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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Development update – green light given for several green homes

This week, Property Investor Today takes a look at the latest development news, from 160 new green homes coming to Croxley Green and the completion of phase 1 of a student block conversion, to planning permission granted for additional homes in Lambeth for first-time buyers.

Green light for sustainable new-build homes in Croxley Green

Plans to build 160 new sustainable homes in Croxley Green near Rickmansworth have been given the green light.

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Housebuilder The Hill Group has won its appeal to develop this previously allocated site adjacent to Killingdown Farm – a 7.5-hectare site on Little Green Lane – to create an attractive new neighbourhood extension to the village of Croxley Green.

Work on site is anticipated to begin in July 2022.

The development is set to provide a wide range of homes from apartments to five-bedroom detached houses traditionally designed to blend in with the local architecture. It will include green open spaces, a play area and footpaths.

Sustainable drainage solutions will include swales and ecological enhancements, including the planting of over 170 trees, new hedgerows, bat and bird boxes and other measures to support local wildlife, representing a biodiversity net gain of 10%.

Group chief executive of The Hill Group, Andy Hill, comments: “We are delighted to have been granted consent to develop 160 high-quality new homes in Croxley Green, helping to address the acute shortage of homes in the area.”

“We are committed to building an outstanding community of well-designed, energy-efficient new homes, incorporating sustainable technology such as air-source heat pumps, which help to reduce carbon emissions significantly. Our plans also include biodiversity enhancements such as extensive new planting and habitat creation, resulting in a 10% gain in biodiversity across the development.”

In its report to uphold the appeal, government planning inspector Matthew Nunn states: “In terms of public benefits, the scheme would secure a premium modern housing development for which there is a clear need, in a sustainable location.”

“The proposal would provide much needed private and affordable housing for local people. A total of 160 dwellings are proposed, of which 72 would be affordable. Such provision would be a very weighty benefit for the area where increasing the supply of market and affordable homes is an urgent and pressing issue.”

With a strong track record of successful developments across London, the South East and the Home Counties, Hill prides itself on creating ‘outstanding’ places that will stand the test of time. Hill takes into consideration all elements that contribute towards making a successful community – from landscaped communal areas promoting the health and wellbeing of its residents to providing essential community facilities alongside striking architecture and design.

Hill’s plans for Croxley Green will not only increase the supply of market and affordable homes where there is a pressing need but also create an attractive new place to live with its own distinct sense of place.

Work completes on phase 1 of Sheffield student block conversion

The first phase of a project to convert a Sheffield student block into all-purpose residential accommodation has been completed.

Twenty-nine apartments at Phoenix Court – the entire second floor of the building – have been reconfigured and refurbished and are now fully let. The refurbishment of the first floor, which has a similar number of units, has already begun.

The work has been carried out by property management firm Resify, which specialises in transforming undervalued schemes, on behalf of L1 Property.

Phoenix Court, a 1920s grade 1 listed former fire station, was converted into student accommodation and extended in the early 1990s. However, with students staying away during the pandemic, occupancy levels plummeted, and the company started working with Resify last year to explore other options.

The units, which consisted of a cluster of two or three bedrooms units with a shared kitchen and bathroom but no dedicated living space, were reconfigured to create one and two-bedroom apartments with separate living rooms with a number of the apartments being made open plan.

Resify, which has been working closely with property management firm Leaders throughout, is also reconfiguring the remaining two floors, which had previously been refurbished by another contractor that had kept the original layout.

The entire project is due to be complete by the end of April.

Phoenix Court is situated in Rockingham Street within the city centre, less than ten minutes’ walk from the city’s two universities, close to bars, offices and shops and 15 minutes from the train station.

Obi Williams, managing director of Resify, says: “Phoenix Court is a historic building set in a prime location, however, the décor and layout were dated and rental yields well below par for the area. Given the wealth of student accommodation in Sheffield, it made sense to create multi-purpose apartments that appeal to a wider range of occupants.”

“We are delighted with the response from tenants, which demonstrates the demand for high-quality, fully furnished apartments in the city centre. The project also shows how an understanding of the local market and a creative approach can transform a single-use development in areas of oversupply.”

L1 Property, which is the UK property investment arm of fund manager L1 Capital, invests in existing and modern residential property with potential for capital growth in major UK cities outside London. It seeks to add value by bringing capital to underinvested assets.

Planning permission granted for affordable homes in Lambeth

Pocket Living, the innovative affordable housing developer, has received planning permission to deliver 35 one-bedroom Pocket homes along Leigham Court Road in Lambeth.

All 35 homes are available exclusively to first-time buyers who either live or work in Lambeth and earn under the Mayor of London’s income threshold for affordable housing. They will be available at a minimum of a 20% discount to the local market, and purchasers own 100% of their property.

On the evening of the committee meeting (February 22), Lambeth Planning Committee voted in favour of the application, following both a local Ward Councillor and an NHS key worker from King's College Hospital speaking in support of the development.

According to Pocket Living’s research, these discounted homes could price in up to 30,000 local key workers who would otherwise be unable to afford a home within the Borough.

Located within walking distance of Streatham Hill Station, the car-free development, designed by award-winning Bell Phillips Architects, will offer a high-quality design in keeping with the surrounding architecture.

Making use of a previously underused area of open space, the proposals will occupy only 28% of the area, offering enhanced amenity space to residents, as well as biodiversity gains.

The development on Leigham Court Road follows the delivery of three additional developments by Pocket Living in the Borough of Lambeth: Sail and Juxon Street, Mountearl Gardens and Wynne Road. With the addition of the 35 homes on Leigham Court Road, Pocket Living will have brought 160 new homes to the Borough since 2016. 

Pocket Living’s aim is to help young middle-earning Londoners achieve their dream of owning a home by transforming brownfield sites into award-winning, affordable developments.

The announcement follows the success of Pocket’s application, earlier this month, to deliver 139 homes within Southwark across two sites.

Nick Cuff, chief commercial officer at Pocket Living, comments: “The Borough of Lambeth has a rich history of successful urban infill development and we are delighted that we will be bringing much-needed discounted homes to Leigham Court Road.”

“Over the last seven years, we have already provided 125 Pocket homes within the Borough and the delivery of Leigham Court Road will allow us to continue to provide high-quality apartments for first-time buyers looking to get their foot on the ladder in their local area.”

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