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Planning update – new homes in Ireland and a major partnership

Rula Homes has secured planning consent from Wakefield Council to deliver 77 affordable new homes on a 5.76-acre site at City Fields, Wakefield East.

As the newly established housing division of Rula Developments, Rula Homes aims to deliver a turnkey solution for the site through acquisition and development and has agreed to sell the completed scheme to WDH (Wakefield and District Housing).

The properties will be developed utilising £1,665,000 funding from the Homes England Wave 2 programme. WDH will provide tenancies for affordable rent and shared ownership.


The scheme, which forms part of the wider council vision for the eastern relief road, will comprise a mix of two, three and four-bedroom high-quality affordable homes. It will extend to around 375 acres with plans for over 2,500 new dwellings and commercial space.

Rula expects to start construction on site next month and has appointed local contractor Harris CM to deliver the works.

The firm sets out to provide well-designed Build to Rent and mixed tenure housing, primarily in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, the North West, North East and West Midlands. It collaborates with registered provides to deliver much needed affordable housing across the regions.

Ben Ward, managing director at Rula Homes, comments: “We are delighted to secure planning consent on this development as our first residential venture which helps deliver against much-needed family social housing in the region. We are actively seeking further development opportunities and social housing partnerships with capacity to deliver schemes from 30 up to 150 units.”

Sue Young, executive director of investment at WDH, adds: “It is our vision to create confident and sustainable communities by building new, affordable homes in the Wakefield district and beyond. Our partnership with Rula Homes will help us provide high-quality family homes for affordable rent and for sale through shared ownership and achieve our ambition of building 500 energy-efficient homes a year.”

Construction of the development is set to complete by the end of 2022, with WDH expecting to launch a show home by the end of this year, allowing customers to register their interest in the new properties.

Summix secures planning consent for urban regen scheme in Ireland

Summix, a leading developer of sustainable property across the UK and Ireland, has secured planning approval to deliver one of the largest urban regeneration schemes in Ireland in the heart of Galway city centre.

The scheme, called Augustine Hill, was approved by Galway City Council, and marks Summix’s sixteenth successfully consented site from its fully deployed 2017 fund. From this fund, Augustine Hill is the fifth successful consented development in Ireland across: Brewery Block, Dublin; Washington Street, Cork; Farranlea Road, Cork; Queen Street, Galway.

Located in Galway city centre on a 3.3-hectare (8.2 acre) brownfield site adjacent to Ceannt Train Station, Augustine Hill is a landmark mixed-use regeneration scheme that forms part of the wider revitalisation of the city of Galway.

The scheme will ‘responsibly transform, rejuvenate and open up a vital, sustainable new city centre neighbourhood for the people and communities of Galway’.

The €300 million mixed-use development will be across 11 new and fully pedestrianised streets and four large public spaces that will comprise significant residential, retail, leisure, and community and cultural facilities, with building heights ranging from single storey to a 21-storey residential scheme, making it the highest residential building in Ireland.

The development represents a crucial part of the wider plans for Galway city set out in the Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework (NPF), the Irish government’s high-level strategic plan for shaping the future growth and development of Ireland out, which was published in 2018.

The NPF notes and supports Galway as an important driver of national growth and the key regional centre, with the urban regeneration of the Ceannt Train Station area noted as one of the key future growth enablers for the city.

Augustine Hill is expected to revitalise Galway and includes 229 much-needed residential homes for sale, Build to Rent and for elderly care, as well as cafés and restaurants, a 130-bed hotel, a six-screen cinema complex, childcare facility and play area, innovative retail and entertainment concepts, a craft food market and office space.

The scheme is set out around significant new areas of landscaped public realm connecting with the city and accommodating throughout significant new secure parking and storage for bicycles and cars and a below-ground service yard.

An economic assessment of the scheme estimates that it will support more than 610 jobs per year over the six-year period of its construction, and a further 2,700 permanent jobs upon completion when it could contribute up to €200 million annually to national income and deliver a boost of €80 million each year to the Exchequer.

Niamh O’Connor, executive director at Summix, comments: “Galway City Council's approval of our plans is positive affirmation of Summix's approach to socially and environmentally responsible placemaking, making it our 16th successfully consented site from our fully deployed 2017 fund.”

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to our experienced, multi-disciplinary team and all stakeholders for the years of technical work, creativity and support on this landmark project.”

She adds: “We look forward to the next stage of Augustine Hill’s journey alongside our partners Edward Capital and CIÉ and seeing the very best of sustainable and responsible urban regeneration being showcased in a city as distinctive as Galway.”

Major partnership to see new mixed tenure housing development in Telford

A new mixed tenure housing development comprising 329 homes is set to be built on a 14.85-hectare brownfield site off Donnington Wood Way.

