West End One, a flagship housing project in Morecambe’s historic West End, has been completed by Manchester based market rent developer PlaceFirst.

PlaceFirst design, build and manage a growing portfolio of high quality rental homes across the North of England, offering customers improved choice in private renting through spacious, energy efficient homes and a direct, professional landlord service.

The £5.7m development has transformed a key area in the historic West End of Morecambe, turning dilapidated former guest houses into a range of aspirational family homes built around a new landscaped courtyard.

PlaceFirst have remodeled 29 large empty properties to create a bespoke collection of 47 new homes, including townhouses and apartments, aimed at the growing number of households who now rely on the private rented sector for their accommodation needs. The new homes blend the best of old & new through retention of historic features such as large bay windows and high ceilings, and introduction of modern features such as contemporary kitchens and floor-to-ceiling glazing.

The development, which aims to improve the private rental offer in Morecambe, has had strong market interest, with the first release of four-bedroom townhouses fully let within days of completion; upon completion of the entire development in September, PlaceFirst report West End One is over 60% let with a strong pipeline of interest the remaining properties. A show home has recently been completed and is now open for viewings by appointment.

Mr Stuart Edwards, who recently moved into a new three-bedroom home on Westminster Road commented “the property is ideal for me as it has been finished to a high standard and allows me to add a personal touch to make it a real home.  I’m looking forward to the next stage of development as it is fantastic to see these historic properties given a new lease of life’.

Following the success of West End One, PlaceFirst are now developing plans for West End Two on an adjacent site between Chatsworth Road and Balmoral Road. The development will breathe new life into 22 long-term empty properties and will offer a choice of townhouses and apartments similar to West End One. Proposals for the refurbishment project are currently being developed and PlaceFirst aim to be on site in early 2017.

The company are also in detailed discussions with Lancaster City Council on a cleared site off Bold Street in the West End of Morecambe. Subject to planning, PlaceFirst aim to deliver a collection of new-build family houses with private gardens and off-street parking. The project will deliver some of PlaceFirst’s new-build housing and the company aim to use pre-fabrication and modern methods of construction to ensure efficient delivery and high quality standards for their customers.

David Smith-Milne, Managing Director of PlaceFirst commented “Since we completed the first homes in March earlier this year, we have had tremendous interest in West End One. The properties offer a new quality standard in private rent, delivering aspirational, energy efficient homes backed up by a dedicated landlord service with transparent tenures and low fees. There are more households than ever relying on the private rented sector for their accommodation needs and schemes like West End One are addressing this head on through a considered approach that puts the customer at the heart of everything we do.

“We are really pleased with the interest in West End One and expect the remaining homes to be fully let within the next few weeks. The West End is a vibrant, historic neighbourhood close to the beach and town centre and, with the imminent completion of the new Heysham-M6 road link, Morecambe will benefit from improved regional connectivity which can only have a positive impact on the future of the town.

Councillor Janice Hanson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Planning & Regeneration at Lancaster City Council, said: “This has been a longstanding project for the city council and the finished housing has certainly been worth all the hard work that has taken place behind the scenes to make it a reality.“

“The housing is exceptionally high quality and brings up to modern standards these wonderful Victorian properties that for so many years had been in much need of regeneration.”

“The community will benefit immeasurably from this new development, which will directly contribute to making the West End an attractive place to live and work.”

For further information please contact:
Martin Ellerby, Head of New Business & Innovation
e-mail: [email protected]
tel: 0161 434 4720 / 07917 344 953

Notes to editors:

  • High resolution photographs of West End One can be downloaded from PlaceFirst’s Flickr page
  • PlaceFirst aims to deliver high quality 1,000 rental homes across the North of England by 2020 as the business grows into a leading provider of aspirational, affordable build-to-rent housing in the UK.
  • PlaceFirst are working on build-to-rent projects across the North of England including:
    • 120 homes in Woodnook, Accrington
    • 250+ homes at The Welsh Streets, Liverpool
    • 77 homes on the edge of Hartlepool town centre
  • Energy efficiency is a key feature of all PlaceFirst developments, recognising that lower income families in particular, feel the ‘squeeze’ on rising utility costs.
  • PlaceFirst homes are let on a 12-month Assured Short-hold Tenancy (AST) which customers can renew with no administration charges. PlaceFirst customers benefit from a transparent, index-linked annual rent review, and the knowledge that they can rent their home for as long as they choose to.
  • PlaceFirst are committed to improving the image of private renting and, in addition to the usual credit checks and references, potential customers are asked to sign a neighbourhood agreement that promotes and rewards good tenant behaviour.

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