At their meeting next week, Sefton Council’s Cabinet members are being provided with an update of how its’ arm’s-length development company is delivering new homes.
Sandway has now sold properties on its Crossens and Ainsdale developments to 36 families, couples, and first-time buyers. Twenty-three plots on the two developments, Hey Farm Gardens and Sandy Brook, have been completed.
Several first-time buyers have secured plots through Sandway’s involvement in the Government’s Help to Buy scheme and the company is also providing homes for shared ownership. And the 13 apartments it will provide to Sefton Council are the Borough’s first new council housing since 2006.
The update on Phase 1 of Sandway’s business plan at next week’s meeting explains that despite the good progress with sales, industry-wide supply chain issues has resulted in delays for both sites. Hey Farm Gardens’ 30 properties will now be completed by May and the 48 new homes at Meadow Lane’s will be finished by July.
Work on the 63 new homes at Sefton Grange in Netherton will now start in April next year with completion expected by April 2026.
Next week’s report also highlights the impact that external economic factors including that rising interest rates resulting from central Government’s September budget statement combined with the highest inflation rates for 40 years are having on Sandway’s business plan. Unsurprisingly, higher mortgage rates, lenders’ withdrawal of mortgage products and people having less money in their pocket is having an impact on the housing market. Additionally, inflation is pushing up construction costs and causing supply chain issues.
In an updated financial forecast, the report says that the overall profit that would be payable to the Council remains in line with that of the original approved business case in 2019. Capital receipts of £2.2 million for the three development sites would still be payable to the Council.
Recognising the ongoing volatility of the UK economy resulting from the September budget statement, the report says it is important that the Council is provided with “comprehensive risk-assessed reports”.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:
“Hearing one of the people moving into their new home through a shared ownership scheme say it is a dream she thought was beyond her grasp demonstrates that our decision to develop housing across the Borough by creating Sandway was correct.
“Understandably, the perilous state of the British economy is having an effect on Sandway’s business plan and as this report highlights, while profit levels remain at the forecast 2019 levels, we are going to have to work closely with the company to monitor the ongoing situation.”