Crest Nicholson and HCA launch £200m development of 1,100 homes

Developer Crest Nicholson, in conjunction with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) today announces the commencement of the delivery of the £200 million, 1,100 homes mixed-use development at Oakgrove, Milton Keynes.

The Oakgrove development comes at an important time with the government stressing the need to both stimulate growth and meet the pent up demand in the housing market. Oakgrove demonstrates the partnership delivering both volume and quality in this thriving town.

Outline planning for the scheme was granted in October 2011 and detailed planning for the first phase of 231 dwellings and the new district centre was granted by Milton Keynes Council in March 2012. A comprehensive Development Agreement between Crest and the HCA as landowner, was signed March in 2012 leading to the commencement of preparatory works on site earlier in the summer.

Oakgrove will form a new community of 2, 3, 4 and five bedroom homes in a parkland setting adjoining the river Ouzel and 1 and 2 bedroom apartments clustered around the new neighbourhood centre, which features high end retail and restaurant facilities. The development is designed to appeal to all ages and affordability levels and includes, within Phase 1, 30% affordable housing, providing both rented and shared ownership homes for those otherwise unable to get onto the housing ladder.

Chris Tinker, Crest’s Executive Board Director responsible for the development, said "Crest Nicholson is delighted to be commencing the delivery of this landmark and much anticipated development at such a critical time in the economic cycle. We would like to pay testimony to the officers and members of Milton Keynes Council who have worked hard with the Crest and HCA project team to bring this scheme forward. I have no doubt that through the jobs created and quality new homes it will both stimulate growth and meet pent-up housing need.

“We have not yet begun our full marketing campaign, however local interest has been incredible and some 600 people have already registered their interest. We are confident of the success of the first phase and look forward to moving on to detailed planning on successive phases of the development”

To be delivered in various character areas, the homes are designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, and deliver the energy efficiency and traditional comforts residents expect of a modern home. With a spacious new wildlife corridor and extensive areas of open space as well as a network of new footpaths, cycle and bridle ways, the development will give purchasers every opportunity to live and enjoy a sustainable lifestyle.

Local ward Councillor John Bint said "We are really pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Crest Nicholson during the design and planning stages to help shape this fantastic development. The Crest team engaged constructively over the layout and parking details to make sure that the development would learn the lessons of the past and set new benchmarks for the future."

Charles Amies, Head of Midlands South East at the HCA said: “We know through working closely with Milton Keynes Council that Oakgrove is an excellent location for housing and the size and scale of development we are delivering supports the Council’s ambitions for more new homes.

“We are pleased to be working with Crest Nicholson who is building both attractive and high quality homes. We are making good progress now on the build and are confident that the scheme will be popular in Milton Keynes.”

The first homes will be available for viewing in November and the neighbourhood centre will open in spring 2013. With more than 10% of Crest's workforce on apprenticeship and graduate training courses, the project will help young people to find work and through the construction work and the 120 full-time jobs will help provide the wider economic stimulus needed at this time.

The development is expected to take eight years to complete and land will be progressively drawn down in phases from the HCA by Crest Nicholson over this period.

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