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How much will these £60,000 houses cost?

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November 16 2005

The Allerton Bywater Millennium Community is to become the testing ground for John Prescott’s £60,000 home scheme. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister announced last month that Barratts will build 151 homes on the site of the last colliery in the Leeds area, 46 of which will be £60,000 homes.

However, Robert Barlow, a spokesperson for Barratts said that the final selling price of the homes had yet to be decided upon. “It is worth bearing in mind that £60,000 is the construction price rather than retail price,” he said. Miller Homes have completed 44 out of 197 new homes, which constitutes the first phase of the site.

According to sales staff working on the Miller Homes side of the Bywater development, a 2 bedroom apartment costs around £125,000. These are comparable in size to the winning bid by Barratts. “We don’t think that the final price of the £60,000 homes will be significantly lower. I wouldn’t have thought that people would want [The Barratt homes to be constructed under the £60,000 scheme] to significantly depress the market price,” said one staff member. Miller Homes declined to bid for the competition announced at the Creating Sustainable Communities Summit in January 2005.

Barratts however, where very pleased with the announcement. “We greatly welcome the news. The Barratt teams behind the bids have worked very hard with our design partners, HTA Architects, to produce an outstanding, forward-looking concept that will produce simple, sustainable and – above all – deliverable homes,” said Barratt Group Chief Executive, David Pretty. HTA will also work with Barratt’s on a similar sized scheme in Northamptonshire.

When the Office of the Deputy Minister (ODPM) announced the launch of the showcase Allerton Bywater Millennium Community in 1999, it stipulated that 30% of the total 520 houses would be affordable. According to Sayeed Hafejee, regeneration manager at English Partnerships, Barratt’s 46 “£60,000 homes” which are due to go on site next Spring, will constitute a part of that original percentage. “The ODPM’s announcement has made no change to the original master plan,” he said. The announcement however marks a significant step forward for the brownfield site, which suffered initial delays.

A local chemical plant was not storing hazardous waste in accordance with new European legislation, which meant no planning consents for new developments were allowed and developers didn’t commit until 2003 when English Partnerships paid for improvements. EP have also worked hard to convince the existing community of the developments worth. In addition to infrastructure and remedial works for the new 24 hectare site, EP have organised and paid for a new skate park, the refurbishment of two community buildings and the establishment of a village company to undertake training and childcare.

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