500 new homes to be built at Wirral Waters

Institutional investor Pension Insurance Corporation is to fund Peel L&P and Wirral Council’s £130m project to build 500 apartments at Wirral Waters, including 100 affordable homes. Tony McDonough reports

Wirral Waters
500 homes will be built at Wirral Waters in a £130m project

 

A major institutional investor is funding a £130m project to build 500 new homes in Wirral Waters close to the River Mersey.

Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) will back Wirral Waters One that will see the construction of 500 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with an affordable housing component of 100 homes.

Working in partnership with Peel L&P and Wirral Council, PIC is the sole investor for the development of the Build-to-Rent scheme. Rents on the affordable units will be a maximum of 80% of open market value.

Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters is one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK. Worth more than £5bn over 30 years the scheme has already seen the completion of an office building for The Contact Company, a campus for Wirral Met College and a 25,000 sq ft speculative office building to provide space for SMEs.

This year will also see the completion of a number of factory-built homes at East Float, in a partnership between Peel L&P and Urban Splash. Scheduled to be ready for occupation in the spring, the Row House and Town House collection will comprise 30 homes built at a factory in the East Midlands. 

The Wirral Waters One development will use a long-term, regeneration lease structure, providing funding for the council which would not have been available from traditional structures. It will generate the secure long-term cashflows which allow PIC to match its pension payments decades into the future.

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James Whitaker, executive director of development at Peel L&P, said: “This project is a great example of partnership working that will not only deliver this development but will act as a model for other schemes in the future.

“The combination of an experienced regeneration company, a long-term investor, and a progressive local authority will deliver real value for all our collective stakeholders.”

The projects will use a range of energy efficiency and low carbon technologies to reduce carbon emissions, including solar power systems, air source heat pumps, and electric vehicle charging points.

Peel L&P will continue to engage with the Wirral Met College’s construction students for site visits, seminars, work experience and apprenticeships, enabling the students to benefit from experience on the project as we seek to create the construction workforce of the future. 

There will also be sustainable urban drainage to manage surface water from the site into the docks through the provision of rain gardens, climate tolerant planting and tree pits designed to accommodate a one in 100-year storm.

Hayley Rees, head of investment strategy at PIC, added: “Our investment in WWO is another step in the development of our purposeful investment strategy and ultimately is a model for how long-term investors can play a key role in the levelling up agenda.

“We need secure long-term cashflows to back the pensions of our 300,000 policyholders and so seek to invest in assets with a high degree of social value, because what makes sense for society helps us achieve our purpose over decades.”

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