbishments decreased by 642 homes (67%) and net conversions decreased by 74 homes (10%).

New house building: In 2018-19, 21,292 new build homes were completed in Scotland, an increase of 3,669 homes (21%) on the 17,623 completions in the previous year, the sixth consecutive annual increase and the highest annual number of completions since 2007-08. During the same time-period the number of homes started increased by 3,160 homes (16%) from 19,604 to 22,764.

Affordable housing: (As previously reported on 11 June 2019): In 2018-19, there were 9,554 units completed through all Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) activity, an increase of 994 units (12%) on the previous year. Approvals decreased by 547 units (5%) in the latest year to 11,130 in 2018-19, and starts increased by 303 units (3%) to reach 10,872. This activity represents the first three years in the target period to build 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 for social rent, over the five year period from 2016-17 to 2020-21.

Stock by tenure: As at 31st March 2018, there were an estimated 2.6 million dwellings in Scotland, an increase of 1% (20,000 dwellings) compared to 2017. The number of owner occupier households increased by an estimated 3%, and the number of housing association homes increased by 1%, whilst the number of local authority homes showed little change year on year (0%), and the number of dwellings rented privately (including with a job/business or rent-free) decreased by an estimated 6%.

Sales of local authority dwellings (Right to Buy): Sales of public authority dwellings (including local authorities with total stock transfers) fell by 96% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, to 76. This decrease follows the Right to Buy scheme closing to all new applicants in July 2016. It is expected that sales will continue to fall further in the next year as the number of applications remaining in the system falls closer to zero:

Local authority housing stock: At 31 March 2018, there were 315,625 local authority dwellings in Scotland, an increase of 1,192 units (0.4%) from the previous year, and the first annual increase in local authority stock seen in this time series since 1980.

Vacant stock: Local authorities reported 7,409 units of vacant stock at 31 March 2019, 269 units more than the 7,140 vacant units in the previous year. There were increases in units awaiting demolition (an increase of 141 units), and vacant normal letting stock (an increase of 171 units), with vacant units used as temporary accommodation for the homeless and vacant units in low demand areas showing similar totals to the previous year, and vacant units as part of a modernisation programme falling by 55 units.

Lettings: During 2018-19 there were 26,455 permanent lettings made, an increase of 789 units (3%) compared to 25,666 lettings in the previous year. There were 10,952 lets to homeless households in 2018-19, which equates to 41% of all permanent lets by local authorities.

Evictions: Eviction actions against local authority tenants resulted in 1,440 evictions or abandoned dwellings in 2018-19 (1,007 evictions, 433 abandoned dwellings). This is down 1%, or 20 actions of evictions or abandonments, on the 1,460 in the previous year.

Housing Lists: Household applications held on local authority or common housing register lists increased by 0.4% or 633 households to 158,439 at March 2019, the first annual increase since 2008, although the latest figure is 22% below the 202,235 applications recorded in 2008.

Scheme of assistance: There were 8,655 scheme of assistance grants paid to householders in 2018-19, 394 grants (4%) fewer than in 2017-18. Spend on scheme of assistance grants totalled £28.6 million, around £1.1 million less than in 2017-18. The majority of grants in 2018-19 were for disabled adaptions; 5,458 grants totalling £21.8 million.

Key findings from the Quarterly Housing statistics update to end June 2019

Latest quarterly social sector new build figures up to end June 2019 show that:

between April and June 2019, 856 social sector new build homes were completed (19% less than the 1,060 completions in the same quarter in 2018), and 1,193 were started (5% more than the same quarter in the previous year). This brings the total completions for the 12 months to end June 2019 to 5,378 (a 13% increase on the 4,778 social sector homes completed in the previous year). Total starts over the 12 months to end June 2019 are now at 6,776 (2% more than the 6,611 started in the previous year)
Latest quarterly Affordable Housing Supply figures (new builds, rehabilitations and off-the-shelf purchases) up to end June 2019 show that:

