The leading Midlands developer, which is headquartered in Coventry, has been successful in submission to join the platform which will be the key tool for the delivery of Homes England’s housing-led developments.
The firm has been registered in both the small category, which is under 70 units, and the large category, which looks at developments over 70 units.
It means the developer will have the opportunity to bid and price for works across Homes England’s entire framework.
This covers regions including the East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, South East and South West.
Deeley Group had previously been named on the Homes and Communities Agency DPP3 framework, which enabled the group to secure contracts valued £11 million to deliver extra care facilities in Chipping Norton and Didcot for Housing 21.
The DPP3 framework also saw Deeley deliver a £6.6 million extra-care apartment scheme in Coventry.
In recent years, Deeley Group has delivered 600 new homes and worked with partners including Orbit Homes, Stonewater, Housing 21, and Platform Housing Group on affordable housing developments.
David Currie, Land and Partnerships Director at the Deeley Group, says by securing a place on the new dynamic purchasing system the firm will be able to deliver more affordable housing and healthcare to support communities across the country.
David said: “This is fantastic news for the firm and positions us perfectly to push forward with our future growth strategy to work with our partners to deliver vital affordable housing and healthcare facilities.
“The successful submission with Homes England will also enable Deeley Group to grow its geographical coverage across the wider Midlands and work in markets in the South East, East and South West of England.
“We have developed strong partnerships with housing associations in recent years and these partnerships allow us to deliver under Homes England’s new DPS.”
It is three miles from Melton Mowbray and will provide a mix of market sale, social rent and shared ownership homes – with the first homes set to be available in 2022.
Fifteen of the homes will be sold privately by Deeley Homes, with emh developing its first market sale units at the development.
More than two thirds of the houses will be classed as affordable homes and contribute to meeting key housing targets in the area.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director at Deeley Group, said: “This is a landmark moment for our development in partnership with emh near Asfordby.
“We’re excited to be launching 15 market sale homes alongside the two types of affordable homes and this approach means that The Willows will cater to a wide range of people in the community.
“Work started on site in February and the project remains on track to be able to welcome residents in 2022.
“The development has been designed with the needs of the area as its priority and will deliver much needed market sale homes and crucial affordable housing options for people living in the Melton Borough Council area.
“As part of the development we have been making a range of local infrastructure improvements and have enhanced the biodiversity of the site by creating wildflower meadows, bird boxes, bat boxes and hedgehog highways.”
Social housing and care organisation emh is a strategic partner of Homes England, giving it access to £172 million in grant funding. Under a flexible development programme, emh aims to deliver 600 new homes a year for the next five years.
Chris Jones, Executive Director of Development at emh, said: “Strong partnerships help us deliver a diverse range of housing across the East Midlands, and we are delighted that residents will soon be moving into our first homes completed with Deeley Homes.
“Every one of our developments has made a lasting impact in the local community, and we are excited to see these affordable rent and shared ownership homes contributing to meeting the housing aspirations of people in the Melton Borough Council area.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Chris Jones (emh) and Eleanor Deeley (Deeley Group) at The Willows.
Special guests and representatives met to officially launch the start of work on the new 80 apartment development on land off Greenwood Way at Great Western Park.
The three-storey scheme is being developed by Housing 21, a leading not-for-profit provider of Retirement Living and Extra Care for older people of modest means. It is being built by Deeley Construction and has received funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth deal.
The development will provide 60 rented apartments and 20 shared ownership apartments for people over the age of 55. On site facilities will include a café/ bistro, hair salon and communal lounge for both residents and local people. Work is set to complete in December 2022, with residents due to start moving in from early 2023.
Debbie Hope, Head of Development at Housing 21, said: “We’re thrilled to have reached this exciting milestone in Didcot. This new development will provide much needed, high quality accommodation to support local older people and their changing needs. People have their own front door in a busy community setting, with 24/7 support from our on-site care team if needed.
“We have designed the buildings around an internal courtyard which provides plenty of important, open green space. The development is also in an excellent location close to the many facilities of Great Western Business Park.”
Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “I was delighted to be able to attend the groundbreaking event in Didcot. Extra care housing is something I’ve felt very passionately about and have been promoting in the county for some time now. This exciting new scheme will even provide more support for residents countywide.”
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director at Deeley Group, added: “It is great to be working in partnership with Housing 21 again and supporting older people in Didcot. This is set to be a fantastic, state of the art development constructed to the highest standards.
“We have delivered many Extra Care schemes and are proud to use our expertise to help address the housing needs of an increasingly ageing population.”
Emily Smith, Chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, added: “I’m delighted to see the progress of this excellent project which will help improve the lives of our older local people.
