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LABC Award Success

A Warwick property development company is toasting its success in the regional round of a nationwide building excellence awards.

AC Lloyd, whose headquarters are at Tachbrook Park, is the winner of the Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development in the West Midlands region of the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards 2020 for its work in phases one, two and three at Station Approach Development in Leamington.

The £22 million project involved AC Lloyd collaborating with Warwick District Council and Platform Housing Group to create two-and-three-bedroom homes and apartments on a site which dates back nearly 400 years near Leamington Spa Station.

Alistair Clark, the managing director of AC Lloyd Homes, said it was the first time AC Lloyd had entered the LABC Awards which recognise a high standard of technical work as well as rewarding the talent of people working within the building industry.

He said: “Thousands of extra visitors will be travelling to Leamington Spa Station when the town hosts the lawn bowls and para bowls during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as well as next year when Coventry is UK City of Culture and the brief was to deliver a landmark development as it is one of the first buildings people will see when arriving in the town.

“The complexity of the site from day one meant this couldn’t have been achieved without regular dialogue and co-operation from Warwick District Council’s building control team and it was a true partnership.

“Our team’s expertise in dealing with such a difficult site through excellent team working, communication and planning ahead was vital.

“From the beginning, there were land ownership issues to resolve and having to deal with a heavily contaminated site meant the pragmatic approach from ourselves, WDC and the Platform Housing Group was vital in overcoming issues which occurred and agreeing jointly on the solutions.

“We believe the Station Approach Development has enhanced the whole neighbourhood because it was previously an eyesore and it has now become the place to live in Leamington because of the high quality of the housing accommodation which is within walking distance of the Parade shopping centre.

“The development was delivered on time and to budget – and winning this accolade is a great way to mark the completion of these phases of the site.”

Phil Rook, Head of Consortium at Warwick Building Control, said: “I have worked with AC Lloyd for almost 30 years on numerous developments and they always build with quality as their main driver.

“As a local developer they have always accommodated and worked with us to provide developments that comply with legislation and that fit into the local environment, and this award is greatly deserved.”

Hazel Doolan, Area Development Manager at Platform Housing Group, said: “This is a very visual development since it is near Leamington Spa Station and in terms of design of the housing, the feedback from residents and near neighbours is that they appreciate the look of the properties which are not alien to the surroundings.

“This has been the first major project I have been involved in with AC Lloyd and I have been impressed by the quality of the development and the extra care they have taken in the little details because residents’ main priority is the finished product since it is their home and we have had no negativity.”

Read LABC Award Success…

Our Tenants Annual Report 2019/2020

We're really proud to present our Tenants Annual Report 2019-2020[pdf] 13MB. This is our first Platform Housing Group annual report and we're excited to show the progress we've made as an organisation during the year.

The report is introduced by Elizabeth Froude, our Group Chief Executive, and Ella Corbett, chair of our Customer Experience Panel. The key theme of this year's report is Customer Involvement and Engagement and gives an overview of our performance and services during the year.

This report not only covers where we have succeeded, but also details our improvement plans for the coming year to ensure that our services meet customer expectations

You'll find lots of opportunities to get involved with shaping the services Platform has to offer and we would welcome your feedback via the dedicated email address found at the end of the report.

Read Our Tenants Annual Report 2019/2020…

Take Five. Stop Fraud.

takefive-stopfraud.org.uk

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.

Fraud Offences Targeting The Elderly On The Rise

West Mercia police have noticed a spike in fraud offences where the elderly are being targeted, several incidents have been reported in the last few days.

However this type of crime is not just limited to the West Mercia area, so we would like to offer some helpful tips and advice courtesy of the Police, ActionFraud, and GOV.UK on how to avoid scams and fraud offences.

Scam Alert: the police will never ask you to hand over any money or purchase vouchers.

Do you know who is calling?

Don't part with any of your personal information, bank cards, money or valuables.

Remember: C.A.L.L.

Criminals may be calling

Suspect anyone you don't know, regardless of who they claim to be.

Answer 'NO' to any personal questions

Don't part with any of your personal information or money. Remember, the police and your bank would NEVER ask for such details as your PIN or account numbers over the phone.

Leave the conversation

If you are suspicious or feel uncomfortable with a caller's questions, then end the call.

Let Action Fraud know

If in doubt hang up and wait 10 minutes. Then report to Action Fraud (0300 123 30 40 or www.actionfraud-police.uk) or the police (101) if the crime is still happening, the suspect is in the local area or if you are bulnerable and unable to contact Action Fraud.