affordable housing supply completions have totalled 9,128, up 7% (633 homes) on the previous year. This includes increases in social rent completions (up by 23% or 1,189 homes) and affordable rent completions (up by 21% or 187 homes), and a decrease in affordable home ownership completions (down 30% or 743 homes)
there were 10,844 affordable housing approvals over the year up to end June 2019, down by 9% or 1,088 homes compared to the previous year. This includes decreases in affordable rent approvals (down 55% or 1,403 homes) and affordable home ownership approvals (down 25% or 620 homes), with an increase in social rent approvals (up 14% or 935 homes)
there were 10,370 affordable houses started in the year to end June 2019, down 2% or 246 homes compared to the previous year. This includes decreases in affordable rent starts (down by 43% or 792 homes), and affordable home ownership starts (down by 10% or 237 homes), but an increase in social rent starts (up 12% or 783 homes)
The affordable housing supply statistics are used to inform the Scottish Government target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 homes for social rent, over the period 2016-17 to 2020-21, and reflect the number of affordable homes delivered that have received some form of government support through loans, grant or guarantees.

Background

Note that the new build starts figures quoted in this Statistical News Release contain information on approvals rather than starts for housing associations. This is because the data held on approvals for housing association new builds is considered to be a more robust measure than the data held on starts. An approval is the point in time at which Scottish Government funding is granted through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Further information on this is available in the explanatory document providing background information on the quarterly statistics.

The Affordable Housing Supply Programme statistics include off-the-shelf purchases and rehabilitations as well as new build.

Social Rent includes Housing Association Rent, Council House Rent as well as Home Owner Support Fund Rent
Affordable Rent includes Mid-Market Rent (MMR), National Housing Trust (NHT) Rent as well as other programmes such as the Empty Homes Loan Fund (EHLF) and Rural Homes for Rent (RHfR)
Affordable Home Ownership includes Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE), New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE), Shared Ownership (LCHO) as well as other programmes such as Home Owner Support Fund Shared Equity
The Housing Statistics for Scotland 2019: Annual Key Trends Summary, which presents information on new house building, public sector house sales, local authority lettings and evictions, stock and vacancy rates, supported housing, housing lists, scheme of assistance and houses in multiple occupation, can be found at this address: http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781787812307.

The Housing Statistics for Scotland Quarterly Update September 2019, containing details of new house building and the Affordable Housing Supply Programme, can be found at this address: http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781787812314.

Background information including Excel tables and an explanatory note on the Quarterly Housing Statistics can be found in the Housing Statistics webpages.

Housing Association and most Local Authority led new build activity is funded through Scottish Government funding programmes. Several changes to these funding programmes in recent years have affected both the trends and seasonal quarterly pattern of new build approvals, so care should be taken when making comparisons over time. These same changes will also impact on the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.

The supply statistics break down new build construction activity into private-led and social sector starts and completions, with the social sector further broken down between local authority and registered social landlord (housing association). The figures are as recorded by Local Authority administrative systems and the Scottish Government Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) system. Private sector construction activity includes not only homes built for private sale but also some homes which are used in the affordable housing sector and self-build activity by local builders.

Source: Scottish Government

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Affordable green homes in the Scottish Borders could soon be a reality

Warmer, cheaper, more affordable homes is something we all want, and this could be a reality as Eildon Housing look at future house building and its impact on the environment.

They are investing millions of pounds as part of their strategy to make sure everyone has access to somewhere they can call home.

The need for affordable housing in the Borders has hit an all-time high, with recent figures showing, on average, 17 people bidding for every home that becomes available.

To meet this need it is important to be able to build a house quicker and make it cheaper to heat and therefore eradicate fuel poverty especially in rural parts of the Borders reducing our use of fossil fuels.

An exciting building project will start construction in the New Year that they hope will tick all those boxes as they look to test different construction methods across four new sites.