“Extra Care housing offers an excellent way for people to stay in their local area and maintain their independence while being able to access around the clock care and support.”
For more information about Housing 21, visit www.housing21.org.uk
The Deeley Group recently outlined its plans for growth and that will see a greater focus on providing affordable homes.
This emphasis is based on market need, our track record in successfully delivering projects, – either on our own or for sector clients – and our in-house capability.
Homes England has increased its funding and there is greater Government emphasis on delivering more homes and ensuring there is sufficient affordable housing – which is what is driving the market.
Therefore, there is a need for more stock and this has meant there is more demand from registered providers. We are in a very good position to help deliver against that demand across all forms of affordable housing – social rent, affordable rent, shared ownership and the recently announced First Homes.
We can – and do – work on projects of all sizes and scales but at present, the ‘sweet-spot’ for the majority of registered providers is in the 30 to 60-unit range.
This is generally due to the numbers being too small for volume builders to get involved.
Some of the more established registered providers are now venturing into larger schemes if they are in particular areas of growth and are willing to push as far as 150-200 units in some cases.
However, once unit numbers exceed 50-60 plots there is often a need to incorporate a percentage of private housing into the scheme as local authorities are hesitant to allow such large affordable-only schemes.
One strategy which is particularly effective related to affordable housing is the Rural Exceptions Policy. This is a national and, in most cases, local policy which allows affordable housing to be delivered outside of settlement boundaries and outside of the development plan.
This policy is relatively restrictive in some places and is often limited in size depending on the size of the settlement. There has been a recent appeal decision where the inspector overturned the local authority’s refusal of a rural exceptions development of 128 homes in Burton-upon-Trent.
This has set a precedent for affordable housing undersupply being given ‘significant weight’ within a planning balance argument and will lead to the delivery of some large sites over the coming years. These sites have even been known to secure planning within the green belt.
The introduction of the new First Homes scheme at the end of June, which is now included within the definition of Affordable Housing, will constitute the first 25 per cent of all on-site provisions going forward. We are very keen to explore this new model which should present opportunities across the market to offer a more diverse range of affordable homes for the people that need them.
One common theme that we have noticed is that Affordable Housing Providers are now becoming much more commercial given the scale of the grant funding that is available and they are being aggressive in pursuing opportunities which suit their own personal growth ambitions.
We have worked in the affordable and commercial housing sectors and that, along with our experience in construction and development, makes us very well placed to help deliver schemes which will make a telling difference to the housing shortage.
It is also why we see the sector a key to our growth in the medium and longer term.
David Currie has joined the firm as Land and Partnerships Director and will help spearhead the company’s drive to grow its Affordable Living brand and increase its share of the affordable housing market.
The firm, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary, has a long history in home building and is looking to make affordable housing 30 per cent of its group business over the next five years.
The new role will see Currie, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the industry, work to further increase Deeley Group’s extensive land holdings and also establish and strengthen relationships with providers in the affordable homes sector.
Currie has had senior roles at CBRE and Public Sector Plc and is returning to the city where he started his career to help drive the expansion.
He said: “The Deeley Group is very highly respected in the industry and it has always made affordable housing a priority. It is looking to grow that part of its business over the next few years and, with construction, development and housing at its core, it is very well placed to do that.
“I have worked with the Eleanor Deeley in the past and I was really impressed with the vision the company has for growth, alongside what it stands for in terms of community and team working. The company might be 85-years-old, but it is very agile and ambitious in its approach.”
Deeley has worked in housing since its formation and has partnered providers including Orbit Homes, Stonewater, Platform Housing Group, and Housing 21 in recent years as well as developing its own sites for sale in the Midlands.
Eleanor Deeley said: “We are focused on growing our Affordable Living business and David will build upon the strong relationships we have in this very active market. We are delighted to welcome David to the Deeley team.
“Our reputation and relationships in that market are very strong. Our longevity, financial performance and ability to deliver for clients is very well established and it is vital for providers to be partnered with companies that have a proven pedigree.
“We have such a strong construction arm it allows us to engineer developments from the outset, meaning there is more value to be gained for partners.
“David’s appointment is a key factor in our growth plans. He has an excellent track record and he actually used to be my client before I joined Deeley, so we go back a decade, and have a very similar approach.”
The site of a former school in Wyken, Coventry is set to be re-developed as affordable housing after planning permission was granted for 39 homes.
The site was formerly the home of Dartmouth School and was then a temporary home for The Seva School up until September 2015.
Since Seva School moved to its new home in Walsgrave, it has been a redundant brownfield site for almost five years.
