Metro Mayor issues £15m call to housing developers

A £15m call has gone out to developers from Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to come forward with projects to build up to 4,000 new homes. Tony McDonough reports

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram says brownfield sites could alleviate the housing crisis

 

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is putting out a £15m call to developers to help deliver up to 4,000 new homes on brownfield sites across Liverpool city region.

Last week the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) unveiled a £34m plan to build up to 4,000 new homes on brownfield sites in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.

In July 2020 the city region secured £45m from the Government’s Brownfield Land Fund to deliver previously-developed, or brownfield, land suitable for at least 3,000 and preferably 4,000 homes.

The money will be used for site remediation and other measures required to make sites ready for development. So far, around £11m has been invested into projects which will deliver 886 homes.

Now the CA is looking to spend the remaining £34m from the Brownfield Land Fund. This will be divided three ways: local authority-led land acquisitions; local authority-led projects; and private sector development.

Out of that £34m the CA has now allocated £15m for private sector projects and is asking developers to come forward with their plans. Any private sector or charitable body, or registered provider, may apply.

Full details for prospective applicants are available on the LCRCA website here. In general terms, however, applications will need to align with LCRCA’s ambitions for the city region’s housing offer, as set out in its Housing Investment Strategy.

The aim of the Strategy is to diversify the housing offer and attract new residents and in doing so, support economic growth. The strategy also seeks to ensure that housing contributes to the city region’s net zero carbon objectives. Applicants should familiarise themselves with the strategy’s objectives and criteria which include:

  • Delivering high quality, high value residential development in Halton, St Helens and south Knowsley.
  • Prompting higher density family accommodation in Liverpool city centre, North Docks and Wirral Left Bank through the use of innovative design.
  • Delivering multi-tenure housing in North Liverpool, South Sefton and North Knowsley.
  • Securing residential opportunities around town centres, creating accessible and sustainable places.
  • Delivering a high degree of energy efficiency in new properties (not less than EPC Band B).
  • Looking to ensure that homes are accessible or capable of being adapted to meet the occupants’ changing needs.
  • Ensuring housing development is of high-quality design.

The LCRCA is keen to see the use of exemplar design, including looking towards the Future Homes standard and to encourage the use of Modern Methods of Construction. Mr Rotheram said: “For too many people across our region, the chance to own a home of their own remains out of reach.

“To tackle the housing crisis and help more people realise their home ownership ambitions, we need to take serious action to get more homes built across our region. When I was elected, I promised to prioritise brownfield sites for housebuilding and have been working hard to make that a reality.

“Last year we spent £11m to help deliver almost 900 houses on brownfield sites. We have now approved another £34m that should help take the total to almost 4,000 new homes for people across our region.”

Cllr Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region CA Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, added: “We have ambitious plans to ensure that we tackle the housing shortage and deliver a great choice of high-quality homes, right across the city region.”

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