A developer who has taken over a prominent Manchester city centre scheme with no affordable housing will now deliver properties for shared ownership.
Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, will deliver the final phase of Islington Wharf in Ancoats after buying the site from Waterside Places.
Planning permission for 106 one and two-bedroom flats in two towers, 11 and 16 storeys high, on the corner of Old Mill Street and Great Ancoats Street was granted last year.
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Manchester council’s decision exempted Waterside Places from either building cheaper homes onsite or paying a sum of money to provide some elsewhere.
This is because the valuation of the land preceded the local authority’s affordable housing policy, meaning it does not legally apply.
Waterside Places, a joint venture between Muse Developments and the Canal and River Trust, had also received more than £16m in taxpayer loans from regional investment funds in order to bring the brownfield site back into use.
But the firms have decided not to take on the loans and have instead handed the reins to Latimer, who will fully fund the development and have outlined plans for 54 of the properties to be offered for shared ownership.
A view of the proposed buildings and adjoining car park
(Image: Waterside Places/Ryder)
Shared ownership, where buyers purchase a share of a home while paying rent towards the remaining share, is classed as an affordable way of getting onto the property ladder.
A spokesperson for Waterside Places said: “Viability challenges are not uncommon on complex brownfield sites.
“However, through this partnership, we have been able to overcome that challenge and be able to deliver affordable housing together, on a scheme that historically could not support it.
“As a result, we are continuing to drive inward investment into this area of the city and providing opportunities to benefit the community.”
Islington Wharf site is the second major Manchester city centre acquisition by Latimer this year after the developer bought part of the former Boddingtons Brewery site.
More than 400 new homes – 60 per cent of which will be for affordable and social rent, as well as shared ownership – are proposed on a development which will neighbour The Manchester College’s new £100m campus.
An artist’s impression of what the Latimer housing development at the former Boddingtons Brewery site could look like
(Image: Clarion Housing Group)
Richard Cook, group director of development for Clarion Housing Group, said: “The acquisition of this site continues our investment in the city of Manchester and demonstrates our commitment to providing new high-quality homes across different tenures and price points to meet demand.
“Our ambition is to deliver more than 50 per cent of the new homes at Islington Wharf through shared ownership, offering an affordable way to get on the property ladder in a city that has so much to offer.
“We’re looking forward to working with Manchester council and local people to create a new community that generations to come will call home.”
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Tom Webber, senior development surveyor at Waterside Places, added: “We’re proud to exchange this deal with the Latimer team, which will accelerate the delivery of much-needed affordable homes in the heart of Manchester.
“This phase represents the last phase of development here for us and we’re looking forward to getting on site to bring forward this striking scheme of apartments.”
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