Planning permission has now been granted for 23 affordable rented and 16 shared ownership properties to be built on Tiverton Road, by Coventry-based family firm Deeley Group for leading housing provider Stonewater.
The site was originally purchased from Coventry City Council and upon completion will feature 39 brand-new homes comprising a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses.
Stonewater and Deeley Group previously worked together on the successful development of another affordable development at Feather Lane in Nuneaton, which completed earlier this year.
The Deeley Group has a proud history of projects in the area with founder George Deeley building nearby St John Fisher school in the 1950s – who was also joined by a young Peter Deeley, now managing director, who drove a dumper on the site.
Peter went on to help build St John Fisher Church in the 1970s, and current Deeley Construction managing director Martin Gallagher was on-site to build the parish hall in the 1990s.
Now Eleanor Deeley, as part of Deeley Affordable Living, has secured the planning for the delivery of this new housing for the community.
Peter Deeley, Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “There is a genuine need for more housing of this type in Coventry and we are pleased to be able to deliver this development alongside our partners.
“We have a strong relationship with Stonewater and we are looking forward to working closely with them again, after the great success of our project in Nuneaton.
“With planning now approved, work will be starting on site in the coming months.
“This scheme will provide vital affordable housing for the community in Wyken and surrounding areas and makes good use of what would otherwise be a redundant brownfield site.
“Deeley Group has a history of development in the area, building St John Fisher Catholic Primary school in the 1950s and St John Fisher church and hall in the 1970s. Many years ago I drove machinery on the nearby site as I began my career in construction.
“We have great expertise in delivering developments of this type for local people, and it is the latest in a string of affordable housing schemes we have worked on in Coventry, Warwickshire and further afield.”
Matt Crucefix, Director of Development (West) at Stonewater, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Deeley Group on another regenerative project so that we can make better use of this brownfield site.
“Trying to manage the spread of Covid-19 over the last few months has shone a light on just how important it is that everyone has a place to call home and has really amplified the importance of our work as a social housing provider.
“We’re looking forward for work to get underway at Tiverton Road, so we can support the local community and bring more much-needed affordable homes to Wyken.”
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, on how construction is adapting to a limited return to site working
There is no doubt that parts of the economy are beginning to show signs of life – but the tap is only being turned on very slowly.
I was on one of many recent video calls when someone said that as we end lockdown it will be a little like when you have had your boiler repaired. When you turn on tap it splutters as the pipes refill and takes a while for the flow to be resumed.
On the construction side of the Deeley Group, the announcement of lockdown and social distancing meant our tap was tightly turned off and we closed our 11 sites.
I fully appreciate that it is very difficult for Government to be clear and concise bearing in mind the myriad of unprecented measures they are bringing in at the moment but there was, at best, uncertainty as to what was essential working.
Also, the advice that work would continue also came with a heavy hint that there was little understanding as to how a site works and that did cause concern in the industry.
Slowly the sector got to grips with exactly how we could continue working to a level while strictly adhering to the social distancing rules. That has, inevitably, meant big changes in how we work.
For example, signing in is now by text rather than an electronic fingerprint system; canteens are closed; site times, break times and lunch times are staggered; we can only have 10-30 per cent of the number of people on site to allow for social distancing.
There have been struggles getting materials – especially plasterboard – and many of the builders’ merchants were closed until very recently. That is all easing and the supply of UK-produced goods is getting much better, but there will be times when we are held up by the absence of products such as lifts or air-conditioning units, which have to be imported.
Interestingly, in a world of sub-contractors, there has been a total regard for the health and wellbeing of staff, which has been refreshing to witness particularly when, at the same time, there were images from major construction projects where workers paying no attention to the guidance.
Sub-contractors are only coming back to sites where they are confident that social distancing can be maintained and, when it can’t, there is suitable PPE used by all.
But no-one should be under the impression that this means we are back to normal. Social distancing is likely to remain in place for many months to come and this means that the rate of construction is going to remain low because of the limited numbers on site.
As ever, industry is going to have to find a way to overcome the hurdle. We might need
to extend working hours as we have the longer evenings arriving, almost operating a two-shift system to maximise the number of working hours on site.
I think an increase in weekend working is almost inevitable, but that will not only allow us to maintain progress as much as possible but it will also allow sub-contractors to earn, which will very welcome after the last two months.
Equally inevitable will be increased costs because efficient sequencing of a build will not be possible given the restrictions in place and the equipment shortages.
There are also other more trivial, but still important, consequences. Spirit on a site is always important but with people working alone we simply cannot interact in the same way.
There is going to be part of our morale that is absent as we miss the joke that we don’t hear, and the catch up over a coffee during a break.
But that is a small price to pay.