Broadacres unveil major house building plans
Published by Neil Shaefer for Broadacres in Housing and also in Communities
A North Yorkshire housing association has unveiled plans to build thousands of new homes across the region, after acquiring a majority stake in a property development company.
Broadacres Housing Association is now the main shareholder in a company called Mulberry Homes Yorkshire.
The company’s first major scheme will see almost 1,000 homes being built on the outskirts of Thirsk – at a development known as Sowerby Gateway.
Work will also start soon on an 85-home development at Leeming Bar and there are various other schemes in the pipeline as well.
The properties built by the company will be of mixed tenure, with the majority of homes being sold on the open market and the rest being passed to Broadacres for affordable housing, in the form of rent or shared ownership. The possibility of letting properties at market rent will also be explored
This comes on the back of Housing Minister Mark Prisk's call in September 2012 for housing associations to be bold when crossing tenures and serving a wider demographic than their traditional customer base.
Steve Towers, Chairman of Mulberry Homes and Managing Director of Broadacres Housing Association, said: “A major part of our strategy at Broadacres is to provide more homes for sale and rent in North Yorkshire.
“Through this company we will be able to deliver many more developments and deliver on our commitment to providing affordable homes for local people in a county where the average house price is almost eight times the median regional income.
“Mulberry Homes will build luxury properties in premium locations which have the very highest standards of design, build quality and sustainability; creating new communities across North Yorkshire that can be enjoyed by generations.
“This is a significant investment on our part and any profits we make will be ploughed directly back into the Association to ensure we continue to ensure that our existing properties meet both the needs and aspirations of our customers.”
At Sowerby Gateway, a 56-hectare site is to be redeveloped into a mixed use development. This will comprise residential and commercial space, shops and a neighbourhood centre, along with land allocated for community use, including playing fields, allotments and new primary school.
In the first phase, 107 new homes will be built, with foundation work now underway.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is providing grant funding of £3.5 million towards the development, through the Get Britain Building programme.
Craig Johns, Area manager at the Homes and Communities Agency said: “The announcement about Mulberry Homes is great news for local communities in North Yorkshire because it will ensure that people will have more choice in where they can afford to live without having to leave an area where housing has become increasingly expensive.
“Our loan of £3.5 million in Sowerby will ensure that at least 107 new homes, some of which will be affordable, are made available to local people and people who want to live in the Thirsk area.”