A company co-founded by former England footballer Rio Ferdinand is backing a scheme that will see 100 affordable homes being built in the North West.
Planning permission has been given to property developer Peel Land and Property to build 500 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the 500-acre Wirral Waters site, the first in a £90 million residential scheme on the former East Float dock.
The project includes 100 affordable homes supported by Legacy, a firm created to help local authorities deliver affordable homes. It is backed by Ferdinand, current West Ham football club captain Mark Noble and former West Ham striker Bobby Zamora.
Designed by Birmingham-based practice Glenn Howells Architects, the project is due to start next summer and will form the western part of Wirral Water’s Northbank.
The project is Legacy’s first in the North West and the first to come to fruition after a 1,300-home scheme in Bedfordshire was hit by a delay earlier this year.
Under the agreement with Wirral Council, Peel will be responsible for the management of the homes for the first 10 years. For the following 40 years, the commercial risks will be transferred to the council and the council will also be responsible for letting and managing the apartments.
The design team includes Parkinson Inc, the masterplanner for Wirral Waters, along with Glenn Howells Architects, Re-form Landscape Architects and Vectos Transport Consultants with Turley as planner.
Cllr Angela Davies, cabinet member for jobs and growth at Wirral Council, said: “Creating new homes on brownfield sites has never been more important. Huge government housebuilding targets mean we have to take every opportunity to encourage, enable and drive landowners to develop brownfield sites and build the homes Wirral residents need.”
“We have been clear with every developer and landowner in this borough who has planning permissions in place: we will support you every step of the way, but we need you to build the homes you promised,” added Davies. “The Wirral Waters One proposal demonstrates just how serious we are in our determination to get brownfield sites developed.”
The council’s backing of the residential element of Wirral Waters follows planning applications for offices and a £20 million maritime knowledge hub. At the same time as putting in plans for the residential element at East Float, planner Turley also submitted proposals for 400,000 sq ft of offices.
The 30-year regeneration project aims to rejuvenate the inner Wirral and create up to 20,000 new jobs and 14,000 new homes.
Richard Mawdsley, director of development at Peel Land and Property, said: “The first residential quarter at Wirral Waters is becoming a reality. Wirral Waters One will incorporate state of the art residential design and innovation which will lead the way in making Wirral Waters an incredible place to live.”
Other residential-led schemes along the neighbouring Northbank area include the development of 347 modular homes by Peel and Urban Splash.
DMZ is glad to see one of Legacy’s projects finally come to fruition. It will be interesting to see if other footballer-cum-property developers, of which there are many, go down the affordable housing route.