I should have waited. Forget the just-published story regarding government money for Bath Riverside’s continued development which came from the office of the West of England Mayor.
Here’s a slightly clearer release from the press office of Bath and North Somerset District Council.
“A major £12.5 million investment to unlock land and release the potential for 3,500 new homes and create hundreds of jobs in Bath’s Riverside area has been announced.
The money will fund essential infrastructure to make housing development at Bath Riverside more viable and get much-needed homes built quicker. This will address some of the large up-front costs which in turn can enable the project to build more affordable homes in the city centre, representing good news for local people and those starting out on the housing ladder.
Bath and North East Somerset Council bid for the money, which was allocated by Housing Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Philip Hammond as part of 133 council-led projects which were announced today (Feb 1).
B&NES has been allocated one of the largest allocations in the UK following the success achieved so for at Bath Riverside. Ultimately it will help deliver a wider type of housing within Bath Enterprise Zone contributing to the supply of more affordable homes for local people and first-time buyers in the city.
Council leader, Councillor Tim Warren, (Conservative Mendip) said: “This announcement is great news for Bath, and represents one of the biggest investments in the country. We are delighted to continue to receive the backing of Homes England with this Housing Infrastructure Fund announcement. This will secure the early delivery of more essential infrastructure including the new primary school on the site that is such a key part in strengthening this new community.
“It shows the support and commitment Bath and North East Somerset Council has to our partnership both with the HCA and Crest. Bath Riverside sits at the heart of our Enterprise Zone and maintaining the supply of new homes is part of this council’s policy to grow a sustainable economy where access to good jobs and homes are both available in the city.”
Councillor Paul Myers, (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield) cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, added: “Bath and North East Somerset Council has an excellent relationship with Homes England and this announcement builds upon a proven track record at Bath Riverside where 850 new homes are now built or under construction with 25% being affordable.
“This funding will help us achieve our commitment to delivering more housing, broadening the offer in the city and enabling more people access to the housing market. Investment in infrastructure like schools, roads and public spaces supports our aims for increasing the supply of housing including affordable homes in the city.”
Chris Tinker, Group Board Director for Major Projects and Strategic Partnerships at Crest Nicholson, said: “I am delighted that Bath and North East Somerset Council, working closely with our project team has been able to secure the HIF funding to unlock the ongoing phases of Bath Riverside. This is testimony to the strength of the partnership between the public and private sector on the development, and will underpin the timely delivery of the social and physical infrastructure required to continue to deliver this development.”
Approximately 3500 new homes are identified for delivery within the Enterprise Zone boundary. So far 850 of these have been delivered in the first phase in Bath Western Riverside (BWR).
All these sites have challenges, principally created by former land uses, constraints, complexity and significant infrastructure requirements. Work on this next phase of the project will commence in 2019 with homes being delivered from 2021.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
What is the Housing infrastructure fund;
What the Housing Infrastructure Fund does;
- Closes the viability gap between the cost and value of the development to enable it to proceed
- Funds infrastructure, remediation and land assembly costs to make the scheme viable
- Contributes to eligible on and offsite costs liable on the development under the planning agreements entered
- Flows via the LA to the developer under a contractual agreement to contract delivery of above.
- Funds land assembly