Property round-up: Stewart Milne Homes; Onward; Hollins Homes; Nurtur Student Living; Regional Property Solutions; RLB

CGI of Astbury Park scheme

Stewart Milne Homes has acquired a 35-acre site in Congleton to create a new community in Cheshire.

The housebuilder bought the land from Leigh-based land promotion firm, Ainscough Strategic Land (ASL). The sale represents the first phase of its Somerford Green landholding to Stewart Milne Homes, with further disposals now in the pipeline.

Located between the town centre and Radnor Wood, Stewart Milne Homes will build 178 homes to meet the rising demand for new properties in the area.

Construction will begin shortly at the new Astbury Park development, which will feature a range of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom family and executive homes – as well as 32 affordable homes.

These homes will be set within a carefully designed development with plentiful green space, including the retention of existing woodland, with two pedestrian footpaths and segregated cycleways linking the development to the surrounding community and facilities which will be delivered as part of the overall masterplan.

Cheshire East Council granted planning permission for the site in November 2021, ,and the first phase of works will begin this month with an official sales launch planned in the spring.

The selection of homes at Astbury Park are the first from the Scottish housebuilder’s exclusive new Villages range to be built in England.

Under plans from Ainscough Strategic Land approved in 2017, the wider 60-acre Congleton site has outline permission for 275 houses, commercial and leisure space. Stewart Milne Homes’s Astbury Park development is the first part of the scheme to move forward, with the initial phase of homes expected to complete in late 2022.

Paul Challinor, managing director at Stewart Milne Homes, said: “The acquisition of the Congleton site marks a significant milestone in our vision to create a vibrant new community which has been designed with our ‘people shaped places’ approach.”

David O’Reilly, managing director at ASL, said the company will be bringing a nine-acre site to the market next month with consent for 100 homes and a 15-acre plot for approximately 250,000 square feet of employment space.

The transaction value was not revealed. Prew Lumley from Squire Patton Boggs advised ASL. John Broadbent of Broadbent Consulting was the land agent. The Manchester office of Avison Young acted as planning consultants. Gary Halman was the landowner’s agent. Philip Gray, of Browne Jacobson, advised Stewart Milne Homes.


An Onward/Kingsmead scheme in Garston, Liverpool

Manchester housing association Onward is set to deliver more affordable homes in the Wirral through its latest land & build package deal signed with local SME housebuilder Kingsmead Homes.

Kingsmead Homes will shortly commence full construction on 28 affordable apartments for Onward, next door to Seacombe Ferry in Wallasey, with landscaping and undercroft parking included as part of the development works.

Mersey View, a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments across four storeys, is scheduled for completion by summer 2023, with all homes to be made available at affordable rent.

Funding for the scheme is being delivered through Onward’s strategic partnership with Homes England, which was announced last year and will enable the organisation to build 5,000 new homes by 2030 – with 3,208 being delivered directly through the partnership.

As one of the largest registered providers of social housing in the North West, Onward owns and manages more than 35,000 properties across the region, with 1,399 of those in the Wirral.

Stephen Heverin, director of growth & regeneration at Onward, said: “We’re looking forward to breaking ground on our Mersey View development, which will provide new and high quality homes in a prime Wirral location at an affordable rate for local people.

“As an organisation committed to spending our Northern Pound more effectively, we’re excited to be working with Kingsmead Homes once again. Our experienced local contractors have a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise, which really benefits our projects.”

Onward has worked with Sefton -based SME housebuilder Kingsmead Homes for more than 14 years, on a range of affordable housing developments across the Liverpool City Region.

Craig McKibbin, managing director at Kingsmead Homes, said: “This will be our 11th scheme with the team at Onward, and one that we are really excited and proud to be involved with. This new development is in a prominent position at the Seacombe Ferry Terminal and will form a truly recognisable landmark from the river and Liverpool waterfront.”


The HGP and Hollins Homes team

Manchester-based Hollins Homes has received a £15m boost to support its pipeline delivery.

