“We need to build 2000 homes in the next 5 years.”
When I am talking to Local Authorities across London about their targets and needs these are the type of figures they are wrestling with, and sometimes the numbers can be much higher. Right now, housing starts and completions are in the property and construction press, and in the mainstream press with regular announcements of new commitments, promises of new funding and also criticism of under delivery.
The Mayor’s target of 65,000 homes in London per year with 50% affordable presents an excellent target but can also be very challenging for Councils to respond to and achieve.
With huge numbers on waiting lists and in temporary housing, addressing the accommodation needs of Londoners seems to be one of the hottest subjects in town. With Councils under pressure from all sides to deliver more and spend less, getting a housing scheme from a strategic plan, through to site and then occupied by residents can take years.
So after a Council has; identified a need, found a suitable site, procured the site if necessary, engaged with planning, and the local community, applied for grants, dealt with the GLA and government compliance rules, agreed a workable tenure mix; only then may they actually have some head space to start thinking how best to procure and build the scheme that they may already have put years of work into.
It is at this point that Wates Residential can assist and lift some of the burden in turning an outline business case into a developed proposal. The team has huge experience in delivering residential schemes of all types across London and beyond from 40 storey high rises to more suburban schemes of 2 & 3 storeys, and with numbers of units from 30 – 300.
One quick and easy way to engage with our team of experts is through the Scape Framework. Through this public sector framework Clients can engage Wates Residential quickly on any scheme valued £10m to £50m throughout the UK. Scape can provide lots of the social value benefits that Local Authorities are looking for such as local employment and utilisation of local supply chains and SME’s. For myself, the biggest benefit and USP for engaging Wates via Scape is the speed that we can commence plus the free of charge feasibility service we can offer. We can have a discussion one day and commence a feasibility the following week. The aims of the feasibility can be tailored to the project or the Client needs, and its overall goal is to provide a proposal with professional advice on the costs, programme, buildability, design and risks associated with a project. This provides a clear base line for Officers to confirm funding requirements to Councillors and provides a clear route map of the next steps for moving the scheme forward.
Wates Residential is currently in different stages of design development and pre-construction with four London Boroughs via the Scape procurement route, for housing schemes which together have the potential to provide over 500 homes for Londoners.
As I’ve mentioned already, increasingly we are supporting clients with actions and ways to get housing projects delivered at pace. As our success increases, I’m getting some positive feedback about our proactive and honest approach which enables projects to progress. If you have schemes you want to get moving in 2020, feel free to contact me if you want some advice and a chat over a coffee. I’m happy to share our lessons learned and introduce you to the Residential team so that we can work together to deliver the homes Londoners needs.
Alex Jefferson, Regional Business Director, Scape South East