Wates Construction begin work on 161 new homes in Warrington

National contractor Wates Construction has begun work on two new residential developments on the sites of two former schools in Warrington.

The projects, which are set to be delivered simultaneously, will see the construction of a total of 161 properties for private and affordable rent, which will include a mixture of two and three bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments.

The new homes will be heated via a community ground source heat pump network, and roof-mounted solar panels will provide electricity for tenants.

The project will include 92 new properties on the site of the former Sycamore Community Primary School in Sycamore Lane, Great Sankey and a further 69 on the site of the former Foxwood School on Chatfield Drive, Birchwood.

The two sites are the first to be developed by Incrementum Housing Development Company Ltd, a development company set up by Warrington Borough to deliver housing in the town. Homes England is providing Accelerated Construction funding to support the developments.

The project was procured through the Scape Venture framework, which provided Incrementum with a responsible procurement solution that reflected the project aspirations of delivering value for money and high social value.

Wates Construction Business Unit Director Dave Saville said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Incrementum and supporting them deliver the first projects as part of its emerging build to rent strategy.

“Both these sites have been disused for a number of years and the schemes have been designed and procured to deliver a range of positive impacts, both for the local community as well as the council, the ultimate owners of the site.

“From a design perspective, the two settlements include shared community green spaces with green corridor links running through them while the properties benefit from a range of sustainable initiatives including ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels.

“By procuring through the Scape Venture Framework, Incrementum not only benefit from a solution that balances speed and efficiency with value for money and cost certainty but also a firm commitment that social value is embedded throughout the process.

“The result of this will be a range of initiatives throughout the construction process that will include training and work opportunities for the surrounding area and a commitment to support local social enterprises.”

Jonathan Smith, Principal Development Manager at Incrementum, added: “We are excited by the delivery of these new homes. They are the first to be constructed by Incrementum, and we hope they will set a new benchmark for quality and affordability.

“The homes seek to further the Council’s corporate housing policies by making available a high standard of accommodation to all residents, regardless of background, status or income. In so doing, we are seeking to minimize the carbon footprint of the new buildings by using renewable energy, which should also reduce running costs for tenants significantly.”

Wates was reappointed to the Scape Venture Construction Framework in 2019. Other projects delivered in the north include the £21.4m Cornell Quarter development, a student accommodation scheme at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, the largest contract procured via the framework since it was first established in 2014.