Working in partnership with Scottish Borders Council, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Glasgow School of Art (MEARU) the new developments will be part of a study to compare construction costs, time to build, living quality, and whether the homes are financially viable to build.

The developments at Westruther, Broughton, Denholm and Innerleithen will see up to 50 new green homes built and will test different building methods from Passivhaus, Energiesprong, Volumetric and the traditional build we’re all used to.

Potential new tenants will be heavily involved in the study for a period of time when they move in, as the results will be used to determine not only the future building programme for Eildon, but also lead the way for how Scottish homes are built and lived in, in the future.

By DAWN RENTON

Source: Scotsman

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New affordable homes to be built on site of former Wigan scrap yard

Jigsaw Homes Group has had a planning application approved to build 49 high-quality affordable homes on the site of a former scrap yard on Pocket Nook Lane in Lowton.

The new development will comprise a mix of one-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom and three-bedroom houses, providing a much needed range of quality affordable accommodation for Lowton.

Jigsaw has committed to carrying out decontamination of the site as part of the development process, turning a derelict and contaminated piece of land into a place fit for habitation.

Funding has been secured from Homes England through its Shared Ownership and Affordable Housing Programme (SOAHP) 2016-21.

Garnet Fazackerley, Jigsaw Group’s operations director for development said: “We are delighted to receive planning permission to develop 49 affordable new homes on a former industrial brownfield site.

“Jigsaw Group is committed to tackling the housing crisis by building new homes for the people in our communities.

“We have plans to develop over 2,000 new homes by 2022 and developments like this one bring us one step closer to that goal.”

Work is due to begin this Autumn, with completion likely to be in 2021.

The new homes will be let and managed by Adactus Housing Association, part of the Jigsaw Group.

By Neil Hodgson

Source: The Business Desk

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The government fails to meet housing target

A select committee has warned that the government has failed to meet its target for releasing land for new homes by  “a wide margin”.

Under its Public Land for Housing Programme, the government aims to “increase housing supply by releasing surplus public sector land for at least 160,000 homes” in England between 2015 and 2020.

The Public Accounts Committee however argued in their latest report that by the end of the programme, the government will have failed to sell the land needed for 91,000 of the homes promised.

This is equivalent to 57% of the overall target.

Meg Hillier MP, the chair of the committee, said: “The nation’s housing crisis has been prolonged by the government’s failure to develop a strategy for public land disposal. We are frustrated that this unique opportunity has been wasted.

“The UK needs more houses. As a major land holder, the government is in a unique position to release land for new homes; and yet the objectives of its land disposal programmes are chaotic and confused.

“We are baffled that the programmes were not designed with a view to how many homes were needed of what type, and where – nor how the proceeds will be used.

“Land disposal targets were set without a rigorous evidence base of what could actually be delivered. It is no real surprise, then, that the government will now fail to meet its target to sell enough land by 2020 for 160,000 homes.

“But with a gap of 91,000 fewer potential homes than anticipated, we are extremely concerned that the nation’s housing shortage will only get worse.

“Building affordable homes should be a key part of the objectives of the government’s land disposal strategy. However, we are concerned at the Department’s disregard for how the release of public land could be used to deliver affordable homes, particularly social homes for rent.

“We call on the government to set out a decisive course of action for how it will execute its land disposal strategy so that it translates into actual homes for the people that need them most.”

The select committee said this target was ‘clearly unrealistic’ from the outset and lacked a sufficient and rigorous evidence base when it was originally set.

The Cabinet office is expected to achieve its proceeds target of delivering “£5bn of receipts between 2015 and 2020 through the release of surplus public sector land and property across the UK.

This is despite almost all departments being on course to miss their individual targets.

However, this is because of one large unplanned sale that contributed almost £1.5bn of the £5bn target.

The committee said it is unacceptable for the outcomes of these crucial programmes to be reliant upon luck instead of judgement.

