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Landowners hold key to development

COUNTRY landowners hold the key to unlocking pockets of potential development land which are crucial to the government’s ambition to build one million new homes in the region by 2050, according to Northants quality housebuilder Grace Homes.

Dan Browne, who has recently joined the business as land director, believes that as well as building affordable homes in new settlements in the Oxford Cambridge Arc, an area of huge economic potential of which Northampton is at the heart, more substantial, high-end housing will also be needed.

Grace Homes of Corby, which is currently building new homes in Burton Latimer, is seeking more land on which to build new developments in the county and is appealing to farmers and landowners to get in touch.

A recent report on the Oxford Cambridge Arc stated: “We acknowledge that meeting economic potential will demand our collective determination to deliver significantly more homes in the arc, of the right quality and in the right places to meet its needs.

“We recognise that this could include the development and expansion of existing, as well as new, settlements. This will be needed both to address the housing affordability issues already felt in many parts of the arc, and to provide places to live for future communities attracted by the arc’s economic opportunities.”

Dan, whose appointment will help Grace Homes with its ambitious plans for growth, said: “Quite often, landowners live in a village or small town and may have a piece of land they have earmarked for sale, but don’t want it on their record that they created a development which local people think is an eyesore and which adds nothing to aesthetics of the community.

“They want to create a legacy for their town or village – something they will be proud of – but have delayed selling because they are fearful that what will be created won’t be in keeping. However, it is vital that these pockets of land are released to meet the ambitious growth needs of the region.”

Dan, who was formerly land director for Kier Living, added: “Northamptonshire is in an area of huge growth and are actively looking for new sites for development and are welcoming approaches from landowners here.”

Grace Homes was established in 1999 and has a reputation for building relatively small developments of between ten and 100 high-end homes, often on larger than average plots.

As well as maintaining this strategy, and as part of its growth plan, the company intends to increase its provision of what it calls ‘backbone gateway’ sites.

Dan continued: “There are many large-scale developments going on in this region and that is only going to continue. Many developers would welcome a high-end brand on the gateway to their site, as this has the potential to lift the entire development. This is going to be a key component of our growth strategy, as we continue to play our part in meeting the UK’s housing needs.

“We are not going to spoil your town or village. We will build well and our new homes will be in keeping with the rest of the community. Grace Homes is also committed to using renewable energy solutions in the small communities in which we work and playing its part in helping the UK meet its green targets.”

The company also plans to acquire land further afield, moving further south into the arc and into Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

Grace Homes Managing Director Henry Barney said: “In this region, in order to respond to the economic growth plans, we need new homes of all types. This is something Grace Homes is committed to. This need must be met in order to prevent a country-wide housing crisis.

“We are delighted to welcome Dan Browne to the team at Grace Homes and are confident his wealth of relevant experience will help the business achieve its ambitious goals in 2020 and beyond, and provides us with the opportunity to respond to the need for quality new housing in this region.”

Find out more at www.gracehomes.co.uk

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