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Woolton Homes go ahead is Win-Win for City

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 Redrow’s homes on the former Lower Lee School site, off Beaconsfield Road, at yesterday’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, Redrow’s development manager, explains: “The 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.

“The land receipts generated from the sale of Council assets within the partnership are “ring fenced” for future housing investment and help subsidise social housing developments that would otherwise be commercially unviable. This approach means that the Council doesn’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.”

Cllr Frank Hont, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing, adds: “It’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.”

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 yesterday’s 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 today’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.

“The 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,” Gareth Stansfield adds.

“It 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.”

The Liverpool Housing Partnership is set to deliver 1,500 homes over a five-year period. Earlier this year the partnership’s inception was named ‘Property Deal of the Year’ title at NW Insider magazine’s 2016 Merseyside Property Awards.

Liverpool Housing 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 Willmott Dixon to drive up the range and quality of properties in the city. Redrow Homes and LMH will jointly build 1,500 new homes as part of a £205 million investment over the next five years.

Redrow Homes:
Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading homebuilders, completing more than 4,700 homes across England and Wales in the 2015/16 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 and 2015 What House? Gold award for Best Large Housebuilder and the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year. The group employs almost 2,000 people as well as providing work for thousands of sub-contractors and supporting a mostly UK based supply chain.