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Dev update – affordable scheme in Castleford and a derelict home in SJW 

Work has commenced on a £9.2 million housing scheme in Castleford, West Yorkshire, which will transform a brownfield site into high-quality, affordable homes. 

Leeds Federated Housing Association (LFHA) and WDH are working with main contractor Esh Construction to deliver 82 new homes at Pemberton Road which will be available for affordable rent, rent to buy and shared ownership. 

The team behind the development say it will appeal to all demographics, from families to professionals, as well as downsizers, with Castleford’s appeal helped by its excellent transport links to the M62.


Cllr Darren Byford, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration at Wakefield Council, said: “We are delighted to be part of these new affordable homes at Pemberton Road, and are pleased to have a strong partnership with Leeds Federation and WDH and to see them create this very positive and much-needed housing initiative.”

He added: “The Council recognises that we need high-quality housing in our district that is affordable that socially focused landlords can provide, and this is what our partners will provide here. These new homes will provide people with the opportunity to own or rent their own home at an affordable rent, which we especially welcome and I look forward to seeing the development of this new neighbourhood.”

Supported by Homes England funding and designed by Leeds-based Brewster Bye Architects, Pemberton Road will be a mixed-tenure development with a blend of different-sized family homes and four bungalows.

Last year, LFHA acquired the 2.2-hectare patch of land from Wakefield Council. Robin Machell, Leeds Federated Board Member, said: “Leeds Federated are really excited to work with Esh, WDH and our other partners to build these high-quality, affordable and very desirable homes which we are sure will be much sought-after.”

WDH and Leeds Federated are jointly developing the land, with each provider managing 43 units and 39 units respectively.

Sue Young, executive director of investment at WDH, said of the tie-up: “We are really pleased to see work beginning on site at Pemberton Road. This new development will provide high-quality homes, regenerating land that had become unused and overgrown.”

“As a business, we are proud to be able to create long lasting, confident communities and build new homes in places where we have a high demand such as Castleford. This scheme will further enhance the area, providing more local people with a range of modern living options.”

Stuart Leslie, divisional director at Esh Construction, appointed as the design and build contractor for the development, added: “We are pleased to get underway on this new development and once again work in partnership with Leeds Federated and WDH. As a local contractor, we will maximise the economic benefit for our clients and the community through responsible procurement of local sub-contractors and supply – something which is paramount across all Esh Construction schemes.”

The first new homes are set to be available for residents in summer 2022.

Potential, potential, potential for derelict home in NW London

Arlington Residential has been appointed on the sale of a completely derelict property situated in a hidden location in prime St John’s Wood, a well-regarded and ever-popular part of North West London.

Marc Schneiderman, director at Arlington Residential, says of the property: “It is rare to find over 7,000 sq ft of space arranged across only two floors – typically this amount of space would be seen in houses of four or even five floors.

What makes this house even more unusual is that it is set behind a private gated driveway, unseen from the road and yet only a short walk from St John’s Wood High Street.”

With the property being derelict, a considerable budget will be required for either a comprehensive refurbishment or a total demolish and rebuild. There is also the option to rebuild a single, larger dwelling of 10,000 sq ft or alternatively, two separate properties of 5,000 sq ft.  

“The buyer who takes on this project will ultimately have an enviable ‘one off property’, tailor-made and designed to their own specification which is likely to be worth significantly more than their original investment,” Schneiderman added.

“Prices of houses in St John’s Wood frequently exceed £1,500 per sq ft with many recent sales achieving over £2,000 per sq ft.” 

Plans approved for city century narrow townhouse

Mercia Real Estate (MRE) has revealed that plans for a bespoke three-bedroom home have been approved by Birmingham City Council. 

The proposals are for the development of a luxury narrow townhouse in Birmingham city centre, located within a narrow infill plot between 85 Cornwall Street and the Grade II-listed building at 50-52 Newhall Street. It includes a contemporary design, notably a bespoke patterned façade, that is sympathetic to the arts and crafts motifs of its listed neighbours.

With a unique layout, the building extends to four upper storeys in addition to a basement and also features inverted living spaces. The three bedrooms are on the lower floors with an open-plan living area on the top floor with roof terrace. There is also a striking glazed light-well between the buildings designed to flood the space with natural light.

“This exciting development will provide a modern, yet complementary aesthetic to its surrounding buildings, whilst filling and tidying the space that currently exists there,” Samuel Clark, chief executive of Mercia Real Estate, said.

“This narrow house will be as stunning as it is unique within the city centre, where the majority of new developments naturally fall under the category of apartments due to the increasing trend to build upwards.”

He added: “I look forward to unveiling the property on its completion and I expect demand for its ownership to be high.”

LEXI Finance arranges JV equity to support £17m GDV development

A real estate advisory firm, LEXI Finance, has arranged joint venture (JV) equity for regional housebuilder Blakesley Estates to support their latest housing scheme in Devon, which has a gross development value (GDV) of £17 million.

The deal, with partners the regional housebuilder with a private investment consortium, is structured as an equity investment in the development vehicle, which will support the developer’s plans to scale their activities across the South West.

