Burnley scores a UK "first" with launch of starter homes scheme

Pictured at the landmark sod cutting at the Bridge Walk Apartments are (left to right)  Nick Cumberland, Senior Area Manager for the HCA, Stuart Sage, Head of Area for HCA, Pam Smith, CEO of Burnley Council Tim Webber, MD of Barnfield Construction and Leader of Burnley Council Mark Townsend.

Pictured at the landmark sod cutting at the Bridge Walk Apartments are (left to right) Nick Cumberland, Senior Area Manager for the HCA, Stuart Sage, Head of Area for HCA, Pam Smith, CEO of Burnley Council Tim Webber, MD of Barnfield Construction and Leader of Burnley Council Mark Townsend.

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Burnley has become the first town in the UK to deliver the official government backed Starter Homes Scheme.

Burnley Council, in partnership with Barnfield Investment Properties, started work on site last week to build the first phase of the residential development which will be known as Bridge Walk Apartments,

The development, which is aimed at providing affordable homes from those stepping onto the property ladder for the first time, will be situated in the unique OnTheBanks development within the historic Weavers’ Triangle – a £1.9 million scheme which will provide 16 two bedroom starter home apartments over four floors, to first time buyers who can benefit from the national Starter Homes Scheme.

The scheme has been part grant funded by the Homes and Communities Agency Starter Homes Funding Programme with development finance from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Growing Places Fund.

It will offer modern urban apartment living to first time buyers, with a minimum 20% starter homes discount on their market value under the joint HCA Scheme.

Tim Webber, MBE, Managing Director of Barnfield Construction, said: “The continued development of the OnTheBanks scheme is very important to the economic growth of Burnley.

“This exciting addition of residential units will really help to activate this area that has already seen high level investment in both infrastructure and commercial space.”

Burnley Council Leader, Mark Townsend said he was delighted that the scheme would help to get young people in Burnley on the property ladder.

He said: “Burnley Council’s Regeneration and Planning Policy team in partnership with Barnfield Construction submitted a comprehensive bid to the HCA to develop a starter homes scheme in Burnley, which we are delighted was successful in securing the grant funding towards the Bridge Walk development.”

The apartments will be built exclusively for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old at a discount of at least 20% and are part of the first wave of the Starter Home Initiative. Burnley was selected on the basis of its potential for early delivery.

Housing and Planning Minister, Gavin Barwell said: “We’re committed to helping young first-time buyers fulfill their ambition to own their own home and making sure that affordable homes are available for those who otherwise would be priced out of the market.

“With funding from the Government’s £1.2bn Starter Home Land Fund, this landmark development shows that we’re delivering our pledge to prioritise brownfield land for construction.

“The only way to halt the decline in affordability and help more people onto the housing ladder is to build more homes so that this is a country that works for everyone.”

Kathryn Molloy, Head of LEP Co-ordination and Development, said: “It’s a real testament to the progress that Lancashire is making in the housing sector that Burnley has been chosen for the first Government backed scheme.”