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School's merger brings homes and jobs boost in North Liverpool

Sixty planned new family homes in north Liverpool could support up to 258 jobs as well as funding more affordable homes for the city.

The plans submitted by Redrow Homes are destined to create the Liverpool Housing Partnership’s first new homes in the north of the city.

The planning application covers the 6.5-acre former site of two schools, Redbridge and Bank View High Schools, off Sherwood’s Lane, Fazakerley.

The two community special schools have now merged and, from September 2015, will occupy a new £5m facility on Long Lane. The state of the art facilities form part of the Mayor’s £169 million Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, which is seeing at least 12 schools rebuilt or refurbished across the city.

With the two schools now relocated, their former sites will be purchased by Redrow as part of the Liverpool Housing Partnership - allowing the City Council to invest the proceeds into the city’s housing programme, which will offer affordable new homes through its partner Liverpool Mutual Homes.

Redrow will also make a direct contribution of circa £60,000 towards improving public open space locally, while building the new homes will bring much needed employment too.

Official figures from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) suggest that each new home built in the UK supports circa 4.3 jobs, which means that the 60 new homes in Fazakerley could provide work for up to 258 people. This includes direct and on-site employment, indirect employment within the supply chain – much of it local - and ‘induced’ employment, ie. jobs supported by the wage spending of construction and supply chain workers in shops, services and other businesses.

“All in all this is a win-win situation for Liverpool,” says Redrow’s development director Faye Whiteoak. “We will provide high quality family homes on a vacant brownfield site, the City Council will be able to invest in much-needed affordable housing, it will support jobs for local people and the houses we build will bring additional council tax revenue for the city too.”

Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Frank Hont, said: “The partnership is improving and extending the type of homes we have all over Liverpool to make sure people have a choice of quality housing to choose from. We are making the city a more attractive place to live and more sustainable by generating more council tax to support vital services and where possible re-using brownfield sites that have previously been developed.”

Around 40 local residents attended a consultation event in July. Feedback forms completed on the day indicated that the majority of attendees supported the proposed redevelopment and Redrow has made some amends to the site layout to reflect comments made, including reducing the number of properties that will have driveways directly from Sherwood’s Lane.

The planning application submitted features three and four-bedroom family homes from Redrow’s Arts & Crafts influenced Heritage Collection, with essential modern-day features such as en-suite bathrooms, utility rooms and garages or off-street parking.

“Demolition and clearance of the existing school buildings is expected to commence in September and - subject to planning approval – we’d hope to start on site in the new year with a view to opening our show homes in early summer 2016,” Faye adds.

The Liverpool Housing Partnership is a pioneering relationship forged between Liverpool City Council, Redrow Homes and Liverpool Mutual Homes to deliver 1,500 new homes and bring a further 1,000 back into use across the city. Redrow will provide a range of private sale executive homes and will identify and acquire land to enhance the Council’s own development sites; LMH will develop affordable housing by investing their own funding and by attracting grant funding and also seek to bring 1,000 empty properties back into use; the City Council will provide strategic planning and housing need information. Land and investment will be brought together in a planned way, with any capital receipts generated by the sale of council sites and assets reinvested back into the partnership.

The Liverpool Housing Partnership is an agreement between Liverpool City Council and private developer Redrow Homes, affordable housing provider Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) and property contractor Wilmott Dixon to drive up the range and quality of properties in the city. Redrow Homes and LMH will jointly build 1,500 new homes and LMH aims to bring up to 1,000 back into use as part of a £205 million investment over the next five years.

Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading homebuilders, completing circa 3,600 new homes across England and Wales in the 2013/14 financial year, with a strong emphasis on high quality family housing in prime locations. Its Heritage Collection of family homes combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors, while the newly introduced Regent Collection displays Georgian influenced exterior design but still with that same combination of period-style architecture and 21st century interiors.

Redrow has a strong association with Liverpool – founder/chairman Steve Morgan was born and spent his childhood years in Garston; the housebuilder has completed around 2,000 new homes in and around Liverpool during its 40 year history; and ongoing developments include Summerhill Park, in the Broadgreen area, plus New Heys and Calderstones Grange, in Allerton.

The group has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the 2014 What House? Gold award for Best Large Housebuilder, the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year and five consecutive 5* awards in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey in 2011-2015. The group employs over 1,550 people as well as providing work for thousands of sub-contractors and supporting a mostly UK based supply chain.