"This development demonstrates our commitment to building quality housing in Cheshire East, in areas where it is needed most. We look forward to working in partnership with Watkin Jones to progress the development and build a community that residents can be proud of."

Chris McAllister Director of Development at Plus Dane

Watkin Jones, the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent homes, with a focus on the build to rent (BtR), co-living and student accommodation (PBSA) sectors, is pleased to announce exchange of contracts for the sale of its first affordable housing focused development at Sydney Road in Crewe. Watkin Jones is partnering with Plus Dane Housing (Plus Dane) on the project, with Plus Dane purchasing the affordable element on a forward-commitment basis for c£22.8 million.

The 245-home development will offer 85 more affordable homes than required under the section 106 planning conditions, bringing the total number of affordable homes on the site to 159. These include two, three and four-bed family homes, as well as two bed apartments. Within the mixed community, Plus Dane will offer their residents 79 homes at affordable rent and 80 homes for shared ownership, while Watkin Jones will retain 86 homes for market sale.

Located within walking distance of Crewe town centre, as well as the highly connected rail station, the development will include significant green space and two pond features to encourage biodiversity. Younger residents will also be able to stay active by enjoying the scheme’s planned play areas.

The impact of the pandemic has driven house price rises in the North West by 11.9 per cent in the year to February according to the ONS, which highlights the need for affordable homes in the region.

"This will be a fantastic place to live, offering 159 households beautifully designed, secure and affordable homes as part of a new, supportive, sustainable and thriving community. There is a real and growing need for affordable housing across the country, so we are excited to have agreed our first development in this important sector.

Working with Plus Dane as our first affordable housing client has been a brilliant experience and we look forward to continuing our relationship into the future. Our thanks go to everyone involved in the project."

Alex Pease Chief Investment Officer of Watkin Jones

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For further information:

Watkin Jones plc  
Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer Tel: +44 (0) 20 3617 4453

Media enquiries:

Watkin Jones plc (operational/leadership)  
James McLarin, Head of External Communications  
  Tel: +44 (0) 330 912 4138
james.mclarin@watkinjones.com +44 (0) 7769 295 590


Watkin Jones

Watkin Jones is the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, with a focus on the Build to Rent and student accommodation sectors. The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high-quality developments. Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 43,000 student beds across 130 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose-built student accommodation market. In addition, the Fresh Property Group, the Group's specialist accommodation management company, manages over 20,000 student beds and Build to Rent apartments on behalf of its institutional clients. Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 80 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments. The Group is increasingly expanding its operations into the Build to Rent sector.

The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset. Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L. 

Plus Dane

Plus Dane Housing owns more than 13,500 homes across Merseyside and Cheshire; employs more than 500 people; and has an asset value in excess of £570m.

Plus Dane is the Government’s Help to Buy Agent for the North, building on the organisation’s strong track record as a specialist in affordable home ownership.