Development to tackle smaller housing shortage

Work has started in Liverpool on a £6.3m development of 75 one and two-bedroom homes to tackle the shortage of smaller properties in the wake of the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.

 The land on Grovehurst Avenue in Knotty Ash is being gifted to Riverside from Liverpool City Council as part of the Mayoral pledge to deliver 5,000 new homes in Liverpool city by 2015.

The pledge is being supported by Liverpool Housing Consortium (LHC), made up of housing associations Riverside, Plus Dane Group, SLH Group and Symphony Housing Group. The consortium have submitted a proposal to support Liverpool City Council in the delivery of 1,000 new homes over three years on sites identified within the council’s Strategic Land Disposal Programme. Grovehurst Avenue is the first of these identified sites to be developed by Riverside.

Riverside’s Chief Executive Carol Matthews said: “People in Liverpool are crying out for smaller properties following the introduction of the under-occupancy charge. We are delighted to be able to assist this demand while also helping Liverpool City Council achieve its pledge.

“Through creative design some of the homes will be future proofed so we are able to convert some of the two-bedroom homes to three-bedrooms by creating an additional bedroom in the loft as demand changes.”

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Anne O’Byrne, said: “This is an important scheme, which will bring a real boost to Knotty Ash and provide local people with much-needed one and two-bedroom homes.

“At a time when bedroom tax is having such a huge impact on so many of our residents, it’s more important than ever that we have a good supply of affordable, smaller properties in Liverpool.

“I’m delighted that this scheme is now underway. It is a major investment in the area by Riverside and the latest part of our plans to work with our partners to deliver a diverse mix of housing, across the city, which meets the needs of all our communities.”

Following a competitive tender process, GB Building Solutions was awarded the £6.3m contract, and has been on-site since the start of November. The team is working closely with Riverside to develop its local supply chain, and to ensure the local community gets maximum benefit from the opportunities for work and employment created by the development.

Shaun Wordsworth, Director at GB Building Solutions said: “We are delighted to be working with Riverside to develop much needed affordable housing in this area. Our approach to delivering real benefits to the local economy impressed both Liverpool Housing Consortium (LHC) and the planners, and we’re looking forward to developing closer working relations with many suppliers in this area.”

The development will comprise 50 two-bedroom houses, two one-bedroom bungalows, three two-bedroom bungalows, four one-bedroom apartments and 16 two-bedroom apartments, all of which will be available for affordable rent.

David Croft, a director of Croft Goode Architects, the practice that has designed the new homes, said: “This development will meet the growing demand for homes with fewer bedrooms without compromising on quality. The modern homes will be constructed to the latest standards of high insulation and energy efficiency and will provide a significant boost to the local area.”

The development will be complete in January 2015.