Starter Homes planned for Portland

Proposals by LHC for two redundant school sites in Portland could see 110 new homes built by 2020, fifty-five of which could be new Starter Homes. The community was invited to give feedback on the proposals at informal public consultations at the end of June, in advance of an outline planning application, and were able to register interest in buying one of the new Starter Homes.

Urban designers Paul Osborne and Amy Walton from LHC are working with Peter Brett Associates and the Homes & Communities Agency to develop draft proposals for the two sites.

The HCA has high aspirations for the developments, aiming to avoid an ‘identikit’ estate. Homes will be of a contemporary design, and will reflect Portland character and sense of place through the use of locally distinctive materials including slate, stone and render, and include local details such as ornate doorways and porches.

View full information from the consultation here >

Royal Manor College site 
Southwell Primary School site

‘Starter Homes’ is a new Government initiative to help over 200,000 people become homeowners by the end of the Parliament, through a variety of affordable housing schemes. Designed for young, aspiring home owners who are unable to obtain a mortgage for the full market value, Starter Homes are offered exclusively to first time buyers under the age of 40 at a discounted price.

HCA’s Starter Homes Design Guidance states that ‘good design should be the default approach to deliver good quality Starter Homes’, alongside local flexibility which recognises different design issues and requirements.  All proposed dwellings must meet the nationally described space standards. Key requirements include:

  • New dwellings should be part of a walkable neighbourhood with well-connected streets;
  • Schemes should provide high quality streetscapes, landscaping and shared open spaces within developments;
  • Starter Homes should be based on local traditional buildings, in this case demonstrating a mix of traditional and contemporary Portland architecture;
  • Adopt Building for Life 12 for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods and achieve the Built for Life™ quality mark.