Liverpool to develop vacant plots
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development, Local Government
Liverpool City Council has launched a project aimed at bringing vacant land back into use for small-scale housing projects.
The city’s property and asset management team has drawn up an initial list of 16 council-owned sites, some of which have been vacant for decades.
The plots will be marketed to individuals or groups who may be interested in small-build housing developments.
The plans aim to bring some of the city’s vacant land back into meaningful use and stimulate growth in areas where little interest has been shown in housing development for many years. Most of the sites previously contained housing which was demolished.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said; “We are taking every possible step to drive forward housing growth in this city. A big part of this is making the most of our assets, so we can support the delivery of new homes in areas which need it most. At the same time, we want to tackle the problem of vacant, derelict land which blights our communities.
“We have a number of sites which are suitable for small schemes. Making them available to builders or individuals who want to build their own home makes eminent sense, as part of our wider work to provide affordable housing in every part of our city and attract people back into our communities.
“We will now be inviting submissions from individuals or organisations who want to work with us to deliver schemes. We are looking for projects of quality design, which can be delivered quickly, and which will complement the area in which they are located.
“I have pledged to deliver 5,000 new homes for our city by 2015 and this is the type of innovative approach which will be so important in achieving that target.”
The 16 brownfield sites range from 286sqm to 9622sqm in size, As such, the majority are suitable for between one and five houses. Three bigger sites in Croxteth, which formerly held tower blocks, are suitable for larger custom-build proposals.
The council will shortly be advertising the available land and contacting small builders, community organisations, social housing providers, charities and people who wish to build their own house, to invite expressions of interest.
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “We have talked extensively with small-build organisations in this the city – and we know that there is certainly an appetite and demand for these types of schemes.
“We want to respond to that, and identifying these initial sites is a major step in the right direction. I’m confident that it will help get a range of small-build schemes off the ground. This is a pilot project, and if it is a success we’ll be looking to bring forward more sites in the future. We’ll also be working with Liverpool organisation Comtechsa to promote the use of local architects and builders where possible.
“These plans will help bring a new lease of life to areas of the city which have been in desperate need of regeneration for many years. It will also help small builders turn their ideas into reality and empower communities in the redevelopment of their neighbourhoods. Most importantly, it will allow us to transform vacant land into the high quality, affordable housing which this city so badly needs.”