Council homes selling ‘off plan’ in Sheldon

By on 28/09/2011 in News

The City Council is bucking the downward trend in the housing market with new housing schemes which are already selling 'off plan', following the success of another sales programme in Birmingham.

The latest phase of new development through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BHMT) begins in Sheldon today with the start on site of the first of 234 high quality, family homes across the city under the ground breaking Public Land Initiative.

The Public Land Initiative is designed to bring new construction players into the housing market using land in public ownership. Rather than selling land outright to these developers, the Council will benefit from HCA grant and deferred payment based on the profits made by the private developer.  The Initiative is designed to stimulate private housebuilding in the wake of the recent recession.  This approach has already proven a success in Sheldon with homes already been sold “off plan” by development partners Keepmoat Homes.

Councillor John Lines, Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Once again, working in partnership, we are giving life to stalled housing sites across the city, where there was little or no chance of building new homes due to the difficult economic climate.  Through this Programme these smaller sites are now viable and can provide new homes for people.

“Through innovation and a desire to provide new homes, we are making a real difference to the lives of many residents and improving local communities.  We're also proud to be able to create apprenticeships and employment opportunities for local people, an issue that's always an essential part of our building projects.”

The council is contributing its own land to the deal, at a value of £8.1 million, and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will match this contribution with £4.7 million of grant funding towards the cost of building 83 new homes for rent and 151 for sale.

The first homes available to rent from the City Council will be completed in December this year.

The HCA has supported Birmingham's public land programme with £4.7 million of investment across three sites in the city, including Sheldon.  The agency's Delivery Partner Panel (DPP) has also supported in developing innovative financing and procurement arrangements for the Public Land Programme, a move that is welcomed by the City Council.  In return for using its own land, the council gets back much needed houses to add to its housing stock.  Work on the housing development also generates employment and business opportunities for local residents.

Paul Spooner, Executive Director for the HCA, Midlands said: “The HCA has worked closely with Birmingham City Council to bring forward their land to deliver more high quality homes across the city.  We're delighted that our continued investment and practical support through the DPP, is contributing to Birmingham's ambitions for housing and growth.”

Paul Degg, Managing Director of Keepmoat Homes, said: “Keepmoat's Chestnut Grange is the next phase of major investment into the Chestnuts Estate, and we are delighted to take on the delivery of new homes for private sale and affordable tenures in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the HCA once again.”

Ends

For more information contact Karen Blanchette on 0121 303 6969.

Photographs can be downloaded from the following link – http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/6192391230/

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