It said that despite just 40,500 homes having been built since 2011, the loose definition from the ministry of housing, communities and local government (MHCLG) of what constitutes a new home has artificially inflated the number of new homes that have been created.

A spokesperson from MHCLG added: “We have an urgent mission to build more homes for the next generation so they can realise the dream of home ownership.

“Last year saw us deliver 222,000 new homes, more than in all but one of the last 31 years.

“Government departments have identified enough surplus public sector land for 160,000 new homes and our development accelerator Homes England is providing expert assistance to get these built more quickly.”

By Michael Lloyd

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Aberdeen pushes ahead with largest council house programme in 50 years

The biggest council housebuilding programme in Aberdeen in more than half a century has taken another major step forward as plans progressed for 283 new homes.

First Endeavour LLP is set to deliver the housing units at Wellheads Road in Dyce after entering an agreement with Aberdeen City Council.

The site was marketed at a Developers’ Day held by the council last year to encourage the private sector to come forward with housing provision.

Council co-leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “We are delighted to announce that we are partnering with First Endeavour LLP to provide nearly 300 council homes.

“As a council, we are committed to finding innovative ways to deliver both services and new infrastructure, including an additional 2,000 council homes.

“We are working with landowners and developers to provide much-needed local authority housing.”

Fellow council co-leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden said: “Our new-build programme is gathering momentum with a number of projects under way or about to start.

“This isn’t just about building housing – it’s about building communities and opportunities and ensuring that our city continues to prosper in an inclusive way.”

A First Endeavour LLP spokesperson said: “First Endeavour are delighted to be working with Aberdeen City Council to be building much-needed council homes in Dyce.

“These homes will be built to the highest standards to meet the needs of council tenants, including those with a disability.”

Last year 99 council homes were built at Smithfield, 80 are nearing completion at Manor Walk, 369 are earmarked for the former Summerhill Academy site, and there are plans for more new homes at Tillydrone, Kincorth, Craighill and Greenferns.

Project and programme consultancy Faithful+Gould has been appointed to help hit the target of 2,000 additional council homes across the city.

Stewart Ferguson, regional director of SNC Lavalin’s Faithful+Gould business, said: “Building upon our long-term relationship with Aberdeen City Council, we are delighted to be leading one of the most high-profile and ambitious housing programmes in a generation.

“The council’s innovative approach is based upon the ‘Building in Quality’ methodology and will positively contribute to Aberdeen’s social housing offer and the city’s prosperity.”

Source: Scottish Housing News

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Homes England delivers four year high of housing completions

From 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 there were more houses being built and completed, including affordable homes, Homes England’s housing statistics have shown.

There were 45,692 housing starts, the highest level for nine years, and 40,289 housing completions delivered through Homes England programmes, excluding London, the highest for four years.

Some 30,563 or 67% of housing starts on site in 2018-19 were for affordable homes, up 10% year-on-year and the highest for five years.

Mark Dyason, managing director of the development finance specialist, Thistle Finance, said: “Based on this evidence, homes in England are finally starting to be built in earnest.

“For housing start levels to be the highest in nine years, despite the ever-present uncertainty of Brexit, shows there’s hope for the property market yet.

“So extreme is the supply deficit that developers are proceeding with projects as they feel hedged against the political headwinds. Crucially, homes are not just being built in greater numbers but are selling in greater numbers, with the increase in affordable housing especially welcome.

“Help to Buy is attracting growing criticism at present but it has without doubt had an impact on purchase levels in recent years. It helps that for experienced and financially strong developers there are opportunities aplenty and no shortage of finance options.

“While there is political stasis, the development finance market remains fluid and this is showing through in these strong numbers.”

Some 17,772 affordable homes started in 2018-19 were for affordable rent, an increase of 4% on the 17,159 started in 2017-18. A further 11,560 were for intermediate affordable housing schemes, including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy, 24% more year-on-year.

