Published on : Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Network Rail has today announced it is finalising plans to release land for the development of around 12,000 new homes as part of its contribution towards the Government’s target to release land with the potential for 160,000 homes.
Nearly 200 sites across the country have been identified as suitable housing development opportunities for around 12,000 new homes. It is anticipated that land for around 5,000 of these homes will be delivered in London, 3,600 in Manchester and the North, 1,700 in the Midlands and East of England, and around 1,400 homes in the South of England. Network Rail continues to assess these sites with the aim of increasing their potential for housing development.
The ambitious programme is already under way with the largest 20 sites offering potential for over 5,000 new homes. Earmarked projects include the former Exchange Station site in Manchester, which will deliver land for 700 homes, and a major scheme at Chesterton near Cambridge which will release land for over 800 homes.
David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property said: “Network Rail has been unlocking land for development for over a decade, providing space for thousands of homes, while generating income to reinvest back into the railway.
“The railway stands as a backbone of the UK economy. Unlocking railway land for redevelopment investing in stations and infrastructure, can and does transform large swathes of our towns and cities and boost local and regional economies.
“As we now ramp up our land release programme to deliver thousands more homes, we will be working closely with the Homes and Communities Agency, London Land Commission, local authorities and developers to bring identified sites forward to help meet the country’s housing needs.”
Network Rail will partner with developers to release land on a site-by-site basis over the next three to four years. The company is also considering an accelerated approach whereby some sites may be grouped and sold as multi-site developments. These sites could go to market as early as spring 2017.
The land-release programme is central to Network Rail’s objectives to help respond to the nation’s housing shortage. The company will continue to review its assets as these plans progress to see if any more sites can be developed for housing.
Releasing land for homes is not new to the company; Network Rail supported the delivery of land for over 1,700 homes during its last investment period (2009 – 2014), and land for 1,200 new homes has already been delivered in the current investment period (2015 – 2020).