Thursday, January 11, 2007

Peak Valley Housing Association


Hello There My Friends,

The Rt. Hon. Ruth Kelly MP confirmed the importance of the Hattersley stock transfer in September 2006 saying that just a few months into her new position as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; the Department had flagged up Hattersley as an examplar housing project.

Mrs Kelly took time out of her busy Conference schedule to visit Hattersley where the community was celebrating the transfer of housing stock from Manchester City Council to Peak Valley Housing Association (a wholly owned subsidiary of Registered Social landlord Contour Housing Group).

Mrs Kelly praised the unique collaboration between Contour Housing Group, English Partnerships, Manchester and Tameside Councils, local residents and the Housing Corporation. A collaboration which finally came to fruition on 25.9.06 when over 1700 properties on the Hattersley & Mottram Estate were transferred to Peak Valley Housing Association in a deal which many sceptics believed would never happen.

“I congratulate everyone involved for their ambition and the creative solutions that were brought to the table,” she said, “As a Government we would like to see other areas of the country follow your lead and show the same optimism and determination to succeed. I look forward to monitoring your progress and would welcome a return visit in a few years to see how you have moved forward.”

Whilst stock transfers in themselves are not unusual, in Hattersley the challenge for the partners was to look at the wider picture and at the same time regenerate the whole area. A masterplan included not just the refurbishment of former council properties but a new district centre with retail outlets and a health centre, an improved infrastructure, better public transport, private housing and an enhanced environment.

Mike Creamer Chief Executive of Contour Housing Group said, “Hattersley has been one of the most challenging projects of my career. However, thanks to a genuine partnership between the public/private sector and what we consider to be a daring and innovative approach to this stock transfer, the residents of Hattersley can now at last get the future they deserve.”

Bill Skillki, Area Director of English Partnerships said, "This is a significant milestone for people living in Hattersley. It now paves the way for the wider regeneration of the area, which English Partnerships is helping to deliver. This includes a new district centre with shops, businesses and community services, improved roads, parking and public space as well as new homes in tandem with work to upgrade this existing social housing.”

In order to deliver its ambitious masterplan Contour needed to plug a £18.5m hole in its business plan. It was decided that this money could be raised if redundant and derelict parcels of land could be sold on to private developers and both Manchester and Tameside Councils ‘gifted’ the land necessary to enable the plan to go ahead.

Rather than sell off the land piece by piece which would have further delayed the masterplan, national regeneration agency English Partnerships offered to underwrite the sum needed and undertook a major marketing campaign to attract private development. The response from the private sector has been very positive and an announcement on the successful developer is expected shortly.

Mike Creamer believes that the partnership approach has played a major part in the success of Hattersley. He adds, “All the partners have played a key role. Manchester and Tameside generously provided the land, English Partnerships took the financial risk and the Housing Corporation provided £3.5 million in capital funding to enable us to develop a range of re-housing options for residents affected by clearance.

“Manchester City Council also provided grant funding to assist Contour in its post transfer demolition programme and the Hattersley Neighbourhood Partnership played a major part in co-ordinating work across all agencies.

“Finally of course, without the dedication and commitment of the residents nothing would have been possible. The talking is over and the transformation can begin.”

This transfer has been closely watched by the housing sector and politicians who believe the Hattersley approach could be replicated elsewhere in the country.

Executive Tameside Council Leader Cllr. Roy Oldham said, “For the last three years Tameside Council has been working on this unique and ground breaking stock transfer. Over the next five to 10 years Hattersley and Mottram will be transformed with the refurbishment of the existing stock, new residential developments, employment opportunities through commercial and retail development, the enhancement and improvement of open spaces and the development of the railway station.

“Its a groundbreaking occasion for the area and the transfer will be welcomed by residents who voted overwhelmingly for the transferring of their homes to Peak Valley Housing Association. We all now look forward to a period of sustained improvements and investment in the area’s facilities and the establishment of a truly sustainable neighbourhood.”

The energy efficiency improvement works will start early February 2007 alongside a full programme of upgrades to the stock including windows, new roofing, insulation, heating, doors, kitchens and bathrooms.

The insulation works will be supported with funding from an energy supplier with all the cavity wall insulation and some of the 0-270mm loft insulations being 100% funded saving the SHP atleast £100,000 investment !

The main contractor managing the Estate programme will be Casey in partnership with Arcus, who specialise in property refurbishment and conversion, using architects and building surveyors using a highly successful 'one-stop' facility where all their requirements can be met through a single point of contact. Simon Fenton Partnership based in Manchester are also an important and key part of the project team.

Information about Simon Fenton Partnership:

The practice was formed in 1988 and has continued to build up a strong and successful reputation whilst working on a wide variety of projects of up to £60M in value. The practice has extensive experience of working at home and overseas in all major market sectors and also a variety of building types for public, commercial and private clients.

The range of services provided by the practice have a specific emphasis on cost effective design through cost control and contractual advice from inception through to completion of the project.

In addition to SFP core skills of quantity surveying and cost consultancy SFP also offer a number of additional services and roles such as project management and construction management.

SFP have worked with and continue to work with several of the most acclaimed and award winning architects in the United Kingdom. They have also built similar long-term associations with clients by the creation of excellent working relationships based on professional trust through regular, informative and responsible interaction. The high number of repeat commissions SFP acquire is a measure of their success.

SFP's work and involvement on several projects has been recognised with awards from both the RIBA and Civic Trust. SFP believe that this is testament to not only the quality of the completed building but also the teamwork and close collaboration of the professional team which is essential to the success of any project.

The Partnership has BSEN ISO 9001 accreditation and is a member of Constructionline.

Information about Arcus:

Arcus Consulting LLP were announced winners as 'Partnering Consultant of the Year' at the prestigious 2006 Housing Excellence award ceremony, held at the Mere Golf and Country Club in Cheshire. More than 600 of the country's leading housing professionals attended the awards to celebrate those organisations who have distinguished themselves over the last 12 months in both the social and private housing sectors.

Arcus were selected by a panel of leading industry experts including Dr Tom Manion of Irwell Valley Housing, former president of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Ian Richardson, and Local Government Taskforce member Noel Foley.

They were chosen for their outstanding credentials in partnering social housing providers across the North of England in developing and delivering major regeneration programmes.

Speaking to Penni Pennington of Northern Housing after the event she commented on the outstanding number of nominations Arcus had received from their clients and supply chain partners.

Clive Sellers, Managing Partner comments, "This is a significant milestone for the Practice and one which we could not have achieved without the commitment and hard work of Arcus staff and ongoing support from our clients and supply chain partners".

Peak Valley Housing Association - Making Good Choices !

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

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