Social housing was pioneered in Liverpool 150 years ago and later this week, senior councillors will be asked to approve a scheme for 105 new social and affordable homes. Tony McDonough reports
This week is likely to see the go-ahead for Liverpool’s first council houses for more than 30 years.
On Friday, March 5, the council’s cabinet will be asked to green light a scheme at Denford Road in Dovecot to deliver 105 homes in partnership with Merseyside developer Lovell and local registered provider Riverside.
They willl be a mix of social and affordable homes. An affordable home is one where the rent is no more than 80% of the local market rent whereas rents in social or council houses are typically lower. It has not yet been decided how they will be divided up.
The project highlights the increased emphasis that the council has placed on housing delivery in recent months, in terms of achieving the objectives of the Liverpool City Plan, and prioritising its role as a housing enabler. Liverpool was a pioneer of social housing 150 years ago.
Liverpool City Council is also working in partnership with Homes England and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to develop an outline planning application for Stonebridge Cross in Croxteth.
A report at the same cabinet meeting is seeking approval to allow the city council to enter into funding agreements to progress pre-planning survey work in order to produce a masterplan for the site.
The proposed scheme seeks to align with the city council’s emerging housing strategy and housing capital programme by collectively setting out to deliver transformational housing change.
It is anticipated that a full business case for Stonebridge Cross will be presented back to the council’s cabinet this autumn, after which work will begin on preparing a planning application.
The city council’s recently formed a Strategic Housing Delivery Team (SHDT) which will oversee the project and lead a comprehensive consultation with stakeholders and the local community.
The authority is already working with Homes England and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on the two-year long remediation of the development zone next to the city’s Festival Gardens. A planning application for 1,500 ‘eco-friendly’ homes on this site is expected to be submitted in early 2023.
Cllr Barry Kushner, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “It will be a landmark moment for Liverpool City Council to green light its first house building scheme for 30 years – and crucially these plans realise our ambition to provide high quality housing.
“As a council we are signing up to the Healthy Homes Act that guarantees energy efficient and lifetime homes and the properties at Denford Road will meet those standards. We will make sure that we create jobs, apprentices and business opportunities for sub-contractors for local people.
“A lot of work has been undertaken to scope out the housing needs of Liverpool in recent years, and the potential developments next to Festival Gardens and at Stonebridge Cross underline the council’s ambition to make a positive difference in our housing market.”