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.
The firm was keen to offer some support to the local community to help fund an ‘eco’ feature at St John the Divine Church in Willenhall.
Coventry City Council put Deeley – which is celebrating its 85th anniversary, in touch with St John the Divine Church in Willenhall.
The firm donated £250 towards St John’s half-term school holiday’s ‘messy church’ project, taking place this week.
The ‘messy church’ includes eco-biodiversity-based crafts for families to take part in, such as creating bird feeders, growing sunflowers, runner beans and cress.
Each school holiday, the Church has been running events, with an average of 450-500 meals being provided per session – particularly during the pandemic.
The church partners with other local organisations including the Family Hub, Hagard Centre, Library and Betty Ennis Foundation to provide support to the Willenhall community.
Vicar, Rev Pam Howell, and Curate, Rev Charlotte Jackson both of St John the Divine, were delighted at the offer of support, and said: “These events are only possible through the support of grant funding and donations for which the church and community are very grateful. There is always a very positive response from the families to what is on offer.”
Edward Hudson, Deeley Construction’s Business Development Manager, said: “St John the Divine and the City Council are clearly doing a great job not only supporting the community by providing some great half term entertainment, but also creating interest in the environment and the food chain so we were only too happy to help.
“Our work with St John the Divine is just one element of the community engagement we have undertaken during the construction at a local project.
“Using a local contractor greatly benefits local communities – on the local project 21 per cent of the budget has been committed to social value in the local community.”
Cllr John Mutton, Councillor for Binley and Willenhall, said: “It’s fantastic to see the backing from Deeley. The church plays an important role in supporting people here in our local community, and it has been throughout the pandemic, and this has been greatly appreciated by the community.”
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, added: “I’ve visited various community venues across the city during the pandemic where venues like St John the Divine Church have been playing a crucial part in providing food and other support to those people who need it most.
“The gesture from Deeley is helping people when it matters most and is an example of how business can play an active and positive role in communities. I encourage other businesses to get involved by contacting the Council to see how they could support the good work going on in Coventry. A big thank you to everyone involved.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Sowmya Bharathiraja and Hashini Bharathiraya are pictured with (left to right) Pam Howell (Vicar), Councillor Ram Lakha, Councillor John Mutton, Charlotte Jackson (Curate), Councillor David Welsh, Sarah Gristwood (Coventry City Council), Edward Hudson (Deeley).
It’s been a whirlwind since joining Deeley Construction under two years ago and it’s safe to say I have learnt a lot in a short space of time.
Prior to setting out on a career in construction I worked in video production, but moving industries is one of the best decisions I have made – and there are two people I can thank for that decision, my sister and Chris Newman, a contracts manager here at the firm.
It was my sister who first encouraged me to look at construction and then Chris who pushed for me to join up with Deeley Construction and undertake further training and qualifications.
After a month working as an assistant on a housing development, I moved onto managing a refurbishment project at University of Warwick. I was the only site manager on that project and again I can thank Chris for speaking to the directors and stating that he thought I already had the ability to manage the job.
Since then, I have worked on multiple other projects, most notably the Aviator House mixed-use development at Haddenham and now, alongside the same team, we are starting work on an Extra Care development at Didcot.
At Didcot I have more formal responsibilities again and it will be another important step in my development.
When I was at school, and I think to some extent this is still true today, there wasn’t much information shared about construction and the vast range of opportunities available within the industry.
There are so many branches on the construction tree, that simply aren’t known to young people.
I’ve had the experience of working in another industry and it feels a lot more secure and stable with construction. Over the last 12 months the industry has continued to work through the pandemic and has proved crucial to the economy.
I like the comradery of working in the industry – you’re regularly working with people from different walks of life and it has great social benefits.
There is a great sense of pride when you see a project come through after a long build process.
My digital background and keen attention to detail have been valuable transferrable skills from my previous career. It’s important to me that a job is completed to the highest possible standard, whilst understanding the benefit of implementing technology into my day-to-day role to increase efficiency.