Read Take Five. Stop Fraud.…

Affordable housing development in Oxfordshire village

Platform Housing Group has started work on 13 new homes in the village of Ardley. It’s our latest development within Oxfordshire, which will offer a mixture of affordable homes for shared ownership and rented units.

The homes – which are due for completion next summer – will be made up of 7 for affordable rent and 6 shared ownership.

The scheme – which is costing £2.6million - has been made possible by grant funding for affordable housing by the Oxfordshire Growth Board’s Housing and Growth Deal.

Jamir Ali, Area Development Manager at Platform Housing Group explained: “We bought the land – which was formerly an agricultural field – in March 2019; having already received planning permission for the scheme, we then appointed a building contractor. During the design phase we worked closely with the parish council, consulting with local people to ensure we took their views into consideration.”

As part of the planning permission, Platform Housing Group is required to provide a new signal controlled pedestrian crossing over the B430 Station Road, approximately 20m to the north of the entrance to the development, so that residents and visitors can safely access the amenities in the village.

The village itself has a church, a pub, a football club with its own sports pavilion, a football pitch, playing fields and a children’s play area; there is a primary school, shop and post office in an adjacent village. The town of Bicester is 4.5miles away, Banbury is 13miles and Oxford 18miles.

Those involved in the new development include the developer Harper Group, Oakley Architects, GRM Associates, Cherwell District Council and Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council.

Jamir concluded: “The new homes will form a high quality and sustainable affordable housing development that meets the needs of local people. Ensuring people have access to social housing is of vital importance in today’s world.  We look forward to completion of the project and welcoming residents into their new homes.

Platform Housing Group has also recently developed 60 affordable homes in Banbury and a further 73 in Witney.

To register interest in a home please visit Platform Home Ownership or call 0345 450 3995.

Read Affordable housing development in Oxfordshire village…

Local Restrictions and Our Services

If you are in an area that is affected by Local Restrictions (also known as Lockdown), Platform may have to limit in-person service to essentials only, these include:

  • Emergency repairs
  • Gas safety checks and repairs
  • Compliance activities relating to the safety of yourself and your home.

For now, when operating in a lockdown area, Platform Property Care will continue to provide:

  • Responsive repairs where the customer and lockdown allows - this may reduce to emergency only, but we will try to retain external repair works where possible
  • Compliance services as normal where customer access allows.
  • Grounds Maintenance services, dependent on Lockdown criteria

As it seems likely that more of our operating areas will be affected by Local Restrictions related to COVID-19/coronavirus in the coming days, we wanted to let our customers know how this could affect them.

If you are in a Local Restriction area and have a non-emergency repair scheduled during the lockdown period, we may contact you to see if it is still safe to attend and/or rearrange the appointment.

If it is necessary for a member of our team to enter your home during lockdown, we will take all social distancing and personal protective equipment precautions necessary to ensure you and our operative(s) are safe.

The health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable residents remains of the utmost importance to us and our teams will again be working with a number of partners and charities to provide the necessary support where needed. If you are affected by a local lockdown and do need any additional help or support please get in touch with us on 0333 200 7304. You can also find rent support and advice on our website at www.platformhg.com/money-advice.

For more information about local restrctions, please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

You can find out if your area has any specific local restrictions and what these might be by checking www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19 or your local authority/council website.

Read Local Restrictions and Our Services…

100th Home Ownership Sale

Platform Home Ownership, a part of the Platform Housing Group which sells homes via shared ownership, sold its 100th property of 2020 in August. In addition they sold 46 homes during July, despite the lockdown restrictions, by holding socially distanced viewings.

 

James Baker, Home Ownership Director at Platform Housing Group, said: “Demand for homes has soared and we’ve had over 1,000 enquiries each month since May. Buyers have used the lockdown as an opportunity to re-evaluate their circumstances, creating a mini boom within the housing sector. We have also been helping key workers to buy via shared ownership; from April-June this year 25% of our sales and reservations were to key workers. It’s hard to predict what the economy will look like post-covid, however we currently have strong interest in demand, a surge in reservations and a spike in sales completions.”

 

For more information about shared ownership and Platform Home Ownership visit www.platformhomeownership.com.

Read 100th Home Ownership Sale…

Virtual Surgery Q&A

Our Communities and Neighbourhoods Team will be answering questions from customers via “Virtual Surgeries” on YouTube – the first video will focus on mutual exchanges and questions can be submitted until 30.8.20. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss it!

