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Kier-Kent land transfer deal 'a national first'

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Kier-Kent land transfer deal 'a national first'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

Kier-Kent land transfer deal 'a national first' Kier-Kent land transfer deal 'a national first'

Kent County Council has struck a groundbreaking land transfer deal with Kier Property that will see 150 new homes built.

The Kier-Kent deal is one of the first of its kind in the country to get off the drawing board and is seen as providing a national template for others to follow.

Following the completion of the land transfer, Kier will seek planning permission to build 152 new homes on three sites in the county with a mix of tenures to meet local needs. As part of the deal, Kier will fund and develop the sites before leasing the homes to a registered provider.

Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter, said: "This is just the kind of deal that needs to be cracked to get Britain building. Through an innovative land transfer, 152 new homes will now be built for local people, and local jobs and apprenticeships will be created.

“By harnessing its assets effectively, the council will also benefit from a long-term income stream which can be reinvested in local services. With many developments currently stalled across the country, this is a groundbreaking scheme for Kent which gets local people working and local housing moving. I have no doubt the approach will be replicated around the country."

Director of development and affordable housing at Kier, Dennis Seal, said: “This new development and approach to housing provision will significantly improve the housing supply in Kent whilst guaranteeing an attractive return for the investor.”

Commenting on the project, Kier Property managing director, Nigel Turner, said: “The Kier team has brokered a highly innovative development that is being watched closely by other local authorities and registered providers. We see this offer as creating a modest scale solution to meeting housing need and we are keen to roll this out with other public and private sector clients.”

The long-term investment is provided by a fund that seeks to invest pension funds/monies into affordable housing projects to provide stable returns. The opportunities presented by developments such as the Kier–Kent initiative are becoming increasingly attractive as a low-risk source of regular income from inflation-linked rents.

Kier is currently involved in similar discussions with other local authorities, county councils and private land owners to use this innovative, institutional investor-backed model to build thousands of homes across the UK.

The Government’s housing strategy ‘Laying the Foundations’, estimated that 232,000 new homes need to be built every year for the next 20 years and schemes such as the Kier-Kent initiative could offer a potential solution to help meet the demand for new homes.

The development will also attract significant investment in the local area, creating new employment opportunities and apprentice places. Kier is committed to ensuring that project funding is recycled within the local community with at least 66% of funding to be spent on SMEs within 30 miles of the site. Clients benefit from the consistency, quality and value for money offered by a major contractor combined with local delivery teams.

This initiative also responds to the challenge identified in the Kent Forum Housing Strategy to secure the delivery of new homes and the priority to ensure that housing in the county is fit for the future, delivers for Kent families and keeps our economy moving.
Local communities stand to benefit from the Government’s New Homes Bonus that provides councils with additional funding following the completion of new house building projects.

In a separate development, using the same funding model, Kier is reviewing options for new homes on land owned by Kier in Ashford. In total, the two proposals will deliver 260 new homes for people in Kent.

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