Will Wirral Waters modular homes still go ahead?

On Thursday, Peel L&P’s joint venture partner on a £55m modular homes project at Wirral Waters collapsed into administration so will the next phase of the scheme – 50 new homes – still go ahead? Tony McDonough reports

Wirral Waters
Peel L&P and House by Urban Splash had planned to build another 50 modular homes at Wirral Waters

 

Peel L&P has spoken for the first time following the collapse of its joint venture partner on a £55m modular homes scheme at Wirral Waters.

Earlier this year House by Urban Splash delivered the first 30 factory-built modular homes at East Flat in Wirral Waters. Earlier this week it was announced a planning application had been submitted for a fourth 50 homes.

Its joint venture with Peel L&P, owner of Liverpool Waters, House by Urban Splash had planned to build a total of 351 homes at the docklands location. However, on Thursday House by Urban Splash collapsed into administration.

House by Urban Splash, which de-merged from the wider Urban Splash property group in 2019, was owned by Urban Splash shareholders, Japanese modular firm Sekisui and Homes England.

It employed a total of 187 people. As a result of the administration 160 people have been made redundant. The bulk of those job losses are at the factory in Alfreton in Derbyshire where the homes are constructed before being installed on-site. Administrators Teneo blamed “operational issues” at the factory for the collapse.

In a statement on Thursday they said: “We will now look to stabilise the US House Group by providing a platform to complete certain developments and explore sale options for the factory and the other development sites.”

Other developments are located at Port Loop in Birmingham, New Islington in Manchester and Grappenhall Woods in Warrington. But the big question here in Merseyside is will the Wirral Waters project still go ahead?

Liverpool residential agency City Residential has been tasked with selling the 30 homes that are already built so that process will continue. However, one of the selling points of the homes is that they would be part of a wider community that would also include landscaping. So will the rest of the project still go ahead?

In a statement to LBN, Richard Mawdsley, director of development for Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, said: “Our immediate thoughts are for Urban Splash’s factory staff who now face redundancy.

“For our part, we are currently working through the implications of the news for the East Float development. The first 30 of the modular homes have been delivered to site and practical completion is due imminently.

“This news does not impact on any other plans for Wirral Waters, where the pace of delivery remains high with a range of projects on site now, including two other residential projects within the Northbank neighbourhood.”

Urban Splash acquired the modular arm of SIG for £1 in 2018. This deal included SIG’s factory in Alfreton and this led to the formation of House by Urban Splash. In 2020 Sekisui bought a stake in the business and most recently it held 48%, as did the Urban Splash shareholders. Homes England held the remaining 4%.

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