In spring 2015 we signed an agreement with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk which will see us build up to 600 homes across five sites in the Lynnsport and Marsh Lane areas by September 2020.
Three hundred of the new homes will be for open market sale, with 200 earmarked for private rent and a further 100 allocated as affordable housing.
The scheme aims forms part of the Major Housing Project which aims to stimulate growth by bringing forward development on council-owned land which would otherwise not be developed in the medium term, addressing the urgent demand for new homes in the area.
In addition to new housing, the project will also provide funding to help enhance the sports facilities at Lynnsport, with new hockey pitches, additional car parking and new tennis courts.
The King’s Lynn partnership was negotiated through a comprehensive two-stage tender process, which saw us working collaboratively with the council to devise a scheme that would meet their housing needs, boost the local economy and give them a commercial return. We were chosen because of our strong record in delivering high-quality developments and creating a lasting legacy of community benefits.
The project is wholly funded by the council and we receive a fee as the contractor and for the design, sales and marketing of the properties.
Ninety per cent of the development profit up to an agreed price goes to the council and we receive the remaining 10%, with any profit above this split 50/50 between the partners.
Orchard Place, Marsh Lane
Work began at Orchard Place – the first tranche of new housing – in August 2015. Once completed, the development on Marsh Lane will deliver 130 traditionally styled two, three and four-bedroom homes, including 20 affordable homes, set around an existing orchard.
Before work began at the site, an arboriculture survey was carried out to assess the trees and hedgerows on the site, to ensure that as many as possible could be retained and to protect those closest to the works. The remaining trees from an existing orchard will be enhanced as part of the project and a 2.6-hectare nature area will be created.
Established hedges alongside the cycle path running parallel to the proposed new road will be retained. The council is working with Norfolk Rivers Trust to improve the Gaywood River for people and wildlife and further green corridor opportunities are being explored.
As part of our commitment to investing in local communities, we are providing a range of local job and training opportunities over the course of the King’s Lynn partnership. On the first phase we have employed two new apprentices: a bricklayer who attends college on a weekly day-release basis and a carpenter who goes to college in three-day stints.
We are also delivering a range of short training courses and a programme of visits for local school, college and university students. In July 2016 we worked with the council to challenge students from local high schools to come up with names for the three future phases. After visiting the sites, students pitched their ideas to a panel of judges including our team, the council and West Norfolk Academies Trust.
The winning names – Valentine Fields, Cowper Place and Dewside – were inspired by the local landscape and historical and cultural figures associated with the area.
As a follow-up task, we asked students for potential road names for the new developments and will be putting these forward for consideration by the council.