Bellway to acquire over 100 acres of new Scottish sites
Bellway has unveiled its ambitions for Scotland for the next twelve months which will include the acquisition of more than 100 acres of land, creating around 1,250 new homes.
The significant investment, which is subject to planning, comes on the back of the company’s interim results which saw profits up by 53.1 per cent to £158.9 million and revenue increased from £700.4m to £831.2m, with the North having had a particularly strong performance.
The housebuilder has enjoyed a robust six months in Scotland with the purchase and opening of seven new developments, featuring 600 new plots, generating an end value in excess of £110m ranging from South Ayrshire through the central belt to Midlothian.
Crucially the company has been an anchor partner enabling a number of Scotland’s major regeneration developments, such as Winchburgh and Heartlands, to launch successfully. Spanning a 346 hectare site, Winchburgh Village, seven miles from Edinburgh, is a £1 billion development which will combine residential, leisure, business and educational facilities. A twenty year project, the development, which was recently purchased by Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital business, is expected to create a town bigger than the size of St Andrews and will feature 3,450 new homes on completion.
Similarly, Heartlands, in West Lothian, is one of the largest regeneration projects of its kind in Europe, representing a £650m development combining sport with business and new build, featuring some 2,000 homes.
Willie McDermott, land director at Bellway, said: “Our focus remains on purchasing primary sites in areas that will appeal to families. There are a lot of potential sites available and even more secondary locations but our strategy remains to concentrate on the places that have a strong local community, good access to quality schooling and transport connectivity and a robust local sales market.
“Our financial strength has enabled us to open up many sites across Scotland, providing investment in infrastructure to allow major new developments to progress which is vital to the Scottish economy. Despite our pipeline of proposed developments and the release of land by local authorities, it still remains a fact that less than half the number of the houses required are being built so there’s still a big task ahead.”
These new developments will also generate significant community benefits. In the past six months Bellway has contributed £1.35m to education and more than £500k to affordable housing contributions, community facilities and transport upgrades such as the Clyde Fastlink service.
Willie added: “The recession had an obvious impact on slowing down the extent of community benefits developers were able to deliver however, this is changing and we are committed to delivering on the necessary and justifiable infrastructure benefits which, again, has a huge impact on the local economies where we are generating new communities for people to live in.”