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Architects vie for £1bn windfall

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Minister names 270 housing schemes shortlisted for Kickstart cash

Up to 270 stalled housing projects are in line to receive a share of almost £1 billion of rescue funding under the government’s Kickstart programme.

On Monday, housing minister John Healey named the full list of developments vying for the £925 million Kickstart budget. All the mothballed projects now have to prove their ability to start on site by the end of the year. Among the schemes in the running include a raft of projects for Urban Splash – such as its Saxton project in Leeds by Union North, the Lakeshore development in Bristol by Acanthus Ferguson Mann and the £180 million Walsall Waterfront by Austrian architects MOH.

Elsewhere, schemes by Studio Egret West in Clapham and Peckham – both for the Cathedral Group – have also made it into the final round. Practice founder Christophe Egret said: ‘We are delighted. It’s one barrier removed to help the developer finance the scheme.’

The government has emphasised that the projects, which could create up to 22,400 new homes, still have to go through a ‘rigorous final assessment to determine which get the green light’. Healey also reiterated that the money, in most instances, will have to be repaid.

He said: ‘This is not a handout to developers. There are tough terms to this deal, including the repayment of loans within five years. And only builders who accept a realistic current market price for their land are eligible.’

But one architect, who has had a scheme in south London shortlisted, has already voiced concerns. He said: ‘This money will prime the pump a little, but the real issue is that the government will bring the costs right down to the bottom. Because of the terms, everyone is going to have to work that much harder now and everything is going to be pared down.’

The shortlist was cut down from more than 670 initial bids. A second wave of bidding for a further tranche of funds is expected to start in September.

Shortlisted projects include

  • Stanion, an urban extension to Corby, which in the long term is planned to deliver 1,200 homes. Infrastructure is in place but housing development has stalled. There are three shortlisted bids from developers seeking to start development in this area - two of which are at Code Level 3 and two Building for Life Silver.
  • An 82-home scheme in Macclesfield has bid for funding to deliver a mixture of sale and low cost home ownership homes. The scheme is seeking to achieve Code for Sustainable homes Level 6.
  • Crayford Town Hall in Bexley, a site which is no longer required by the local authority and is suitable for housing development. This could deliver up to 145 homes, in a mixture of sale, affordable rent and low cost home ownership. This is expected to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and Building for Life Silver.
  • Alnwick in Northumberland, where the town centre scheme could bring forward up to 93 homes, a mixture of sale, social and intermediate rent - at Code Level 3 - that will also help to deliver town centre regeneration.
  • A scheme in north Bristol (in the Growth Point) which could deliver up to 149 homes (a mixture of sale, social rent and low cost home ownership). It will provide considerable benefits to neighbouring communities in Patchway through investment in local community facilities, which includes a new district centre and primary school. The scheme is expected to be Building for Life Silver and Ecohomes Very Good.

Where the money will go

 Region Number of Projects Amount of Investment (£’000s) Number of homes (gross)
 East of England 21 £55,171 Up to 1,675
 East Midlands 32 £113,757 Up to 2,880
 London 25 £171,221 Up to 2,981
 North East 26 £82,006 Up to 1,721
 North West 54 £134,877 Up to 3,764
 South East 26 £109,892 Up to 2,326
 South West 25 £65,792 Up to 2,121
 West Midlands 35 £109,231 Up to 2,842
 Yorkshire / Humber 26 £83,351 Up to 2,088
 Total 270 £925,299 Up to 22,398
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