Once underused land and now high-quality homes, this mixture of two-bed flats and houses and three and four-bed homes was Birmingham City Council's first scheme sold under their Forward Homes Brand. Lovell assisted in their sales and marketing process as well as delivering its own open market sales.
As well as the homes, Lovell has created a recreational space for residents, along with a tennis and football court and a bike track. The project involved Section 38 and 278 highway works to provide access to the new homes, which included diversions of existing sewers and the implementation of a SUDs.
Birmingham City Council was the landowner. Although this was a Design and Build, we worked closely with the Council to assist with the open market sale process and ultimately treated the development as our own for sale.
This was the first scheme under Birmingham City Council’s sales arm “Forward Homes”, which required us to deliver high-quality homes and provide support on the sales and marketing process using our expertise and track record.
The Council provided a full design proposal including a masterplan, street-scenes and aspirational house types; we then spent six months making their requirements into working drawings. To maximise the sales values, we helped the Council develop a bespoke open market sales specification, which is now used on a number of schemes.
We engaged with key stakeholders from the outset. Regular project forums were held with the Council, Forward Homes, Connells (sales agent) and the Landscape Practice Group. We also had regular forums to review our build programme against the sales pace.
We provided the Council with initial financial appraisals, incorporating open market values and the sales specification, to ensure the best value was achieved on the scheme. To give the Council cost certainty, we provided a fixed price for the scheme. We agreed a level of cost within the contract for potential slow down and acceleration of the programme to meet sales releases.
Applying our expertise
The development was completed according to the initial programme and all open market homes were sold at a strong value through our advice on developing a bespoke open market specification and on-site sales support, rather than a traditional contracting scheme.
We did not incur any delays to the build programme. We agreed a variation to the programme regarding whether to slow down or accelerate our build pace in accordance with the sales pace, to reduce the number of stock plots. We were responsible for all risks on price and ensured we mitigated any issues early in the process.
Investing in the community
We are a member of Birmingham City Council’s Social Value Charter and understand the benefits of supporting the local community. We provided 30 work experience opportunities for over-16s, one work placement opportunity, six graduates on site in various roles, eight new apprentice starts and five new jobs through working closely with local job centres and the Birmingham Employment Access Team.
We also supported schools in the area, providing mock interviews, health and safety talks, careers events and site interviews to promote the construction industry. At St Mary's Primary School, which is next to the site, we improved the sports facilities and the car parking facilities and provided a new ramp for access to the school.