600 ‘affordable’ and supported living homes to be built at Liverpool Festival Gardens

Liverpool City Council’s strategic plan for the south Liverpool site also reveals 975 of the properties will be classed as ‘build-to-rent’  and a further 270 will be for sale. Tony McDonough reports

Construction, building
Liverpool City Council aims to oversee the building of more than 1,800 new homes at Festival Gardens


Around 600 of the initial 1,845 homes to be built at Liverpool’s Festival Gardens site will be ‘affordable’ and supported living homes.

Liverpool City Council’s strategic plan for the site also reveals 975 of the properties will be classed as ‘build-to-rent’  and a further 270 will be for sale. Around 29% will be one-bedroom homes, 37% two-bedroom, 20 three-bedroom and 14% four-bedroom.

An affordable home is where the monthly rent is no more than 80% of the local market rent. This is distinct from social housing where the rents are typically well below market rates. The council has stressed the number and profile of the homes could be subject to change.

The council has recognised the need in the city both for affordable housing, which it aims to provide through its own housing company, Foundations, and higher-end properties. These are seen as necessary to increase the number homes in the top Council Tax band which provide the council with more revenue to spend on essential services.

Last week it was announced that a £9.9m grant from the £450m Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme, via Homes England, will allow essential remediation work to take place at the site in south Liverpool, location of the 1984 International Garden Festival.

There are ambitious wider plans for the site which also includes 350,000 sq ft of leisure space and a new ferry terminal, with a total development value of around £700m.

In January, Liverpool City Council announced a temporary closure to the public of the 100-acre former International Garden Festival site to allow contractors Willmott Dixon to drill several bore holes to determine what lies beneath the gardens.

Construction is expected to begin on-site in the spring with the first homes being available by 2022.

Sir Edward Lister, chairman of Homes England, said: “We are determined to use all the resources available to us to make homes happen across England – so I’m thrilled our funding means work can move forward rapidly at this historic site, providing homes for hundreds of families.

“And with Homes England and combined authority experts now working side by side, we expect to further accelerate the construction of new houses across the region.”

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