Wigan is set to benefit from a £22 million affordable homes deal thanks to homebuilder Northstone and housing provider Torus.
Plans for the 113-home development off Stothert Street in Atherton – to be known as ‘Popple’ – were approved by Wigan Council last month.
The new affordable homes will be available to rent, with funding in part from Homes England.
The first energy-efficient homes will be ready by Autumn 2024. They’ll include 33 homes for affordable rent, 12 available for social rent, and 68 Rent To Buy properties, ranging from one to four bedrooms.
The site acquired from Peel, will boast excellent sustainability credentials, with the all-electric community set to feature enhanced fabric to minimise heat loss, air source heat pumps and electric vehicle chargers.
Local benchmark for quality
Jo Allen, land & partnerships director at Northstone, said: “There’s no let-up in the housing crisis, with authorities like Wigan needing to diversify their housing mix to meet local demand. It’s fantastic to be partnering with Torus to deliver a 100% affordable home development that will set a new local benchmark for quality, sustainable rental communities surrounded by green space.
“Not everyone is in a position to buy and many want the flexibility of renting. Popple will mean those looking for affordable rental homes will have access to the same, high-quality new build homes often only open to those who are buying.”
Managing director of Torus Developments, Chris Bowen, said: “As a housing group, we’re well aware of the current cost-of-living-crisis and how heavily it is impacting our communities and the cost of housing, so our mission to continue building great, affordable homes continues to be as pertinent as ever.
“It’s fantastic to once again work with Northstone and continue building on the successful partnership that has already seen us deliver 210 homes in Wigan and Ellesmere Port. We value true collaboration and Popple is the latest in a long line of schemes we have brought forward thanks to key partners such as Wigan Council and Homes England, so I look forward to seeing it become a truly sustainable, affordable community at the heart of Atherton.”
Designed to embrace natural features and provide a central green corridor, the new neighbourhood will also link footpaths through the development into existing routes. Around 10,000 sqm of greenspace will be opened for the local community to enjoy, featuring new hedge and tree planting; as well as species-rich grassland.
Delivery of Popple is being supported by £6.6 million of grant funding from Homes England Strategic Partnership 2021-26 programme. It’s the second community that Northstone and Torus have teamed up on in the borough in the last 12 months, with affordable homes brought forward at Tulach (the former Pemberton Colliery site) in Wigan.
Wigan Council approved a planning application for the Popple site in November 2023 and has been working with project partners to help meet its local targets for delivery of affordable homes.
Councillor Susan Gambles said: “This is a really exceptional development, of good quality affordable homes that have been thoughtfully designed, making sure the energy source is both sustainable and will keep the bills low.”
Kate Collins, senior manager from Homes England, said: “As the government’s housing and regeneration agency, increasing the supply of quality affordable homes remains one of our key objectives and we are committed to supporting ambitious housebuilders of all sizes to build those homes and communities.”