The remaining 1,231 were for social rent, a decrease of 12% on the 1,406 started in 2017-18.

Of the affordable homes started in 2018-19, the highest delivering programmes were: Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP) with 89%, up from 71% in 2017-18, and the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) with 4.6%, down from 21% in 2017-18.

Some 28,710 (71%) of housing completions in 2018-19 were for affordable homes, 11% more year-on-year and the highest for four years.

In addition, 18,895 affordable homes completed in 2018-19 were for affordable rent, 4% fewer than the year before. A further 8,854 were for intermediate affordable housing schemes, including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy, an increase of 75% on the 5,069 completed in 2017-18.

The remaining 961 were for Social Rent, a 1% reduction on the 970 completed in 2017-18. Of the affordable homes completed in 2018-19, the highest delivering programmes were the SOAHP 2016-21 with 55% and the AHP 2015-18 with 39%.

Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, added: “Homes England are taking on the housing crisis with a sustained dose of horsepower.

“The nine-year high in its house building rate sends a clear signal that it has built up a head of steam, which is helping to propel the market and housing supply forward.

“Good progress in the past four years, with starts rising year-on-year, takes its building levels almost back to the high seen just after the financial crisis although there is still a long way to go to satisfy the existing deficit.

“All eyes are on this rebound, in the hope it marks the start of a concerted push to new levels of affordable home building in England, coinciding as it does with a renewed political focus on the housing crisis in recent years.

“Although the government’s overall pace of building remains roughly 10,000 homes off target, Homes England could make considerable inroads here and close this gap significantly over the next few years.”

By Michael Lloyd 

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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New homes set for Nottingham city centre

Twenty new homes are being built in The Meadows area of Nottingham which will go to local families on Nottingham’s council house waiting list.

On behalf of Nottingham City Council – Nottingham City Homes (NCH) and contractor Woodhead Group will develop the homes on the site of the former Clifton Miners Welfare on Ainsworth Drive.

The two-bed houses are expected to be completed in spring 2020.

After planning permission was approved last year, these new homes are the latest for the Meadows area which form part of the city’s Building a Better Nottingham programme and follow the completion of 55 homes in June 2018.

Nick Murphy, chief executive at Nottingham City Homes, said: “There has been significant regeneration in the Meadows and we have invested in creating new homes there over the last few years. We are now creating a further 20 good quality new council homes – homes that people can be proud of and that they want to live in.

“Not only is it a busy year for us in terms of developments, we are also celebrating 100 years of council housing, when councils were first given the task of developing where it was needed. A hundred years later this is still our vision; we want to build warm and secure family homes that the people of Nottingham can afford to live in and these new properties will be no exception”.

Cllr Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for planning and housing at Nottingham City Council, said: “Working together with Nottingham City Homes and other partners, we are transforming Nottingham’s neighbourhoods, by regenerating sites which are no longer fit for purpose and replacing them with new, warm, safe and quality homes.

“Together we’re giving sites like the one in the Meadows a new purpose whilst creating opportunities for jobs and training and providing much needed housing which Nottingham people can afford to buy or rent in communities where people want to live and work”.

Leo Woodhead, director at Woodhead Group said: “Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council share our commitment to deliver social value while building quality new homes. Having delivered the first ever CCS housing UltraSite together, we learned a lot and are really looking forward to working closely with the community and our supply chain partners to create a better experience for all.”

By Sam Metcalf

Source: The Business Desk

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This is where 6,800 homes could be built in Tunbridge Wells borough

Tunbridge Wells town would be better protected from large scale new house building if the council proposal goes ahead to put 6,800 homes at Tudeley and Paddock Wood.

The controversial proposal for the tiny village in the heart of the countryside and the small town were officially unveiled this week to parish councils.

Residents were getting to grips with the shock of the proposition put forward by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. which is grappling with a housing target more than doubled by the Government, to reach 13,500 new homes in the 20 years up to 2036. This is around 680 each year.

