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The pipeline of social housing new-build projects entering the planning system boomed last year according to exclusive market research from Glenigan.

There was a 14% rise in the number of detailed planning applications to build new homes by registered social landlords last year. Those 527 applications contained plans for 28,489 new social homes, which is an 18% rise on the number of units entering the pipeline in 2018.

Four RSLs put together planning submissions for more than 1,000 units last year with Notting Hill Genesis proposing the biggest number of new homes.

Social housing new-build pipeline booms


Notting Hill Genesis’ Grahame Park estate redevelopment in Colindale, north London, was the biggest project to enter the planning pipeline. This proposal from Notting Hill Genesis will provide more than 2,000 homes and construction is likely to begin in 2022.

Other major social housing schemes about to go live include the Turnhouse Road development of 1,400 homes in Edinburgh by Dunedin Canmore Housing Association and West Craigs (Glenigan Project ID: 16368698). According to Glenigan’s research, construction should start on this scheme later this year.

A host of other major social housing projects are moving through the system according to Glenigan’s data with some smaller RSLs joining forces to progress bigger developments. For example, Lochaber Housing Association and Highland Small Communities Housing Trust is working with Link Group to build 325 homes at Upper Achintore in Fort William (Glenigan Project ID: 17311006).

Top RSLs

There were also five RSLs amongst the industry’s top 100 construction clients in 2019 and Notting Hill Genesis was also the biggest spender. The association is building a swathe of new homes on the Aylesbury Estate at Southwark in south London. Hill Partnerships bagged a major deal and started on site last summer (Glenigan Project ID: 18257506).

Other contractors working on the Aylesbury Estate packages include Vistry, which is due to start on a £60 million package this summer (Glenigan Project ID: 16270537).

Social housing new-build pipeline booms

Other RSLs amongst the construction industry’s top 100 clients include Southern Housing, which is working on a £150 million residential scheme at Shoreham-by-Sea (Glenigan Project ID 16244688), and Places for People.

Places for People is spending £100 million on modular homes with Ilke Homes (Project ID: 19181842) and also progressing other large developments, such as the Egham Gateway development, which is delivering hundreds of new homes with phase two starting this spring according to Glenigan’s analysis (Glenigan Project ID: 19105039)

In the pipeline

Social housing construction is one of the sectors that is predicted to weather any post-Brexit downturn according to Glenigan’s latest industry forecasts.

Economics director Allan Wilén says: “Housing associations are now better placed to finance and take forward new developments. Government requirements limiting association’s rent increases to 1% below the rate of inflation are ending. This will provide associations with greater flexibility to increase their borrowing to fund new developments.”

After some weakness this year, Glenigan is predicting a rise of around 9% in the underlying value of social housing project starts next year.

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