Despite challenges the construction industry has faced during the last 12 months and ongoing economic uncertainty, privately-owned housebuilder Story Homes remains confident and continues to focus on expansion plans. By the end of this financial year, the builder will have handed over more than 1,500 family homes across the North East during its seven years in operation, with an overall investment of £47 million in local communities throughout the region.
The housebuilder, which is now in its seventh year of operations within the North East region, has laid out plans for its continued investment in three key areas – local communities, new land opportunities and supporting future talent within the industry.
To date, the developer, which has a regional office based in Newcastle, has handed over 1,300 family homes within seventeen developments across the region spanning from Northumberland to Middlesbrough. The builder has also invested more than £10 million in local communities through its s106 agreements which includes financial contributions to highways, education facilities, local infrastructure and green space that will be enjoyed by future generations. It has also invested a further £25 million in the delivery of affordable homes across its developments.
The builder currently has seven live developments in the North East, which are set to deliver more than 200 homes this financial year, with a further investment of more than £12 million in local community infrastructure through s106 agreements to local authorities throughout the life of these sites. Four developments opened in 2019/20 including St John’s Manor in Callerton, St Martin’s Green in Kirklevington, Priory View in Finchale and The Willows at Blackwell, Darlington. These sites are set to deliver 540 new homes on land worth over £25 million.
Allan Thompson, Managing Director for Story Homes in the North East said: “The North East continues to be an important region for Story Homes, with seven live developments and several sites in the pipeline across the region. Although the last year brought challenges and economic uncertainty, we have still seen strong demand to deliver quality homes and the regional team will hand over more than 200 homes for the financial year 2020/21, as well as beginning works at our first development in Sunderland and progressing several schemes through the planning stages. Our aspirational growth plan will see us build over 1,600 properties in the region over the next five years.
“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved as a business to date and as we start 2021, we are committed to pushing ahead with our ambitious plans – we are confident that there will still be a strong demand for the high-quality new homes we build.”
With regard to investment in new land opportunities, planning permission was recently granted for two new developments in the North East. These sites represent three to five years’ worth of building and development in the area, delivering a total of 277 new homes with an overall land investment of circa £10.4 million. The housebuilder’s first development in Sunderland, The Birches at Potters Hill will deliver 115 new homes and Elwick Park in Tunstall, Hartlepool will deliver 162 new homes. Works on both sites are due to begin early in 2021.
An additional three developments are currently in planning which will deliver 523 homes – this includes Station Road at Middleton St George (260), East House Farm in Washington (217) and Dunston Hill Hospital in Whickham (46), as well as several strategic land sites which could see the builder secure more than 4,000 new homes to deliver across the North East in the next 5-10 years.
Despite the disruption to the industry during 2020, Story Homes recently launched its trainee programme with the aim of recruiting the brightest and most passionate people across its regions. So far, a Trainee Sales Executive, Trainee Quantity Surveyor and a Technical Trainee have all been recruited into the company’s North East division, and the ambitious individuals have already started their housebuilding career at sites across the region.
The builder is also relocating its regional office to a significantly larger business unit at Newcastle Business Park, reflecting its growth in the North East and creating new jobs in the region.
Allan continued, “We believe investing in the future of housebuilding is vital, especially during these challenging times. This is an exciting time for Story Homes in the North East and to achieve our business goals, it is really important that we have the right people in place including our staff and subcontractors. To date, we have created more than 530 roles through our investment in the region, and this is forecast to rise as we continue our expansion. Our business is in great shape and we have a dedicated team in place who are committed to helping Story Homes grow and succeed.”
For more information about Story Homes, please visit www.storyhomes.co.uk