This month, we’re celebrating our first birthday as a new northern place maker and homebuilder and I wanted to take the time to reflect on the first 12 months of Northstone and the journey so far.
Northstone, part of Peel L&P, launched in October 2018, and set itself apart from traditional housebuilders with a focus on thoughtful design, simplicity, flexibility, efficiency and smart, sustainable technology with the intent of creating exceptional places for generations to come.
Along with four further senior hires we have around 150 years’ combined experience in housing and property.
In less than six months we secured our first development site in Westhoughton, Bolton and in May we confirmed the housing mix for two, three and four bedrooms to suit the needs of local people. Our designs, inside and out, help to make home life simple. Some design features include:
- Higher ceilings
- Light & bright interiors with large windows
- Open plan, flexible spaces with kitchen & living areas at the front or back (you can choose)
- ‘Tech-spec’ options to automate heating and lighting
This summer brought plenty of good news to Northstone. Beginning with a further office move to larger space at MediaCityUK and Sadia Rauf joining the team as Office Manager. We also worked with the local history groups in Westhoughton to complete an archaeological dig at the Bolton Road, Westhoughton site. Findings show previous uses of the site as farmhouse and a weaver’s cottage. Old cobbles from the dig will be repurposed in the grounds of the new housing development.
In July, we took part in Urban Challenge 2019 at MediaCityUK to raise money for the Tim Bacon Foundation and we were thrilled to receive planning permission for the first 19 homes at the Westhoughton site along with securing £10m HSBC UK funding for more housing across the North West – our excitement is building!
As we moved into September, we revealed new CGI images of the interior spaces as well as street scenes and a 360 virtual tour to officially unveil our Westhoughton scheme. Thoughtful design focuses on pedestrian-led schemes to help reduce traffic speeds and create safer places for children to play.
So far, the autumn has been a combination of new faces, sharing experiences and celebrations. This month, Chloe White and Bernadette Barry have joined the team as Management Accountant and Development Manager and John Rush as our site manager for Westhoughton. Construction Director, Kevin Morris and I also recently visited Bolton Sixth Form students to provide careers advice and assist with mock interviews before they head out into the world of work. We will be engaging with the local community more and more over the coming months, so watch this space.
Last week, we celebrated our most significant milestone as we received full planning approval from Bolton Council for the full 150-home development in Westhoughton. The development will also have wider benefits for the town with increased local contributions to improve services and facilities
This is the beginning of great things to come and we will start on site this month with homes available to purchase from spring 2020.