Proposed new homes off Singleton Avenue, Horwich
We have applied for planning permission to build 48 quality affordable homes on land off Singleton Avenue in Horwich.
Here we answer questions about the proposed development.
What are we proposing to build and where?
We have applied to Bolton Council for planning permission to build 48 new homes in Horwich comprising 30 three-bedroom properties, 16 two-bedroom and two bungalows.
The application site is a parcel of land owned by the council to the rear of numbers 15-49 Singleton Avenue. This is indicated within the purple boundary on the aerial photo.
This land is a separate plot to the adjacent Green Lane playing fields. The playing fields, also owned by the council, are not part of our application and will remain in council ownership for recreational use by the community.
Why have we chosen this site?
As part of plans to ensure there’s enough land to meet future housing needs, councils often set land aside for housing development.
This site was allocated for housing by Bolton Council in 2014. If we are successful in gaining planning permission, we would purchase the land from the council to build the proposed homes.
Isn’t this land protected from development?
The playing fields at Green Lane are protected by the council for recreational use. However, this is not the land we are proposing to develop. Our proposed development is for the separate parcel of land behind the homes on Singleton Avenue. It isn’t green belt land.
We have reviewed the ‘report on title’ with HM Land Registry for the land we intend to develop and this is not subject to any restrictions that would prevent new homes being built.
We consider all the available sites presented to us, both brownfield and greenfield. However, to enable us to continue providing affordable and low-cost housing to the people of Bolton, we need to focus our efforts on sites that are available for sale and likely to get planning permission. As this site has also been allocated for housing by the council it meets all our criteria as a suitable site for providing new homes.
Why are we building homes in Horwich?
Our figures show there is clear demand for new affordable homes right across the borough, including from people in Horwich. These homes could allow local people looking for a place to live to stay in the area, helping people keep close to their families and maintain local connections.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, 10 three-bedroom house affordable homes became available in Horwich with us and other local providers of social housing. These properties received a total of 279 applications from people registered as living in Horwich and 1,707 bids overall.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, 13 two-bedroom house affordable homes became available in Horwich with us and other local providers of social housing. These properties received a total of 422 applications from people registered as living in Horwich and 1,531 bids overall.
We created a development of 22 new affordable homes, including two bungalows, at Catherine’s Close, Horwich, on land of Leicester Avenue. We had over 800 expressions of interest in these homes and 90 per cent of the homes are now rented by local people or those with local connections.
The Right to Buy and Right to Acquire have also had an impact on our housing stock over time. In 2011, we had 158 two-bedroom houses and 385 three-bedroom houses in Horwich. This compares to 132 two-bedroom houses and 228 three-bedroom houses currently.
Like many other areas of the UK, Bolton is experiencing a severe housing shortage due to population growth. Within the borough there’s a shortage of over 500 new affordable homes each year. Around 4,000 people each quarter express an interest in affordable homes in Bolton.
This is why we’re aiming to create 1,400 new homes by 2023/24. Our focus is on providing a wide choice of quality affordable homes in the areas where people need them most, keeping communities and families together.
What about local concerns regarding traffic congestion and parking?
We understand there are always fears when new housing development is proposed within a community, particularly with large scale developments.
Our proposed development at Singleton Avenue is relatively modest in terms of numbers. The work done by our consultants in preparing this planning application shows the development is in a sustainable location and would have no significant impact on traffic levels.
It will provide 200% car parking provision, which means each home will have parking on site for two vehicles with all cars being contained within the development.
Will this development put a strain on local schools?
Our proposed homes are aimed primarily at local people already living in Horwich and who will already be using existing services, including school places. We don’t foresee the development placing additional strain on local schools.
Who are these homes at Singleton Avenue aimed at and how much will they cost?
There are 48 homes in our proposed development. 40 of those will be made available for affordable rent and the remaining eight will be made available for shared ownership. Local people or those with local connections will be given priority.
Affordable rent is a product usually set at 80% of market rent. However, to ensure they are as affordable as possible on this scheme the rents will be lower than the affordable rent rate and will be at local Housing Allowance rates currently £99.38 per week for a two-bedroom property and £115.00 for a three-bedroom property.
Meanwhile, shared ownership is a growing part of our housing mix and is often a way for people to gain a foothold on the home ownership ladder at a more affordable rate. Shared ownership is a cross between buying and renting a home. You buy a share of the property, usually between a quarter and three quarters, and then rent the part you don’t own at a reduced rate. You then have the option to buy a bigger share in the property in future.
For more info on finding a new home, please click here.