Living Space Housing launch delivers a development-led solution for Registered Providers
A new company is being launched to provide a development-led residential planning, design and construction services solution to Registered Providers (RPs). Living Space Housing, based at The Courtyard on Warwick Road in Solihull, is launching to the market with deals secured for its first four sites, representing a combined construction value of £22million.
Living Space will be delivering its first batch of affordable homes in Kidderminster and Cradley, which is on the outskirts of Malvern. The client for both of these projects is national social housing provider Stonewater. Two further sites located in Telford, Shropshire are also in solicitors’ hands. These four schemes will start on site before the end of 2019, delivering a combined total of 166 homes to the market.
Living Space is the sister company to award-winning luxury housebuilder Hayfield. Established in 2016, Hayfield has completed on over 100 homes to date, equating to a revenue figure of £33million. Living Space is the brainchild of Hayfield’s Managing Director Mark Booth and it is being funded by the founders of the housebuilding business.
Steve Davies – who has worked in the sector for over four decades – has been recruited to head up the new business as Managing Director. He said: “Living Space Housing is being launched to provide an end-to-end service to Registered Providers, enabling them to deliver more homes with greater efficiency. We will take care of land, planning, design, build and development. If there is a discrepancy in the price a RP can pay for a site – compared to its market land value – we can assist by creating a development mix that includes homes for private sale. Meanwhile, our clients can focus on the funding and management of high-quality homes for their residents.”
For sites requiring a proportion of homes designated for sale on the open market, all aspects of the marketing, selling, customer journey and aftersales care can be undertaken by Living Space.
Mr Davies continued: “It is surprising how few competitors we have in the current marketplace. To achieve their targets, Housing Associations are faced with taking on more aspects of a development than they have the resource to manage, which can leave them exposed to greater risk. In addition, even though the need for more housing is acute, getting planning consent continues to be a major issue. Living Space can unlock planning deadlock scenarios and ensure the consent granted is for a scheme that is viable to build.”
Steve Davies has joined Living Space from Seddon Construction, where he was a Development Director. Prior to that he was Operations Director for Mansell Homes – now Balfour Beatty Homes. He has also held senior roles with Wilmott Dixon Housing and John Laing Construction. For the past 10 years, he has also held the voluntary role of Vice-Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP’s Employment and Skills Board – Solihull branch – where he deputises for NEC Chief Executive Paul Thandi. Steve was also a Business Governor for Stourbridge College, until the takeover by BMet College.
Steve Davies added: “Living Space is primed to work with Registered Providers to deliver mixed-tenure schemes in their entirety, working to varying needs and specifications for homes for rent, shared ownership, retirement living, as well as homes to be sold on the open market.
“We are on target to deliver a total of 250 homes by the end of 2020 and have identified our first six developments. We are currently recruiting a core team of experienced professionals to deliver these schemes for our clients and seek out more suitable sites. When a site is first identified, we embark on a journey that takes approximately a year before any enabling works can even take place. It’s in this pre-development and planning phase where Living Space can add significant value to our clients, by ensuring the design and mix of house types is fully optimised.”