Joint venture partner sought for council's housing company

Fri 1 February 2019, 4:18 pm

Bristol City Council is seeking a joint venture partner to develop the first two sites through its new housing company, Goram Homes. The two schemes will deliver 400 homes between them.

The first, at Romney House, has outline planning permission for 268 flats and houses. It is located on the site of a former school and offices in the north Lockleaze area, next to the large and expanding University of the West of England main campus. The second, dockside scheme will include 120-140 homes, as well as riverside commercial space. Both are expected to include up to 40% affordable housing, including social housing and shared ownership.

The housing company was created in September 2018 as part of Bristol mayor Marvin Rees’s plan to build 2,000 homes a year – 800 of them affordable – by 2020. The council approved a strategic business case for the housing company in March 2017.

Goram Homes, wholly owned by the council, will manage larger projects, with smaller projects allocated to housing association partners. The first schemes will be joint ventures with a development organisation, drawing on expertise in the field, and sharing in the financial returns from the project, which could then be re-invested to accelerate further development of new homes.

Councillor Paul Smith said: “We are not interested in working with speculators who only want to make quick money and disregard people’s needs. The company will give the council greater influence over what is built and when so we can ensure developments provide good quality homes that best suit the needs of the local community.”