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Lockdown, A Year on

We've been reflecting that a year ago today, lockdown forced us to close our Brown Street site.

The sun may have been shining but what we didn't know at the time, was that the site would reopen without our main contractor, CPUK. An early causality of the economic turbulence, CPUK fell into administration in April last year.

Amid the uncertainty of the first nationwide lockdown, we took the decision to bring the completion of the development in-house. With a multitude of partly commenced packages on site, this required collaboration with every sub-contractor, and pulling together a team of staff to take over the build.

It required an exceptional effort from all involved, and twelve months on the results speak for themselves. We are now eagerly awaiting handover in July, losing only a few months in programme.

This is the first project of its kind for Novo and Trafford Council. It delivers 22 new homes to an area starved of supply and brownfield sites. With land prices in Hale at such a premium, it’s the first scheme to incorporate on site affordable homes in years. The partnership is also delivering a new multi-storey carpark to the community. The redevelopment of the Brown Street car park is an example of how to redevelop a brownfield site whilst retaining and enhancing its primary purpose.

Being forced to take the reins and self-deliver the build has undoubtedly given us more flexibility to provide a product that while innovative in its own right, matches what we know buyers are looking for.

We look forward to announcing the registered housing provider being brought on board and bringing the town houses to the open market in the coming months.

Says Novo MD, Ben Fearns “While we will all remember this time in our lives differently, the pandemic has affected us all in some way. It catalysed the failing of many businesses in our industry, and I suspect that we haven’t seen the last of these. Fortunately, we have been able to trade through the last few months, we have kept building, selling and increasing our pipeline. Seeing the turnaround of Brown Street is a joy and testament to the team who have worked tirelessly against such adversity.”

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