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Development roundup – from car depot sites to 800-year-old buildings

A new residential development in Salford, Manchester is set to offer a ‘refreshing’ collection of apartments.

The gritty suburb-turned-cultural-goldmine location is home to 55 Queen Street. Just a 10 minutes’ walk from Victoria station and 15 minutes from Manchester centre and Piccadilly Gardens, the development has already seen 60% of units sold off-plan.

Prices for the one, two and three-bedroom apartments range from £163,000 to £448,032 with a 250-year leasehold. The scheme is scheduled for completion in Q4 2022.


Located in the heart of Salford, the contemporary building has terraced gardens and is said to offer the combination of quality bespoke design, complete with ‘first-class’ amenities including resident workspace, yoga studios, gym and a cinema media room.

Baljit Arora, director at selling agent Orlando Reid, says: “There are very few developments with these kind of amenities in this area; it’s not unheard of, but it is definitely rare for Salford.”

“55 Queen Street is attracting keen interest from buy-to-let investors wanting high rental yields - circa 7 per cent for this development and excellent capital growth. We are also receiving many enquiries from end-users, who want a central location with easy access to everything Manchester can offer.”

Salford has brought thousands of quality jobs to the area and pushed up property prices and rental values. Its transformation is centred around MediaCityUK, Europe’s largest purpose-built media hub and home to the BBC, ITV and hundreds of other smaller, specialised technology and communications companies.

The latest TechNation industry report shows that investment into this sector has increased by 277% in Greater Manchester since 2018.

Benefiting from government investment, Salford’s regeneration has given rise to a flourishing local arts and culture, innovation, business and leisure environment, which includes the Lowry Theatre, Imperial War Museum and Salford Museum & Art Gallery.

Arora adds: “To cope with the growing demand and volume of people looking to work and live in the area, there are significant plans in place to develop the local infrastructure and encourage economic growth.”

“Consequently, house prices and rental yields are on the rise, making Greater Manchester one of the UK’s premier destinations for investors.”

New affordable homes earmarked for car depot site in London

Some 19 homes have been earmarked for development on the site of a former car breakdown and recovery depot in Bermondsey.

Featherstone Homes Ltd will develop the units – including six that will qualify as affordable homes – in Bermondsey within the thriving London Borough of Southwark.

Located on Lynton Road, the £5.4 million residential development project will involve the demolition of the existing depot to make way for a new-build, four-storey apartment block building.

The scheme will include the creation of one, two and three-bedroomed homes, as well as a ‘green’ roof terrace and play area for families with young children.

Featherstone’s director Rowan Stewart comments: “This scheme is an exciting one and one that we feel is a great opportunity for first-time buyers or young professionals to acquire modern housing on the doorstep to Central London.”

“Bermondsey itself is a growing, thriving and vibrant area, close to Surrey Quays and Canada Water with great transport links. For us, it’s yet another exciting project that we’re involved in completing and brings some much-needed affordable housing to the area.”

He adds: “The project will transform the site of the old car breakdown centre and is yet another scheme on our portfolio which makes a real positive impact on the local area.”

“We are delighted with this project, which we feel strengthens our position as one of the city’s leading, bespoke property developers.”

Shawbrook Bank is supporting the scheme with a £5.4 million development finance loan. Overall gearing for the project stands at 80% loan to total costs (LTTC) and 65% ground development value (GDV).

The site in Bermondsey is the latest project by the team behind Featherstone Homes that Shawbrook has supported in recent times, with the Bank having previously financed schemes in Southfields (£16 million GDV consisting of 29 flats and two commercial units) and in Streatham (£12.6 million GDV consisting of 30 flats and two commercial units).

Restored 800-year-old buildings to provide sheltered housing in County Durham

A £1.7 million renovation scheme in County Durham has transformed two 835-year-old buildings into ‘high-quality’ sheltered housing.

The Grade II listed Thornley House and Shincliffe House buildings have been refurbished on the Sherburn House Charity Estate – the site of a former medieval hospital.

The project has delivered 14 self-contained flats for over 55s, including 12 sheltered accommodations and two general needs flats, which are available for affordable rent.

A five-bedroom home has also been created which is suitable for adults who could benefit from communal living with a home-from-home atmosphere.

Pauline Bishop, chief executive of Sherburn House Charity, explains: “The transformation of the almshouse properties is incredible and now fits perfectly with the high-quality refurbishment of our care home.”

“We are proud to present these modern apartments for future generations of older people who live in or have a connection to Durham. It is wonderful to see these properties restored to peak condition and back in use. Interest in the properties has been very high and we expect all units will be occupied by the end of the summer.”

Delivered for Sherburn House Charity by Esh Construction, the scheme received £560,000 of grant funding from Homes England through the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme.

