The first bricks have been laid for 245 new homes, including 159 affordable homes, at Watkin Jones' groundbreaking development in Crewe. The scheme on Sydney Road will create a balanced community with more than double the required affordable housing for rent and for sale, and is a joint project between specialist rental housing developer, Watkin Jones, and local housing association, Plus Dane.

Richard Simpson, Chief Executive of Watkin Jones, said:

“Its hugely exciting to see work progressing so well at Sydney Road, which is our pilot of a new model of housebuilding that creates a truly balanced and sustainable community. With prices rising so fast in the North West, we are in no doubt of the value each home adds for the people who will create lives for themselves and their families in them. This project has been hugely successful, and we are actively looking for new locations to roll this model out across the North West.”

Claire Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive at Plus Dane, said:

“This promises to be a fantastic project which will create the opportunity for a brand new, diverse community in an ideal location. At Plus Dane our focus is on tackling social inequality by enabling individuals and communities to thrive, and this Sydney Road development has that ethos at the very heart of it.” 

According to research by Halifax, the North West saw the biggest rise in house prices in England last year (2021), with prices rising 12 per cent.

Watkin Jones increased the affordable housing provision by applying its expertise and forward-funded model developed in the build to rent and student accommodation sectors to the affordable housing sector.

The affordable homes include two, three and four-bed family homes, as well as two bed apartments. Within the mixed community, Plus Dane will offer 79 homes at affordable rent and 80 homes for sale through shared ownership, while Watkin Jones will offer 86 homes for 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 first homes are expected to be completed later this year.