New homes to boost output as all parties pledge to tackle housing crisis
With housing high on the political agenda ahead of Thursday’s general election and all of the parties agreed that more homes need to be built, homebuilder Redrow has launched the first of a new generation of homes in England designed to help.
The Abode by Redrow homes offer an alternative to the company’s more traditional Heritage Collection and are aimed at a target market that wants chic urban style but not necessarily in a city centre location.
Speaking at the launch of the first Abode development in England, at Leegomery, in Telford, Redrow’s regional chief executive Matthew Pratt said: “All of the major political parties agree that it’s critical for Britain to build more new homes. Redrow has already stepped up production and our Abode range gives us the opportunity to open up more sites, more quickly. Because it’s targeting a different type of customer than Heritage it means we can have two separate outlets operating simultaneously on our larger developments and meet the needs of a broader range of customers.”
The Abode homes, which present an ‘uncluttered’ but smart façade, feature wide open living spaces – virtually all of the ground floor is open plan – and in-vogue features such as wet rooms and underfloor heating. In several housetypes Redrow has done away with the family bathroom completely and every bedroom has its own wet room or en-suite. Banks of discreet storage units create faux walls and optional extras include outdoor kitchens and low maintenance artificial turf.
“The Abode homes are versatile and cater for busy people who like to entertain. Young professionals and active downsizer who live a very sociable lifestyle will be equally at home,” Matthew adds.
With properties currently priced from £189,995 to £224,995 at Leegomery, the homes are all available with the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which allows home owners to purchase with a 5% deposit and 75% loan to value mortgage. The balance is covered by a 20% equity loan, which is interest free for five years.
The collection has already been tried and tested at Buckley in Flintshire, North Wales, but the Leegomery development of 39 two and three-bedroom homes is the first in England. Other developments will soon follow in Lancaster, Leeds and St Neots, Cambridgeshire.
“On all of these sites, the Abode range will sit alongside our Heritage Collection, effectively allowing us to build and sell in these locations at double the normal rate,” Matthew explains.
“Whilst this will assist in increasing housing numbers it is not without its own challenges as, the faster we complete the developments, the more important it is for us to have new sites ready to develop. Whilst we welcome steps that have already been taken at national level to simplify and speed up the planning process, it isn’t always the same story at a local level. In some areas we are still finding large amounts of red tape attached to what should really be quite simple reserved matters applications and planning agreements.
“Whichever party is in government after Thursday’s election, if they are serious about solving the country’s housing crisis, we really hope that further streamlining the planning process at grass roots level is something they tackle as a priority.”
Featuring highly specified, largely open plan living spaces and in-vogue features such as underfloor heating and wet rooms, Abode homes places an emphasis on the feeling of space and light. The first Abode development opened in January 2014 in Flintshire and the designs will soon be available in many more locations across England and Wales.
Including a choice of two, three and four-bedroom homes, Abode has been launched to meet demand for modern, high spec and streamlined properties from homebuyers searching for a contemporary lifestyle without moving to the city.
The launch of Abode coincided with Redrow entering its 40th anniversary year and proves that the developer is still at the forefront of innovation and design after many years as one of the UK’s leading housebuilders. For more information visit www.redrow.co.uk/abode.