Having previously been rendered unlettable, each apartment now boasts a ‘luxurious’ living space, their own shower room, open-plan living area, and kitchen. A communal dining and lounge area, as well as an external courtyard, allows residents to relax in the company of others.

Colin Ford, construction director at Esh Construction, adds: “Esh has worked on the Sherburn House estate throughout the past five years, firstly delivering the major transformation of Beddell House, and then the refurbishment of Thornley House and Shincliffe house.”

“Together with the client, consultant team, sub-contractors and suppliers, we have regenerated these heritage buildings to provide fantastic accommodation for people in later life. As a local contractor, we’re proud to have played our part.”

The latest development forms part of a five-year renovation programme on the Sherburn House Estate, with the refurbishment of Beddell House, a 55-bed residential home, completing in 2020. Beddell House features a high-end, hotel style décor and a non-institutional design that removes the stigma associated with care homes.

Family townhouses revealed for next phase of Manchester scheme

Middlewood Locks has announced the next development phase of residential homes following the sell-out of all 1,117 apartments in phases one and two.

For the first time, a selection of new townhouses for family living will be available to buy at the 25-acre development which connects Salford and Manchester city centre.

Middlewood Locks is a thriving new neighbourhood with 571 new homes housing over 750 residents and a further 546 new homes that will be ready for occupation this summer. 

Seven Bro7hers Beer House and Co-op support the growing community within an ‘established oasis’ of green spaces and engaging public realm situated along the canal side.

‘The Railings’ comprises a further 189 new homes to include a collection of waterside, three and four-bedroom, three-storey townhouses, as well as a mix of one to three-bedroom apartments in two buildings of 10 and 12 storeys, on the opposite side of the canal to phases one and two.

Almost all of the homes will have private outdoor space by way of a balcony, terrace or garden, while a ‘generous’ communal podium garden will be created for the benefit of the residents. Undercroft secure residents parking, bicycle stores, double-height resident’s atrium with lounge, post room and electric car charging points will feature as part of The Railings. 

The next phase will also incorporate 5,150 sq ft of ground-floor commercial/retail accommodation and an additional 4,970 sq ft of offices.

Middlewood Locks is a joint venture between Scarborough International Properties, Hualing Group, based in Urumqi, Xinjiang in China and Metro Holdings Limited, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group.

When completed, it will provide a total of 2,215 new homes and 900,000 sq ft of commercial space, including offices, hotel, shops, restaurants, bars and a multi-storey car park. The scheme is being developed around three large basins of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal which connect to the River Irwell.

Overall, the site has a gross development value of £1 billion and is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs for the area.

Sales and marketing director Nicola Wallis notes: “Our aspiration was to ensure local residents had an opportunity to buy their own home in Middlewood Locks and we are very proud that, to date, a large number of our homes have been sold to owner-occupiers, many of which are first time buyers, through the Government-backed initiative Help to Buy.”

“We have a growing number of families living in Middlewood Locks and we are seeing increasing demand for family homes close to the thriving city centre. With this in mind, we have introduced contemporary townhouses for the first time at Middlewood Locks.”

Bids invited for dev site in Huntingdonshire ahead of planning consent

National property consultancy Carter Jonas has launched a significant development opportunity in Bury, Huntingdonshire.

Due to the speed of the local market, the promotion of the site commenced before planning consent was achieved and has already attracted offers.

Last week (Monday June 21), the scheme was granted planning permission and potential bidders have just over two weeks to submit their bids.

The planning consent, granted by Huntingdonshire District Council on June 25, allows for the development of 87 residential units, associated parking and landscaping on this 8.9-acre greenfield site. 

The site is situated in the popular village of Bury, 7 miles northeast of Huntingdon and 14 miles south of Peterborough. Of the 87 units, 40% are allocated as affordable housing to comprise both affordable rent and shared ownership.

Mathew Forster of Carter Jonas, which acted on behalf of The Abbey Group, comments: “Land values in Huntingdonshire are moving at an almost unprecedented rate and we are seeing bids of over 50% of asking prices. For this reason, we took the decision not to determine an asking price for this highly desirable development site.”

Carl Sutton, managing director of The Abbey Group, adds: “The fact that this land has already attracted several bids reinforces the desirability of this village location, which also benefits from great transport links. It is also indicative of the very buoyant local market is attracting purchasers from London and elsewhere, with many national housebuilders recently opening regional offices here.”

The site is being offered for sale on an unconditional basis by informal tender. A microsite containing planning, legal and technical documentation has been created and access details are available from Carter Jonas.

The closing date for tenders is 12 noon on Wednesday July 7 2021. The Preferred Bidder and Heads of Terms are due to be agreed in mid-July, with exchange of contracts anticipated in September 2021.

It is expected that the successful bidder will submit a reserved matters application within three or four months of completion, enabling construction to begin on-site in spring 2022.


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