More information about mutual exchanges can be found here.

To submit questions to the team please complete the form below:

About you

Note: Questions marked by * are mandatory

Platform will process the above personal data for the purposes of:

  • providing you with information about opportunities to volunteer and get involved in our customer experience strategy options, and
  • to monitor the effectiveness of this communication campaign.

For more information about how we process your data  in accordance with the data regulation laws and your data rights please see our Privacy Notice.

You are here: Page 1 of 2

Read Virtual Surgery Q&A…

Lottery Support Saves Historic Farmhouse

Historic Willow Court Farmhouse in Droitwich will be ‘safe as houses’ with National Lottery support

Partner's Logos

Lottery Heritage Fund logo Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust Wychavon District Council logo

The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust has received initial support* from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Willow Court Farmhouse, Droitwich it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to save and transform this historic 16th Century building into six new affordable homes.

Development funding of £259,400 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust (WBPT) progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant in 2022. The WBPT is working together in a new partnership with Wychavon District Council and Platform Housing Group to restore and convert this empty Grade II listed property.

Willow Court Farmhouse, Droitwich today - north elevation

The collaboration between a Building Preservation Trust, Local Authority and Housing Association to rescue a heritage building at risk for sustainable use as affordable housing establishes a model that has potential to tackle two important issues: creating a viable secure use for historic buildings at risk and providing more affordable rent homes.

The farmhouse, which has not been lived in for decades, is in a poor condition, so the first stage of the project will make the site secure and develop detailed plans to save the building. The longer-term plan will see essential conservation work undertaken to stabilise it, including preservation of a historic timber frame hidden inside, and create six new affordable flats. An apprenticeship programme is planned, alongside a series of local community events and activities which will help to unlock the lost history of the farm and surrounding land. Research into a possible royal link will be also undertaken as it is thought that the farmhouse was part of the Salwarpe estate lands once owned by the family of Katherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII.

The property is currently owned by Wychavon District Council, who have been working with the Trust for the past two years to find a sustainable, viable future for the building and it is intended that upon completion, the flats will be leased by Platform Housing Group as affordable rent homes.

Commenting on the award, Sue Whitehouse, Chair of The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players and aim to work with the local community in the area as we develop the project further. Added to the funding we have received from Wychavon District Council and the Architectural Heritage Fund, we are now able to ensure that Willow Court Farmhouse will indeed be safe as houses!”

Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, added: “We have been working closely with the WBPT and Platform Housing Group to develop this project. This support, thanks to National Lottery players, will ensure that the new partnership will bring real change and benefits to both Willow Court Farmhouse and the people around it.”

Gerraint Oakley, Executive Director (Growth and Development), Platform Housing Group said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this project; ensuring that the historical importance of Willow Court Farmhouse won’t be lost is certainly heart-warming.  Bringing the property back to life will be a wonderful addition to the local community.  And with the need for affordable housing increasing, this project looks set to be a welcome addition to our growing portfolio of homes.”

 

About The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust.

The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust (WBPT) is a charitable company established to preserve for the benefit of the nation buildings of especial beauty or especial historic or architectural interest in the county of Worcestershire. Six historic buildings have been saved via WBPT's work, most recently the conservation and renovation of Weavers' Cottages in Kidderminster made possible with grants from a number of funders including the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund) and Architectural Heritage Fund. For details and more information about WBPT’s work, please see our website: www.wmhbt.org.uk/wbpt.htm

Follow @worcsbpt on Twitter and Facebook

 

About Platform Housing Group

Platform Housing Group owns and manages 47,153 homes across the Midlands, with a portfolio that includes social and affordable rent and shared ownership houses. The group has G1 governance and V1 financial viability ratings from the Regulator of Social Housing and a Standard and Poor’s A+ rating.

Platform is currently the second largest housing association builder of affordable homes completing 1,448 new homes in 2019/20 and also a Homes England strategic partner with a delivery target of at least 1,138 homes over the coming year.

 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

* National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. Willow Court Farmhouse ‘Safe as Houses’ project has initially been granted round one development funding of £259,400 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £1,398,100.

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

 

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

 

About The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF)

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK. We do this by providing advice, information and financial assistance in the form of early project grants and loans for projects undertaken by charities and not-for-private profit organisations.

