Joint venture

Could this new £229 million joint venture change Bristol for the better?

Sovereign Housing Association is one of the largest in the country. They provide over 57,000 homes for 130,000 people across the UK and the Isle of Wight. They recently announced their joint venture partnership with Crest Nicholson, the major house builder. 

This joint partnership comes with the agreement of the two firms to deliver the next phase of the 2,700-home Harry Stoke development near Bristol. As Bristol is likely to be one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities for economic growth until 2021, and with the UK’s housing crisis continuing, the development is a welcome addition to the area.

The project

The project should deliver 920 homes and they classify 42% of these homes as affordable or intermediate tenures. The agreement also covers the infrastructure work for the site with Sovereign taking on 376 of the properties.  

The team estimates the project will take around seven years to complete with infrastructure work starting in July 2019. Tom Titherington, the executive director for development and commercial at Sovereign, said: “This is also quite a milestone for us, as this well-designed, quality development will bring the number of much-needed affordable houses that we’re delivering in the Bristol region over the next few years to more than 1,000”.

Christ Tinker, interim chief executive of Crest Nicholson, said, “The combination of Crest’s major project and housing delivery skills and Sovereign’s commitment to acquiring and managing the new affordable and intermediate homes will enable us to accelerate the delivery of quality new homes at Harry Stoke and to meet the housing need in this fast-growing part of Bristol.”

Bristol’s housing crisis

The entire UK is affected by rising house prices and stagnated wages. But some places more than others. The younger generations can’t get their foot on the ladder and many people find homes unaffordable. In Bristol, over 11,000 people are on a waiting list for a council house. The average house price stands around £319,180, around £100,000 more than the UK average.

The council knows of the lack of social housing and affordable housing in the city. So they’ve set out a plan to tackle the problem in a report prepared by the council. The new developments from Sovereign and Crest Nicholson are a welcome mitigator of the housing crisis. 

Large-scale developments like this might become increasingly popular as local councils welcome more affordable homes. Especially if developers attempt to supply the demand in the UK. Sovereign manages nearly 59,000 homes, and with this development, they’ll be managing more. It’s imperative that they – and other organisations in the property industry – have the right tools to manage these projects effectively if they want them to be as successful as possible. 

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