The funding is from London-based HGP (Housing Growth Partnership) under its regional growth initiative, and is part of its newly-created £300m property fund.

HGP will provide a four-year equity commitment of £15m to support Hollins deliver residential developments across the North West, as well as helping secure positions on allocated land.

HGP has provided Hollins with equity commitments of £6.9m since 2018, across five development schemes totalling 282 units.

Following the latest commitment, Hollins is well placed to meet its target of delivering more than 150 units per annum from 2024 onwards.

Stephen Goodman, Hollins Homes chief executive, said: “HGP have long been a trusted partner of Hollins and with this funding package now secured we can proceed with increased confidence in implementing our medium to long term site acquisition and growth plans.”

John McKeon, investment director of HGP, said: “HGP has supported Hollins for four years and been extremely impressed with the schemes delivered and the quality of the management and operational team.

“It is with businesses like Hollins in mind, with strong capabilities, an ambition to increase their output and a strong local community focus, that we have developed the Regional Growth Initiative.”

Hollins Homes was established in 2015 as the housebuilding arm of the land promotion company Hollins Strategic Land, which was founded in 2007.


Canterbury Hall

Nurtur Student Living has sold out its Preston site six months ahead of schedule, having only acquired the property last year.

One hundred per cent of its student lettings for the 2022/23 academic year are now reserved at Canterbury Hall.

This follows a £65,000 refurbishment of the social spaces, including a new roof terrace, study areas, games station, and a cinema room.

Mark Robinson, managing director, said: “As we resurface from the struggles of COVID-19, the future looks extremely bright for Nurtur Student Living.”

Canterbury Hall is the operator’s second building, having opened its flagship site Nurtur House in Sheffield in 2020.

Nurtur Student Living’s workforce has increased by 100% in the past 12 months, as it strives towards ambitions for an 11-property portfolio in the next five years.


6 The Downs, Altrincham

YourPrime Recruitment is relocating from offices close to Manchester Airport to self-contained ground floor offices at 6 The Downs, Altrincham.

It has taken the 720 sq ft accommodation on a multi-year lease, inclusive of rates and utilities.

Mark Clinch, managing director, YourPrime Recruitment, said: “We wanted to be based in a town centre and Altrincham has a buzz and appeal for new staff we wish to attract.

“It has become a real business hub with all the amenities our growing team and clients could possibly want from bars, cafes, restaurants, gyms and plenty of outlets for retail therapy. But the offices had to meet our criteria which are spot on in terms of high-spec accommodation, super fast broadband and location, near the motorway network, within a 10 minute walk of the train station and tram stop, which makes commuting a breeze.”

Daniel Lee, of Regional Property Solutions, who acted for landlord, Eden Prop Co, said: “These offices let on the second viewing reflecting the increasing attraction of suburban town centres that we are experiencing as we return to normality and those looking to escape the isolation of the last two years.”


Redesigned RLB office

North West property and management consultant, Rider Levett Bucknall, is evolving its working environment to create an exciting and vibrant space, tempting its team back into its Kings Street, Manchester office.

With the past two years forcing businesses to look at the way they work, RLB has taken a proactive approach to provide alternative workspaces that bring the comforts of home into the office. Installing new soft furnishings and space for informal meetings and break outs, the team has removed desk areas and included a new functional space, incorporating new Adaptable Meeting Room technology (AMR) by Optima.

The RLB design team worked with Optima to design new work zones that provide a multitude of new work and breakout areas to suit varying tasks or work styles. These spaces were enhanced with the latest digital, wireless conferencing technology provided by local furniture suppliers and audio visual specialists at Penketh Group.

Stephen Gillingham, managing partner for RLB North West and Northern Ireland, said: “We are aware that the last two years has completely changed the way most people work, and want to work. We have listened to our team and responded with a new office space that is adaptable by creating great spaces to collaborate, socialise and work privately, including safer post-COVID environments for all our staff.”