Background and business case

In March 2018, Halton Housing acquired a plot of land on Picow Farm Road, Runcorn allowing us to create a £10.5million housing development, Tannery Fields of mixed tenure in a popular residential area of Runcorn, Cheshire.

This development, supported by Homes England funding, comprises 71 brand-new homes and will help us deliver our ambitious development programme which sets out our intentions to build and acquire 1000 additional new homes for rent, sale and shared ownership over the next 5 years.

The development which will be a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom houses and bungalows will offer 30 homes for affordable rent, and our commercial subsidiary, Open Door will manage 41 homes for Outright Sale, Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy homes, helping more people onto the property ladder through different tenures that help meet customers individual needs and circumstances.

Tannery Fields, also provides flexibility for customers, with shares available for purchase ranging from 25% to 75%, depending on affordability and other eligibility criteria. Help to Buy is also available at this development, helping numerous families, first time buyers, and young professionals move into a home they can truly afford.

The first new build homes were handed over in May 2019 with all homes set to be completed by Summer 2020.

Partners involved

  • Homes England
  • MCI Developments
  • Halton Borough Council

Programme Costs

Total scheme costs: £10.5 million

Value of Affordable Homes Programme support for scheme: £1,775,000

Scheme size – 71 units

[30] Affordable Rent

[14] Shared Ownership

[17] Outright sale by housing association

[10] Other – Rent to Buy


Tannery Fields is helping to provide much needed homes to meet the government’s target of 300,000 extra homes required to meet housing demand each year. We believe that one of our fundamental roles as a housing association is to provide new additional homes. It’s also part of our investment of £60m in the provision of new homes.

This development, located on Picow Farm Road had been disused with overgrown vegetation for a number of years and a collaboration between MCI, Halton Borough Council and Halton Housing ensured that this development could proceed and regenerate a disused piece of land back into the community.

In addition, it has enabled Halton Housing to deliver a range of high quality property types to meet the local housing need, in particular bungalows and 4-bedroom houses.

Through the support of Homes England funding, Halton Housing has been able to bring this development forward offering a genuinely mixed tenure scheme, providing four different tenures and therefore, offering four different customer groups the opportunity to obtain a new home. Without this funding the opportunities to develop this would have been limited, leading to a far less inclusive housing scheme.

Lessons learnt

It was important to involve different parts of the organisation as early as possible to ensure engagement and feedback, for example, meeting with Property Services helped us agree a specification with the contractor that would help with efficient maintenance of these homes. This will not only help the business with reduced call outs, but also ensure new technologies are included in our developments where possible.

Each tenure needs to be designed and specified to take account of both the needs of customers and Halton Housing. It is therefore critical that the differences in these tenures are clearly set in the early design stages.

The scheme has been developed through a standard construction contract, which means the phasing of hand over of the completed properties, in a timely manner can have an negative impact on the sales. This process is critical and challenging and therefore, the developer/contractor needs to have a clear understanding of requirements and wherever possible, they need to be clearly defined within the contract.

“Halton Housing is committed to increasing the supply of affordable homes as well as continuing our investment in our existing homes. We have an ambitious growth and development programme, our aim is to build and acquire over 1000 homes by 2024. The investment in this development, through the Affordable Homes Programme, at a time when there is a significant national housing shortage, allows us to make a real difference to the provision of much needed high quality and genuinely affordable homes in this area”.

Paul Mullane, Director of Development & Growth, Halton Housing

Future plans

Halton Housing continues to identify the development of good quality, new build homes as a key strategic objective of the business, which is clearly set out within Our Direction. We see that the development of true mixed tenure schemes, both on our own and in partnership with other RP’s and Developers. It is a great way of providing new homes to the widest group of customers possible. This approach also reduces the stigmatisation of the social housing, by ensuring a more inclusive community.

We continue to deliver against our ambitious development programme to build and acquire 1000 additional new homes for rent, sale and shared ownership over the next 5 years. Currently we have a number of sites in the pipeline, including a 100 apartment Extra Care scheme providing the opportunity for customers to both purchase through Shared Ownership and rent through Affordable Rent.

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