Bury housing leads see Onward’s new Whitefield homes taking shape

Bury Council's housing leads with representatives from Onward and contractor John Southworth

The first homes at one of Whitefield’s newest residential developments are starting to take shape, as Bury Council’s housing leads observed on a recent site visit.

Wheatfields, a development of 30 affordable homes on the former site of the Wheatfields Day Centre in Whitefield, is being built by Greater Manchester contractor John Southworth on behalf of Onward Homes, in partnership with Bury Council.

Recently Cllr Clare Cummins, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, was joined by Bury’s Unit Manager – Housing Strategy, Policy & Performance, Jackie Summerscales, to tour the construction site where John Southworth began work in June 2023.

Through the use of modern construction methods, including sustainable timber-frame systems, John Southworth and Onward are on track to deliver a show home at Wheatfields by summer 2024, with the entire development expected to complete in autumn 2024.

Onward received brownfield funding from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to help progress the development, which will predominantly be funded through Onward’s Strategic Partnership with Homes England. Onward plans to build 5,000 new homes by 2030, with 2,103 being delivered directly through the Partnership.

Working closely with Bury Council to address local housing need, Onward will ultimately market 14 of the new homes for shared ownership, while 16 will be made available at affordable rents capped at Local Housing Allowance rates. Once completed, Bury Council will manage the nominations and allocations process for all affordable rent homes at Wheatfields in perpetuity.

Cllr Clare Cummins, cabinet member for housing services at Bury Council, said:

“We are pleased to see another brownfield site in Bury being brought back into use for the local community, while improving the quality and choice of affordable housing in the area.

“Bury Council has worked extensively with Onward to ensure the right housing mix at Wheatfields, including more affordable ways for local people to get on the housing ladder.

“We will continue to work closely with local housing providers to ensure Bury’s existing residents are prioritised to benefit from any new residential development in the borough.”

The Council is currently managing the disposal of several other brownfield sites across the borough and anticipate the delivery of 366 new affordable homes over the next few years.

Sandy Livingstone, executive director of property at Onward said:

“Bury Council has been extremely supportive and collaborative in our work on Wheatfields, so it was immensely satisfying to demonstrate our progress on site. Partnership working with Bury Council and our contractor John Southworth will be crucial to ensure our local community continues to benefit from our work, throughout and far beyond the construction phase.

“While we continue to invest in new homes to meet a growing demand in Bury, we will also invest far more into our existing 1,200 homes in the area over the coming years. We aim to provide customers with homes that are affordable to rent or buy, and to live in.”

John Southworth is an award-winning domestic and commercial construction company, a family business with over thirty years’ experience delivering modern, innovative, high-quality homes across the North West.

Steven Brown, managing director of John Southworth said:

“We are delighted to be developing new homes in Bury and bringing life to this brownfield site, building homes that people will be proud to call home. We are committed to building and contributing to communities and delivering a social return on investment, bringing added values to areas.”