Published On: Mon, Nov 27th, 2017

Legal & General set to deliver 1,500 new homes as it acquires second major site

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Legal & General announces that it has acquired a 272 acre site in Arborfield, Wokingham.  Helping to address the UK’s chronic housing shortage, Legal & General will apply its unique multi-tenure approach in order to speed up housing delivery, reducing the time taken to deliver these homes by over five years. With outline planning consent for 1500 new homes, a school, shops and employment generating uses, it represents the second major site being brought forward by Legal & General’s housebuilding arm, Legal & General Homes. It recently started work on site at its first development, Buckler’s Park, a 250 acre, 1000-home development in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

Establishing housing capabilities across all tenures, Legal & General is delivering Build to Sell housing alongside Build to Rent, later living, student accommodation and affordable housing.  It is also revolutionising construction methods through its modular factory in Leeds – Legal & General Modular.  Its ability to inject capital into large-scale sites coupled with this multi-tenure approach will accelerate UK housing delivery, supporting its targets to build more than 70,000 new homes over the next five to ten years.

Arborfield is located in a prime residential location in Berkshire, within fifteen minutes from the newly regenerated Bracknell town centre. Construction for the first phase of new homes is due to start at the end of next year. The site is large enough to provide a full range of housing options, from one bed apartments to five bed detached family homes. Over a third of the development will accommodate much-needed affordable housing, whilst over 44% of the total site will be dedicated to public open space.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, said:  “The Budget creates the right backdrop for a real boost to one of the key areas of infrastructure – housing supply. This is the first substantive supply side policy for almost forty years, since council houses were sold in the 1980’s. Legal & General will therefore accelerate our roll-out of housing and associated infrastructure including on larger sites where we can create whole new communities like Crowthorne and Arborfield. We welcome the Chancellor’s stamp duty reform, which helps to address intergenerational unfairness, and would like to see this for young and old alike, enabling all age groups to access homes that best suit their needs.”

James Lidgate, CEO of Legal & General Homes, commented:  “We have a chronic housing shortage in the UK and speeding up the delivery of new supply is key to tackling this crisis. Adopting a multi-tenure approach means that we can create homes in a much shorter timescale as well as supporting people throughout their different life stages. Rather than taking 15 years to build 1500 new homes, we believe that we could achieve a 50% improvement in delivery.”

Housing is one of Legal & General Capital’s key strategic sectors, due to the financing gaps that still exist, offering the opportunity for significant shareholder value, both through investments made directly by LGC and through businesses held by the wider Group.  Legal & General has been involved in housing activities for nearly 20 years and is committed to addressing the UK’s chronic housing shortage through delivering high-quality sustainable and enduring homes.

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