Partners selected to deliver 234 new homes

By on 14/12/2010 in News

Birmingham City Council's plans to deliver 234 new high-quality, family homes are a step closer to becoming a reality after Cabinet approved the appointment of developers Keepmoat PLC and Galliford Try and the full business case for the scheme.

The council plans to have developers on site by March 2011, with homes complete by autumn 2012.

Earlier this year, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) allocated £4.7million of gap funding through the Public Land Initiative to support the scheme.  The project is an example of a local land initiative in which the needs of Birmingham's neighbourhoods are met through the provision of high quality homes.

For its part, Birmingham City Council has pledged to donate its own land, worth £8.1 million to the scheme. Homes will be delivered across 7 sites spread across Sheldon, Bartley Green, Lozells & East Handsworth, Longbridge and Tyburn.

All of these areas have housing need both in terms of affordable rented homes and homes for sale and many of the new homes will be much needed 4 and 5 bedroom houses. Around two-thirds of the homes will be for outright sale, with the remaining 83 homes being provided for Birmingham City Council.

The Council worked in partnership with the HCA to develop an innovative financial model, which offers incentives to developers to build houses for sale based on a long term profit sharing arrangement, through the Agency's Public Land Initiative.

It follows the formation of a similar model by Birmingham City Council, also supported by the HCA, when it set up the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) in 2009. BMHT is currently in the process of delivering over 600 new homes, as part of one the most ambitious council homes building programmes in the country.

The council utilised the HCA's Delivery Partner Panel to select the contractors, which allowed for a shorter procurement process and has enabled a speedier start on site.

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I'm delighted to have Keepmoat PLC and Galliford Try on board to deliver these much needed homes.

“As with the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, this is another scheme where the City is supporting the private sector to start building again, and we have not borrowed a penny to do it. I'm very proud of this, as the drive to reduce debt is pursued both locally and nationally.

“I'm looking forward to welcoming new families to the homes which will be ready for occupation in no time.  Thanks also go to the HCA and the government for the
funding and project support which proves that Birmingham can be trusted to get the job done.”

Paul Spooner, Executive Director for the HCA, Midlands said: “The strong partnership working between Birmingham and the HCA has resulted in seven sites coming forward for development after just eight months.  The Council has put its land into the scheme and will receive new Council housing in return and by 2012, we will have together delivered new, high quality, energy efficient homes for rent and sale in the city.”

In an attempt to move towards greener, safer and more attractive homes, the properties will be designed to high standards, achieving Code For Sustainable Homes Level 4.

As part of the council's drive to address worklessness, apprenticeship opportunities in the construction industry will be available as part of the house building programme. Young people will be able to develop new skills with on the job training.

Ends

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

Notes to editors
1. Keepmoat PLC is contracted to deliver homes in Sheldon, Handsworth and Pype Hayes. Galliford Try is delivering homes in Bartley Green and Longbridge.
2. Funding for the Initiative was announced as part of the Building Britain's Future Pledge in June 2009.
3. The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England. Our vision is about creating opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford, in places they want to live and for local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.
4. The Public Land Initiative aims to bring publicly owned housing sites forward using a different approach to procurement and delivery. The land will be offered  to developers from the HCA Delivery Partner Panel on a deferred receipt basis, the sites will be de-risked as far as possible and the land owner will offer to take a share in sales loss should there be a need to reduce the sales prices when the homes are completed.

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