Our development at Mon Bank in Newport, South Wales, is one of the most exciting projects currently in progress. Covering a 52 acre site sheer size isn’t the only reason it commands attention. Bringing Wales’ first Help to Buy scheme on-stream has been a big challenge due to a combination of bad weather and the extent of the remediation required before a brick could be laid. It has required an innovative and cooperative approach, with Redrow working in partnership with other agencies and stakeholders to deliver a successful scheme.
Previously owned by Network Rail and historically used as railway sidings, the site had been redundant for many years. Before any work could begin, scrub vegetation had to be cleared and protected wildlife species relocated, we then undertook significant remediation and following dynamic compaction of the ground, along with the demolition and replacement of a bridge over the railway, we embarked on a substantial programme to construct the development’s required infrastructure including a sustainable urban drainage system (S.U.D.S.) and almost 2km of offsite foul drainage all within a 12 month period. We also built the biggest show village in the area, a facility which has helped us achieve outstanding sales to date – 10% over and above similar local developments.
Mon Bank is also notable for our investment in landscaping and open areas; we are establishing generous play and amenity spaces along with a tree-lined central boulevard through the heart of the development. When it opens in 2019, it will consist of 575 homes ranging from apartments through to four-bedroom houses, and with over £2.7 million being contributed by ourselves towards education, social housing, leisure and transport, it is sure to remain a desirable and popular place to live.
Regeneration is something that many authorities around the UK are striving to achieve, and Moston in North Manchester is an excellent example of how we are able to co-operate and partner with councils to help achieve their housing strategies.
The 25 acres, split over six sites, were previously occupied by vacant terraced houses that Manchester City Council was struggling to sell. It demolished the units while retaining established road layouts and entered into an equity loan scheme with ourselves; we took a 75% stake while the council took 25%. This structured Joint Venture working with the landowner and the local authority removed the need for land payment.
These traditionally styled properties have been offered for sale to existing local residents as a priority. Inside, the designs were tailored in line with Manchester City Council’s ‘Homes for Life’ Specification, which include special measures to help save more energy and to be more water efficient. We have invested almost £400,000 on highway improvements in the neighbourhood, resurfacing roads, replacing footpaths and installing traffic calming measures at key junctions. This work and the construction of much needed new homes has been carried out with the help of local labour.
With completion of the full 450-unit scheme scheduled for 2018, three sites have now been finished. Throughout the project we have worked hard to ensure regeneration is achieved at every stage, with at least 25% of labour coming from the local area, at least two apprentices on site at any time, and a £25,000 donation to create the nearby Factory Youth Zone.