Case study: Developing homes on a former industrial site

Hull’s Citywide Developer Partnership has broad-ranging objectives that include not only the delivery of new homes, but also the provision of training and employment opportunities to help improve the potential of local people and places. Delivery of the programme’s overall target - to generate up to 4,000 new homes over 13 years – is in the hands of a consortium of developers, known as KSHP, which comprises housebuilders Keepmoat Homes and Strata Homes, affordable housing provider Home Group and commercial property business Priority Space, working in partnership with Hull City Council.

The partnership allows difficult sites to be brought forward collaboratively, the backing of the council giving KSHP the confidence to take on challenging opportunities and acting as a catalyst to deliver training and apprenticeship opportunities through the housebuilding process.  

Keepmoat last month completed its latest project under the partnership, which involved redeveloping the former Greif Industrial Estate with 162 homes and, at the same time, changing market perceptions and improving life chances in a deprived area of the city.

Challenges

The 4.7 hectare industrial estate faced a number of barriers to development, including significant remediation costs due to its former factory use, expensive foundations solutions due to the area’s ground conditions and large flood mitigation measures. These high costs – alongside the restricted sales values of the local market – meant there was a £1.7 million gap in the scheme’s financial viability, which needed to be bridged to ensure delivery of the site.

Solutions

In order to overcome the viability gap, Keepmoat worked with the council to secure public funding, with Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) investing the £1.7 million needed to help bring forward the scheme.

The development, called Alexandra Gardens, incorporates 47 new homes for social rent by the council. The overall housing mix includes a variety of two and three bedroom house types, reflecting local market demand and facilitating access for young people and first time buyers. The scheme, created by Keepmoat working with architect JTP, also has a central open space, which provides a hub for the community.

Alexandra Gardens

KSHP’s dedicated social and economic impact manager worked with the council, local colleges and sub-contractors to create opportunities for local people. It has been estimated that the development has generated more than £2.7m of social value in all, its achievements including the employment of 12 full time apprentices and the safeguarding of a further 94 full time equivalent jobs. A community fund set up by Keepmoat has invested in and supported a range of local charities and community groups.

Councillor John Black, portfolio holder for housing at Hull City Council, has spoken of the part the partnership plays in enabling transformation. “The council is delivering its ambition to offer a wider choice of good quality affordable housing and transform neighbourhoods into attractive and sustainable residential areas,” he said. “Alexandra Gardens ticks all the boxes, including provision of council homes for rent, which is integral to our new build programme.”


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