JUNE ROUND UP: Greenoak, Housing 21, LFC and WDH

JUNE ROUND UP: Greenoak, Housing 21, LFC and WDH

Greenoak expands

Housing provider Stonewater has transferred 640 homes across Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex and Berkshire to Greenoak Housing Association.

Greenoak became a subsidiary of Stonewater Group at the end of 2022.

Greenoak will be responsible for providing housing management services to customers while Stonewater will continue to manage the maintenance of the homes. The Greenoak Direct Services Team will then take over responsibility for responsive repairs on a phased basis. 

Marcus Canning, Interim Director at Greenoak, said: “From the outset it has always been the intention of the partnership between Greenoak and Stonewater to transfer these properties into our control. 

“Residents will be minimally impacted and will benefit from the expertise and experience of two forward-thinking housing associations.”

LFC regains Melwood

Torus has sold Liverpool Football Club’s (LFC) former training ground Melwood back to the club.

The North-West affordable housing provider and developer acquired the site in 2019 – with the men’s first team moving to the AXA Training Centre in Kirkby in 2020.

Upon re-acquiring the ground, LFC has announced plans for Melwood to become the new training base for Liverpool FC Women’s first team and their Professional Game Academy.

LFC also plans to use the site for community outreach facilities as well as for offering education to young people via the Fowler Education and Football Academy (FEFA).

Chris Bowen, managing director at Torus Developments, added: “All our developments are designed to help transform places and inspire growth. We believe Liverpool FC is best-placed to use this location to support the growth of women’s football and to maximise the benefit of the site to the wider community.

“Although we will not be delivering this development, Torus will continue to seek other opportunities to develop affordable homes in Liverpool and to help local communities thrive.”

WDH back on the streets

Social housing provider WDH is underway with their second ‘On Your Street’ project.

WDH has over 32,000 homes across the Wakefield district and wider operating area across the north of England.

In 2022, the inaugural year of the project, the WDH On Your Street team made 40,953 visits and phone calls (because not everyone is home first time.)

13,535 surveys were completed either in person, over the phone or online. 5,749 people asked for support from the team, with 549 needing emergency support.

The team responded to 675 requests for money, benefit, and debt advice from customers.

Among the improvements made as a result of the visits and comments to the survey were: installing swing gates to reduce anti-social behaviour; providing off street parking in places where it was possible; holding ‘days of action’ with groups and other agencies to make improvements to estates and increase recycling; and increasing security in and around some apartment buildings.

Clarion transfers 400+ homes to Housing 21

Housing 21 is continuing its portfolio expansion with an acquisition of 445 properties from Clarion Housing.

Housing 21 is a not for profit provider of Retirement Living and Extra Care for older people of modest means. It operates in 240 local authority areas across England, managing over 22,800 Retirement Living and Extra Care properties and providing over 38,000 hours of social care each week. 

The purchase includes a total of 11 schemes located in London, East Anglia and the South East and follows the acquisition of 472 properties from Notting Hill Genesis in February this year.

The schemes moving across in the transfer from Clarion to Housing 21 include Windmill Court, Redmayne View and Duncan Court.

Housing provider Torus set to redevelop Liverpool FC training ground site

Housing provider Torus set to redevelop Liverpool FC training ground site

Affordable housing provider Torus has been picked to develop Liverpool FC’s Melwood training ground site.

The housing group currently has 1,600 homes in the West Derby area, where the ground is situated, and manages around 40,000 social homes across the north west.

In 2017, LFC secured planning consent for a proposed redevelopment of the club’s existing training ground at Melwood, as part of plans to invest in a new training facility for the first team and academy sides at Kirkby.

Throughout the tender process, Torus was identified as the best socially responsible housing developer to take over the Melwood site.

Work on the new training ground at Kirkby started in summer 2018 and is expected to be completed in summer 2020. The first team will start the 2020-21 season from their new home in Kirkby.

Andy Hughes, executive vice president, operations and finance at Liverpool FC, said: “Today marks another significant milestone in this hugely important and ambitious project.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sale of the Melwood site having played such a significant role in the club’s history. But the site is limited in terms of space and is unable to accommodate the club’s ambitions for a new first-class combined training facility.

“It’s over two years since we started this journey and we’d like to thank everyone who has been involved, particularly local residents in West Derby for their feedback and patience during this tender process.

“All funds from the sale of the Melwood site will be reinvested back into the first-team squad and the state-of-the-art training centre at the new Kirkby site.”

Torus will continue to consult with the local community as it develops its plans for the Melwood site.

Chris Bowen, managing director of Torus Developments, said: “With more than 1,600 homes in the area, we’re already a long-standing part of the West Derby community, so being selected to develop this site at the heart of the neighbourhood means a great deal to us.

“Consultation with local residents is very important to us and we look forward to meeting with the community in due course. We will also be working closely with LFC to ensure the legacy of this incredibly historical site is a theme throughout.

“Our plans are still at an early stage but will be driven by providing quality affordable homes that address local needs, including specialist housing provision where older people and those with additional care needs can lead sociable, fulfilling and independent lives.”