The agreement, supported by a £9.7m debt facility from Shawbrook Bank, aims to deliver 32 private, eco-friendly and affordable homes in Kingsbridge, a popular but under-developed Devonshire town close to tourist hotspot Salcombe Bay.

LEXI Finance says the deal shows how lenders and equity investors are quickly recognising the increasing appetite for living outside of major cities, due in part to the pandemic increasing remote working and inspiring lifestyle changes.

The scheme outlined above is the next step towards Blakesley Estates’ five-year plan to deliver 500 homes across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

The regional housebuilder says it is seeing huge demand in these areas for well-priced, well-located and well-finished properties.

“We are increasingly seeing small and regional outfits fill in the gaps in supply left by the listed housebuilders. Across the country, regional developers are delivering consented schemes of between 10 and 75 units that provide great homes but might be overlooked by PLCs,” Charlie Armstrong, co-founder of LEXI Finace, commented.

“In areas like Hampshire, Dorset and Devon, we are seeing significant activity fuelled by the demand for dwellings in rural and coastal locations. The appetite for green living has been recognised by lenders, who now have credit support to meet the demand for coastal and semi-rural schemes.”

He added: “We’ve had a swathe of approvals for transactions that would not have been as popular this time two years ago when city-centre living was at its peak. Countryside locations in reach of cities such as Exeter, Bristol, and London will likely benefit for many years.”

New development coming to Hanwell

The London Borough of Ealing, one of the capital’s greenest boroughs with more than 3,300 acres of green space, is set to welcome Hanwell Square to the heart of Hanwell’s village-like community. 

At a time when 72% of buyers rate having access to a garden or outdoor space as a top priority, according to Knight Frank’s 2021 Buyers Survey, the team behind the new development says the scheme fits this demand perfectly. It’s located just a short ten-minute walk from five parks and nature reserves near the Grand Union Canal, as well as being nearby to renowned golf courses, sports facilities and cycle paths.

Launched last month by FABRICA by A2Dominion and Higgins, Hanwell Square is the latest design-led development in the West London town of Hanwell. Once complete, it will offer 333 ‘beautifully spacious’ apartments across three buildings.

Phase One, estimated to complete in early 2023, is set to bring to market 104 apartments, each with a private balcony or terrace, as well as shops, cafes and workspaces. Residents won’t have to wander far from their homes for outdoor space, with a number of semi-private courtyards and landscaped roof gardens situated throughout the development, in addition to a new public square sitting right at its epicentre on Boston Road. 

Emma Fletcher-Brewer, partner in the New Homes team at global property consultancy Knight Frank, which has been instructed to market the development, said: “Whilst there’s been a lot of talk about the ‘flight from London’ and people moving to more rural locations across the UK, what we are also seeing is a ‘flight within London’, with many people not wanting to leave London but rather relocate to greener boroughs, such as Ealing.”

Residents at Hanwell Square will be able to benefit from close proximity to riverside walks along the Grand Union Canal and visit the 61-acre Warren Farm Nature Reserve. To the north, Hanwell’s Brent Lodge Park, part of Brent River Park, offers an ideal escape for families, with the Millennium Maze, Hanwell Zoo and riverside meadows.

Another of Hanwell’s most treasured parks is Elthorne Park to the south – which in a normal year typically plays host to the annual Hanwell Carnival during the summer, and is also home to tennis courts, open lawns and riverside walks.

While Hanwell has access to more than ten parks in Ealing alone, it also neighbours the boroughs of Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames, home to Richmond Park (a delightful place to get lost in for a few hours), the seasonal displays at Kew Gardens and the National Trust-owned Osterley Park and House.

In order to pave the way for a greener future for West London residents, Cycleway 9 is a new cycle route from Brentford to West Kensington that will make cycling and walking into central London easier and safer.

From Hanwell Square, residents will be able to travel a short distance to Kew Bridge before joining the new cycle path – set for completion in summer 2022 – which will connect town centres in West London through Hammersmith and Chiswick.

Runners are also well-catered for thanks to Hanwell’s well-established club culture. Ealing Eagles running club encourages residents from across Ealing to make the most of the borough’s parks and riverside paths. It has over 700 members and is one of the top clubs for parkrun attendance in the world, with one-two runs every day of the week except Saturday.

Rosie Nesbitt, director of sales and marketing at FABRICA, commented: “We are excited to bring Hanwell Square to the London Borough of Ealing at a time when people want to plan for a more balanced lifestyle and access to nature. Hanwell offers a welcoming village-feel and with its accessibility following the arrival of Crossrail into Hanwell Station, coupled with its nearby green parks and the canal, this pocket of London is a great place to lay down roots.”

She added: “We’re looking forward to welcoming potential buyers to experience life in this vibrant part of London when our marketing suite opens towards the end of the year.” 

Hanwell is set to welcome 333 new homes over the next four years, with Phase One consisting of 104 apartments, including 14 studio, 54 one-bedroom and 36 two-bedroom.

Prices will range from £305,000 for a studio, £405,000 for a one-bedroom and £540,000 for a two-bedroom.


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