United Communities Wins National Award for Dunmail Development

Posted on: 11 September

United Communities, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC), the Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund (Cheyne) and HAB Housing were delighted to be the winner of a National Housing Award for their Dunmail site delivering 161 mixed-tenure homes in the Southmead area of Bristol.

The judges from the National Housing Awards credited the development as having met the following criteria:
• Excellent consultation with the local community and consideration with the local environment.
• Meeting needs of the local market, local strategy requirements and responding to local demands.
• The scheme showed a strong commitment to environmental sustainability whilst remaining affordable for future residents.
• The homes have design features which make the most of the site potential as well as showing sensitivity to its neighbourhood and surrounding area.

This new development has started on site and is set to transform the former Dunmail Primary School site into much needed housing in North Bristol. From 2019 we will provide 161 houses and apartments with a wide range of tenures available. The Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund and BBRC will offer 161 homes including ethically rented homes, key worker rented properties and a unique rent-to-buy offering. United Communities will deliver 77 homes that include affordable rented homes and shared ownership homes. The Cheyne Social Property Fund will also offer 23 homes for sale.

The partnership for the funding is a turning point for UK housing as it’s the first time that a housing association, a community investment company and a private investor have come together to create an inclusive housing scheme and marks the introduction of the UK’s first private sector rent-to-buy model.
The project is being funded by United Communities and Cheyne and will offer six different tenure types to support local housing needs and offer nearly 70% of the homes at sub-market rents.

Designed by Stirling Prize winning architects, AHMM architects, the partners aimed high by creating beautiful homes that strive to build a strong sense of community and belonging and are affordable for local people to rent or buy.

The Dunmail Partnership combines United Communities’ strong track record in affordable housing provision and deep roots in the local community, with Cheyne’s expertise in creating balanced neighbourhoods and construction. In line with this ethos, United Communities and BBRC will ensure existing residents and key workers in the area will be offered first refusal to rent or purchase the new homes.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, commented:
“This is positive news for Bristol and Southmead. My administration is already working hard to tackle the housing crisis, and this new sustainable housing scheme will play a vital role in this. Built with the local community and environment at its heart, this new development will also help create quality new jobs in the local economy”.

Oona Goldsworthy, Chief Executive of United Communities, commented:
“The National Housing Award is a great start for the project that we have all worked so hard on . The community has been an amazing support throughout, a ‘Yes in My Back Yard’ response. We are ready to continue this work to spark an urban renewal of the area. And its not just new homes: there are other benefits, including low carbon energy sources, cycle routes, green spaces, and opportunities for food production. Perhaps most importantly, we want to deliver a scheme which is loved and cherished by local residents for generations to come”.

Shamez Alibhai, Partner at the Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund added:
“The Elderberry Walk development sets a new standard for the delivery of homes and communities in the UK. 70% of the homes in this high quality, beautiful development will be offered at a discount to market and will also include an innovative rent-to-buy offering that aims to get young people on the housing ladder within 5 years. Cheyne have proven again that socially responsible capital working together with housing associations, Councils and the community can accelerate the delivery of high quality, affordable and inclusive homes and tackle the housing challenges in the UK.

Ed Rowberry, Chief Executive of BBRC, said:
“This development will become a shining example for other cities, councils, and developers to follow. By offering affordable, socially responsible housing in the mix, Elderberry Walk will help to encourage long-term tenancies and stable, ethically responsible rents, which will ultimately empower the local community.”

Kevin McCloud, Chairman of HAB, said:
“This award is recognition for the high ambitions of the project along with the hard work from our dedicated and talented team to realise these goals through the design. As the scheme progresses through the construction phase, we are excited to see the vision become a reality. Elderberry Walk will provide 161 much needed new homes and will also make a significant contribution to the rich debate about how to make high quality sustainable places in Bristol.”

Press Contacts.
If you would like to arrange an interview, or require any further information or images please contact:
Jayne Whittlestone (United Communities)
Tel: 07891946483 Email: Jaynew@unitedcommunities.org.uk
Oona Goldsworthy (Chief Executive)
Tel: 07967 165891. Email: oona@unitedcommunities.org.uk
Prosek Partners (Cheyne)
Henrietta Dehn
Telephone: 0203 878 8575 Email: pro-cheyne@prosek.com

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