The new development is being brought forward by a partnership between Telford & Wrekin Council, Nuplace Ltd - the council’s wholly-owned housing company, Lovell Partnerships Ltd and housing association Wrekin Housing Group. 

In line with the council’s housing strategy, which seeks to ensure that all people have access to safe and appropriate housing, the site will see a mix of properties for open market sale, private and affordable rent and Rent to Buy, plus dementia care and supported living units. 

The development will be built out by construction partner Lovell, which has already developed nine Nuplace sites across the borough over the last six years as well as a number of other mixed tenure sites. Some 66 homes are being built for Nuplace, which will be available for private rent, as well as 77 for sale.

In addition, a range of properties is being delivered for the borough’s largest housing association, Wrekin Housing Group. This includes an Extracare facility, with specialist dementia care apartments offering a supported living provision. 

At the heart of the development will be a new “Community Hub” providing café and bistro facilities, space to work with free WiFi, as well as learning suites and a children’s play area which can be used by local schools and community groups.

Each property will have PV panels and electric car charging points, with a number of Nuplace properties being built to ‘Future Homes’ standards, helping tenants to reduce their fuel bills and at the same time reducing the scheme’s carbon footprint.

Construction work is due to commence in Summer 2021 and continue until early 2025.

Stuart Penn, regional managing director at Lovell, comments: “We’re delighted that planning for Donnington Wood Way has been approved with 329 much-needed homes now on track to become a reality.”

“The progression of this site, alongside Telford & Wrekin Council, Nuplace and Wrekin Housing Group, reflects the potential of what can be achieved when organisations work in partnership.”  

Demolition begins for construction of 142 homes at the Television Centre

Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo (the joint venture “JV”) have begun the demolition of the old BBC car park on Wood Lane to facilitate the construction of 142 new affordable homes for Peabody in two new buildings called Macfarlane Place at Television Centre, London, W12.

Demolition will take at least 35 weeks and construction of Macfarlane Place will commence in 2022 with delivery expected in 2024.

The buildings form part of the wider Television Centre development which will eventually have circa 950 homes in total. Stanhope is the development manager for Television Centre and Cantillon is the demolition contractor for the multi-storey car park.

Designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects, the new buildings will replace the existing former BBC multi-storey car park on Wood Lane, opposite Westfield. The new buildings will provide 71 London Affordable Rent, 34 London Living Rent and 37 homes for Shared Ownership.

The buildings will provide 68 one-bed, 67 two-bed and seven three-bed apartments, with new public realm and retail space retained by the JV fronting Wood Lane. Peabody will be responsible for managing the homes when completed. 

The JV is working closely with Transport for London, who own the adjacent arches below the elevated Hammersmith & City line, to help improve the wider area for the local community.

Jonathan Trout, property & commercial director at Stanhope, comments: “Demolition of the old BBC car park, to expedite the construction of 142 affordable homes, and the ongoing construction of a new office building at 1 Wood Crescent, Television Centre, shows the healthy state of the property market in White City.”

“We are looking forward to delivering much needed affordable homes for residents in Hammersmith & Fulham alongside Peabody who share our confidence and long-term commitment for the area.”

Housebuilder signs multi-site land agreements in the North West

Keepmoat Homes has acquired three new land deals that will see the UK housebuilder deliver 723 new homes in the North West, with a combined Gross Development Value (GDV) of £135 million.

The sites, located in Leyland, Accrington and Stoke-on-Trent, have all obtained planning approval from local authorities. The schemes are:

  • A 520-plot development called Farington Mews (Leyland).

  • A 157-plot development at Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent.

  • A 46-plot development called Acorn View (Accrington).

The developments will offer two, three and four-bedroom homes which will be available in multiple house types and various purchasing options from open market sale to shared ownership.

Homebuyers will also be able to benefit from the government-backed mortgage guarantee, allowing first-time and current homeowners to obtain a 95% mortgage from lenders.

Gareth Owen, land & partnerships director at Keepmoat Homes, says: “Our team has been working hard over the six months with local authorities and registered providers and the latest acquisitions are a testament to their efforts.”

“We’re delighted to have acquired these three significant sites, all in ideal locations, which brings our total of active developments in the North West to 15.”

Owens says their ethos is not to just build homes, but transform communities and improve the lives of local people. “We’re driven to deliver increasingly sustainable and affordable homes and we’re taking action to reduce carbon emissions from our operations, our supply chain and the homes we build and adapt our operations and homes to our changing climate,” he adds.

“Our Acorn View development in Accrington will feature car charging points for those with electric vehicles at each of the homes and we take pride in providing green open spaces for both residents and the local community to enjoy.”

He concludes: “We can see from our existing developments, across the North West in particular, that demand for new homes is increasing and following these successes, we’re driven to remain active across the region and are seeking new land opportunities for residential-led developments.”


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