Housing developer Stonebond Properties, in partnership with housing association Settle, has completed the purchase of a 9.8-acre site on a new 650-acre urban village development next to Houghton Regis in Bedfordshire.
The site will provide 202 homes, with 70% of them being delivered as additional affordable homes, a mixed tenure parcel combining 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom properties, including 86 shared ownership and 56 for affordable rent. Start on site is due in Spring 2022 with completion expected in Autumn 2025.
Residents will benefit from the area’s proximity to one of the many green spaces for which Linmere will be known – the Ouzel linear park, a wildlife haven and walking area.
The plot is the fourth parcel to be sold in phase one of the new Linmere development, which is being created over the next 15 years by the Houghton Regis Management Company (HRMC), a consortium comprising master planners Lands Improvement, Aviva Investors, and the Diocese of St Albans.
Bellway Homes and Barratt Homes are already building around 600 units between them. The first homes are due for occupation in Autumn 2021.
Linmere development director Nigel Reid said: “We are delighted that Stonebond will be joining us as the third developer at Linmere. The investment by Stonebond Properties in the development and the new homes they will create with their partners means the Linmere community will continue to grow in a hugely positive way.”
Richard Cherry, co-chairman at Stonebond added: “Linmere is a great example of how beneficial partnerships can be in creating new destinations and we’re delighted to have acquired the fourth parcel with settle. We look forward to playing our part in delivering much needed affordable new homes to the neighbourhood, and to seeing the project evolve.”
Gavin Cansfield, chief executive at settle said “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Stonebond on this development. Our purpose at settle is to help people who are struggling to find a place to live and to help our residents live comfortably in their homes. Linmere is a fantastic site and we are really pleased to be providing over 140 affordable homes in what promises to be a great community setting.”
Around 90 acres of the Linmere site will be green space – a combination of parkland, wildlife corridors, allotments, sports pitches, play areas and walking routes linking the new village with surrounding countryside and rural settlements.
As well as delivering up to 5,150 homes over the next 15 years Linmere will see the creation of two brand new state of the art primary schools and an extension to Houghton Regis’ existing Thornfield Primary school, due to open this September. A ten-form secondary school will open in September 2022.
Phase two of the development, currently under way, includes the village’s focal point, The Farmstead, a hub not only for the villagers but for residents from the surrounding area. The centre, due to open in December, will consist of a café, retail outlets, and will have rooms available for hire for community events. That phase will also see the completion of a 24,500 sq ft Lidl store on 2.11 acres, due to open later this year.
Lidl is also building a one million sq ft regional distribution centre on 58 acres, the largest in the UK, due for completion in 2023, which will create 1,000 new jobs.
Linmere’s ethos is to create a place where wellbeing is prioritised and outdoor living is a way of life. Once completed, the overall development will contribute more than £36m towards local education, transport, open space, and leisure facilities. The project has already provided a substantial financial contribution to deliver the A5-M1 Link Road, which has been open since 2017 and will bring benefits to the wider area including helping to relieve traffic congestion in the nearby town centres. For further information, please visit www.linmere.com