Deeley Construction has been a great support and invested a lot of time and resource into my development. They know better than most the benefits of investing in trainees, with managing director Martin Gallagher and construction director Steve Turner both coming through the trainee pathway.
I’m on the verge of completing my two-year HSC qualification and then from October will be studying BSc Construction Management at Birmingham City University – all of this has been funded by the company.
My focus is the continued development of my skills and knowledge, whilst taking on new challenges and guidance from people like Chris Newman to become a well-rounded and experienced site manager for the firm.
Midlands-based Deeley Construction has been appointed by LondonMetric Property to build the new 10,000 sq ft store just south of the city centre.
The retail unit will be built on the land adjacent to the existing DFS store on John Kempe Way and work is also being completed to renovate the front of the existing DFS store by Deeley Construction.
Work is expected to be completed by September 2021, with the store expected to open to customers by the end of the year
The £1.8 million development will be sustainably built and is expected to achieve BREEAM Excellent status, the world’s leading sustainability accreditation.
Deeley Construction will be using responsibly sourced sustainable materials during the build, and will also be installing photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate energy, with electric vehicle charging points in the car park too.
The store has been designed by architects R G Partnership, and the development will be project managed by Sharman Projects.
Steve Turner, construction director at Deeley Construction, said: “As partners with LondonMetric Property on this development we have been involved from the early stages of the scheme and it is great to see work starting up on site.
“Deeley Construction has supported with value engineering and assisted with closing pre-commencement planning conditions, demonstrating our ability to provide end-to-end support for clients.
“From our early discussions with LondonMetric we concluded that this would be a sustainable build and we have been taking steps to improve the sustainability factor of the build.
“The work is being completed in a live retail environment and our team have ensured there will be minimal disruption for customers visiting the adjacent DFS store.
“The new store will generate employment for people living in the area and be a strong addition to the retail offering in south Birmingham.”
Tom Pinder, Development Manager of LondonMetric Property, said: “We are excited to be working with Deeley Construction on this development.
“Having worked together on a number of projects previously, we have developed a strong partnership, which ultimately helps us harness our combined strengths to deliver excellent quality real estate for our occupiers.”
PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right – Steve Turner (Deeley Construction), David Matthews (R G Partnership), Tom Pinder (LondonMetric) and Paul Sharman (Sharman Projects).
Insider’s Midlands Residential Property Awards is now in its sixth year and Deeley Group is in the running for three of the 15 categories available.
The £3.9 million development of the Coal Yard Road in Ryton-in-Dunsmore has been shortlisted in two categories – Small Residential Project of the Year and Residential Regeneration Project of the year.
The project was delivered in partnership with Platform Housing, Rugby Borough Council and Homes England.
It was formerly a coal yard and the brownfield site is now home to 21 affordable properties. The shortlist also sees Platform Housing nominated for the Social Housing award.
Deeley Group has also been shortlisted in the Skills & Training Scheme of the Year category.
This is for the delivery of the training scheme whereby it regularly promotes the integration of trainees into all departments of the business including site management, quantity surveying, administration, accounting and marketing.
Currently 16 per cent of its workforce is in the trainee programme or undergoing further education.
Peter Deeley, Managing Director of the Deeley Group, was named Property Personality of the Year at the awards in 2012.
He said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted in three categories for the 2021 Insider Midlands Residential Property Awards.
“The Coal Yard development at Ryton-on-Dunsmore demonstrates the value you can create from a redundant brownfield site through a regeneration project.
“It meets regional priorities for ‘brownfield first’ development and we are continuing this with our latest affordable housing development in Wyken, Coventry, with Stonewater.
“Our commitment to training and developing staff is something we are immensely proud of at the Deeley Group, so we are very pleased that our training scheme has also received recognition by being shortlisted this year.”
The event has secured 77 submissions from 46 organisations, compared to last year’s 60 entries.
The winners will be announced on Thursday, July 22 at The Eastside Rooms in Birmingham.