The AHF believes that better places can be built through community enterprise. Historic buildings and places play an essential role in our everyday lives, our cultural identity and our economy. Our historic environment can inspire creativity and enterprise, it brings communities together, and it makes people happier about where they live. For 40 years, we have been supporting people achieve viable community-led solutions for the re-use of historic buildings at risk. 

Follow @ArchHFundUK on Twitter and Facebook

Read Lottery Support Saves Historic Farmhouse…

We Are Number Seven In The Country!

A survey amongst housing associations in the UK has confirmed Midlands-based social landlord Platform Housing Group in prime position.

Platform Housing Group has come in at number seven in a recent survey of the top 50 biggest builders by Inside Housing magazine.

The annual survey has announced that the Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19).

Gerraint Oakley, Executive Director (Growth and Development) at Platform Housing Group said : “We are justifiably proud of this achievement which is testimony to our strong and robust position even in such difficult times.  We continue to make real strides in working towards our objective to build 2000 homes a year, which in turn will help support the wider economy.  We would like to congratulate all those who have worked hard to achieve this latest accolade and we look forward to a successful future developing more affordable homes.”

Platform Housing Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.

Read We Are Number Seven In The Country!…

Our £350 Million Debut Bond Issue

Platform HG Financing Plc’s £350 million debut bond issue to accelerate affordable housing delivery across the Midlands

Platform Housing, the largest housing association in the Midlands, has successfully placed its debut debt capital markets transaction, a £350 million bond issue with a 2055 maturity and a fixed coupon of 1.625%.

The bond received outstanding support from a broad range of institutional investors with demand well in excess of £1 billion from 60 investors, providing a very strong endorsement for Platform Housing’s strategy, a key part of which is to expand the availability of new affordable homes across the Midlands. Raising these funds will enable Platform Housing to continue with these plans with even greater confidence.

Elizabeth Froude, Group Chief Executive - “This has been a phenomenal piece of work delivered during a difficult time nationally and a great credit to all involved. I would like to thank the large number of investors, many of whom took the time to really understand our business, the regional strength and our strong commitment to social and affordable tenures. Our residents now and in the future will benefit for a long time, from the direct contribution this will make to the homes they will live in”.

The issue further enhances Platform Housing’s financial strength, including extending its debt maturity profile and diversifying its sources of financing.

Rosemary Farrar, Platform Housing’s Chief Finance Officer, said “The fast and flexible access to finance that the bond supplies will diversify and strengthen our loan book and support our ambitious growth plans as we accelerate our work to invest in existing homes, build much-needed new ones and invest in our customer services and communities.

We achieved one of the best all in prices and margins in the sector and this was for our debut issuance which is a true reflection of Platform’s ambition and potential.  We had a fantastic response from investors being oversubscribed by nearly four times what we needed and retained a further £50m which will be available at short notice for further investment as and when we need it.

The Platform team is grateful to our three joint bookrunners Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets and NatWest Markets and also for the support on the transaction by Devonshires (legal advice) and Centrus (treasury advice).  Bookrunners’ legal advice was provided by Addleshaw Goddard LLP with Savills providing property valuation services.

This fantastic achievement was put together in a very tight timetable and our thanks go to the whole team for all their hard work.”

Platform Housing is the largest housing association in the Midlands and one of the largest in the country, owning over 45,000 homes. Over the last 2 years, it has built more social and affordable homes in England than any other social housing provider and is a strategic partner for Homes England.

The 35 year maturity is amongst the longest dated publicly listed debt ever raised by a UK housing association. The 1.625% coupon is the lowest ever achieved in the long-dated sterling bond market for this credit rating category (across all sectors) and recognition of the strong credit and low risk business model of Platform Housing.

John Weguelin, Chairman of the Group Board - “As Chair of the Board I am pleased to see that the value of our core financial strength and socially focussed business model was valued by Investors. As a Board we are committed to protecting this and ensuring that the relationship with Investors is a long and successful one which will deliver many more, much needed homes in the future.

I would also like to thank Elizabeth and her team for the outstanding result they have achieved during this period that will benefit our many customers in the future”

The offer or sale of bonds may be restricted by law in certain jurisdictions. This announcement does not contain or constitute an offer of, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for, securities to any person in the United States or in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful.
The securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") or any U.S. State securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to, or for the account or the benefit of, U.S. persons as defined in Regulation S under the Securities Act except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act. The offer and sale of the securities referred to herein has not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act. There will be no public offer of the securities in the United States.
Read Our £350 Million Debut Bond Issue…
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