Building homes at scale doesn’t just boost numbers – it creates an opportunity to create sustainable places with a range of housing options and tailored infrastructure. Delivering large-scale housing and regeneration is challenging and that is why a more strategic and collaborative approach is required.
Partnerships, which bring together the appropriate skills, resources, knowledge and experience, can result in more successful developments and better outcomes for local communities.
The value of joining forces is demonstrated by the success of the strategic partnerships launched by Homes England in 2018. These have played a pivotal role in the delivery of affordable housing. To date, Homes England has signed 23 partnerships with 27 housing associations, including Places for People, delivering around £1.8 billion of grant investment and over 40,000 additional affordable homes.
To deliver our placemaking aims, we have been focusing on collaboration for many years both with public sector organisations and those operating in the private sector. Working alongside strategic partners has allowed us to combine expertise and play a key role in delivering well designed, sustainable, mixed-tenure communities across the UK. These include large-scale development and regeneration projects such as Smith’s Dock in the North East, Brooklands in Milton Keynes, Park Hill in Sheffield, Port Loop in Birmingham, and East Wick + Sweetwater in East London.
Increasing housing choice
Over the years we have developed successful long term partnerships, such as that with Urban Splash, together we regenerated urban places to create thriving communities. We continuously seek opportunities to collaborate and this has resulted in two new partnerships in recent months, which will deliver thousands of homes in the coming years. These include a national framework agreement with Countryside Properties plc to accelerate the delivery of mixed-tenure developments.
Under the agreement, we will combine our expertise in creating high-quality homes and places, which provide opportunities for communities to thrive. It is anticipated that up to 10,000 homes will be created over the next 10 years right across the UK.
The first project to be progressed under the framework is in Lower Herne village, helping to create a thriving new community in Kent. The plans comprise 800 new homes, including 240 affordable properties for rental and shared ownership, together with community facilities, new parkland and allotments on the site of the former Strode Farm.
With the first homes planned to be released in 2023, the Master Plan and Design Code proposals for the site are currently under consideration by Canterbury City Council.
Sustainably repurposing land
We have also formed National Places LLP - a joint venture with National Grid Property Holdings Ltd. This will see us transform up to 40 surplus sites currently within the ownership of National Grid.
The partnership follows a competitive tender process which recognised our affordable housing track record and commitment to social value.
Initial plans for the next five years involve 13 sites, which will be turned into sustainable, neighbourhoods, bringing forward more than 900 homes. A planning application for the first development has already been submitted. Located in Stony Stratford, a market town close to Milton Keynes, this will comprise 24 new homes of mixed tenure.
Joint ventures and partnerships are crucial to make a greater difference to local communities and addressing the housing crisis. Sharing insights, knowledge and resources can help to unlock value across the housing supply chain and create opportunities for new delivery models that can help us to build at scale.
By working together across both the private and public sectors, there is the potential to create high quality developments which more provide more housing choice and communities that are sustainable and accessible for all.
The right housing partnerships deliver a whole solution which is greater than the sum of its parts
Group Executive Director for Developments, Scott Black, explores how the right housing partnerships deliver a whole solution which is greater than the sum of its parts
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