Land for housing to be offered to communities

Liverpool City Council to offer development land and properties to organisations in local communities to stimulate growth of affordable housing. Tony McDonough reports

Former Rathbone county primary school in Kensington Fields is one of the sites


Community organisations in Liverpool will be able to acquire development sites to build affordable homes under plans revealed by Liverpool City Council.

On Friday, January 20, the city’s cabinet will be asked to adopt a Community Led Housing (CLH) Asset Disposal Policy. This aims to unlock vacant land and properties for community groups to convert into new homes.

This proposed policy echoes the ambition of the city’s Victorian and Edwardian ancestors who created the first social housing scheme in Europe and the UK’s first community-led housing group.

A report to senior councillors identifies several plots of vacant land including the site of a former school, baths and dozens of vacant houses that could be refurbished. This scheme aims to “empower” communities to design and deliver affordable homes.

Consultation sessions with CLH groups on how to implement the policy and improve the offer for affordable homes in their areas – including social rent and shared ownership – have already taken place.

Following cabinet approval, phase one of the programme will see the following seven proposed sites marketed on the CLH page of the city council’s website:

  • Lot 1 – 3 plots of vacant grassed land around Mill Street, Liverpool 8 – 2.3 acres.
  • Lot 2 – Former Rathbone School Site, Albany Road, Liverpool 7 – 0.65 acres of vacant grassed land.
  • Lot 3 – 2 plots at Netherfield Road and Anderson Street, Liverpool 5 – 2.41 acres.
  • Lot 4 – Land at Lodge Lane (former baths site), Liverpool 8 – 0.6 acres.
  • Lot 5 – 26 properties in Picton.
  • Lot 6 – 4 properties in Granby.
  • Lot 7 – 8 properties Granby.

A disposals process for phase one will be concluded over the next 12 to 18 months. Proposals for each site will be assessed on a case-by-case basis set against deliverability, best value and social value scoring checks.

Working with Breaking Ground, the city region’s community housing advisory body, a guidance document has been created in order to provide user-friendly tips for CLH groups to use to support their expression of interest and business plans.

READ MORE: 5,800 extra jobs in Liverpool by end of 2023

LBN understands it won’t simply be a case of a group necessarily having to fork out full market price for the sites. The city’s CLH Working Group will make recommendations to the Community Assets Panel on a “case-by-case basis”.

It could be the case, for example, that the council partners with an organisation in order to take a project forward. 


Cllr Sarah Doyle
Cllr Sarah Doyle, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Housing


Although the value of each site will differ, each lease will carry the same surveyor fees of £3,000 and legal fees of £2,000. Each site will also be subject to thorough due diligence and may be removed from the list if the site fails assessment and cannot be brought forward under this programme.

If phase one proves a success, the city council will look to roll out further plots of land and properties.

Cllr Sarah Doyle, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Housing, said: “I’m hugely excited at the prospect that the people of Liverpool are going to be given the opportunity to start shaping the housing offer in their own neighbourhoods.

“This proposed community-led housing policy gives them and the city council a framework to follow, and crucially the land and the properties to develop.

“If approved it will begin to unlock a number of vacant sites that have for too long blighted our communities and will eventually provide our residents new options in renting and owning their home.

“This is grassroots regeneration in action, housing shaped by the people, for the people.”

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.