But while two areas could be changed forever during a timescale council leader Alan McDermott put at “probably 25 years” – Tunbridge Wells, which for years has seen controversial infilling, office conversions to residential, sizeable brownfield developments and new estates built or under way, might get something of a breather.

The proposals are in the draft Local Plan which will go out for public consultation in the early autumn.

Head of planning Steve Baughen said: “These strategies reduced the impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty compared to some of the other potential options, for example a more dispersed pattern of development across the borough.

“Similarly, this option does not add such intense pressure to the existing infrastructure as much as other options would – for example, if the vast majority of the development were to be around the main urban area, Tunbridge Wells and Southborough.”

Mr McDermott said new infrastructure, potentially including schools, drainage, utility links, a road off the A228, doctors’ surgeries and employment development, would be built as part of the Tudeley and Paddock Wood proposal.

Talking of the council’s track record in Tunbridge Wells as the planning authority, Mr Baughen said: “We always look to prioritise previously developed land and the redevelopment of previously developed land but as you are seeing, a lot of the sites which have been identified as suitable for redevelopment sites in the previous Local Plan and the Site Allocation Local Plan now have planning permission or indeed are being built out.”

 Why so many homes? 4,000 in Paddock wood and 2,800 here in Tudeley. Tunbridge Wells borough has to build 13,000 new homes but why 6,800 in a four square mile radius? What about the rest of the district
‘Why so many homes? 4,000 in Paddock wood and 2,800 here in Tudeley. Tunbridge Wells borough has to build 13,000 new homes but why 6,800 in a four square mile radius? What about the rest of the district?’ asked resident Petrina Lambert (Image: Lewis Durham)

He added: “This is a finite resource but this Local Plan looks again to make sure that suitable sites within the urban areas are being identified and allocated but a number of them have permission already.”

Petrina Lambert, who lives in Brampton Bank, Tudeley, said: “Our first reactions were shock, distress, upset then extremely angry.

“The whole idea made us feel sick. We moved here to live in a rural community that was now going to be destroyed.

“Why so many homes? 4,000 in Paddock Wood and 2,800 here in Tudeley. Tunbridge Wells borough has to build 13,000 new homes but why 6,800 in a four square mile radius? What about the rest of the district?

“There is also the development at Woodgate Way in Tonbridge only two miles away and no infrastructure in place to support this and a new development with a sudden and large increase in this area’s population.

“It is the destruction of a small and happy community and that of an area of outstanding natural beauty that upsets us most and there are not the right words to describe the loss.”

 Head of planning Steve Baughen said: “These strategies reduced the impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty compared to some of the other potential options, for example a more dispersed pattern of development across the borough.
Head of planning Steve Baughen said: “These strategies reduced the impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty compared to some of the other potential options, for example a more dispersed pattern of development across the borough. (Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Local Plan will go out to public consultation

The original housing target of 6,000 new homes for Tunbridge Wells was more than doubled by the Government to 13,500 during the past few years.

The Local Plan, an evergreen and constantly updating document, is in its 2016 to 2036 planning period.

In order to work out how many homes need to be built in the future, the council must take account of the housing which has already been built or permitted since 2016.

This leaves 9,000 homes – and the council is putting forward Tudeley, which is little more than a large cluster of homes, and Paddock Wood, which had a 8,253 population in 2011, for around 6,800 of them.

The explosive proposal was unveiled officially to parish councils on Monday and Tuesday nights, although the borough council said it had been working with the parishes behind the scenes.

The council said by building homes on such a large scale rather than ad hoc, proper planning could go into infrastructure.

The Local Plan will go out to consultation in September/October and again a final consultation on the final Local Plan next September before submission to the Planning Inspectorate in December 2020. It will be examined formally in the spring or summer of 2021.

By Mary Harris

Source: Kent Live