Little Kelham
Clare Burnett

Help-To-Buy scheme fuels interest in Sheffield’s Little Kelham development

Citu, the property developer behind the low carbon development at Little Kelham, Sheffield have reported huge interest in the project, attributed to the governments Help-To-Buy scheme.

150 low-carbon environmentally friendly homes are to be built at the site, with the first batch of houses to be available to reserve from December.

Citu’s Aisling Ramshaw said the interest from potential buyers was indicative of a ‘very real interest in the possibility of a more sustainable way of life’, and marked a new era of city-centre development.

Aisling Ramshaw, head of sales and marketing at environmentally-friendly property developer Citu, believes that such interest is evidence of a growing economy, with increasing confidence.

She commented: “The general consensus across developers is that 2014 looks positive for the property market and for the economy as a whole. Creative investment and development of existing buildings and the re-landscaping of industrial areas across Sheffield and Yorkshire as a whole has seen the region transformed.”

The Little Kelham project will see the construction of 150 brand-new low-carbon homes off Green Lane in Kelham Island. Properties range from one to four-bedroom houses with gardens and parking, all in the city centre. Retail units and commercial space will be available, and the developer hopes to attract a host of creative, community-minded businesses to take up residence.

And with so much interest in the unique city centre community orientated development, Aisling believes it will prompt more focus on inner-city property developments in 2014 – with more projects making use of existing centralised land.

She said: “As a business, we’re building differently and we’re not restricted to where we plan developments. Sheffield’s growing high street, high student retention rates and thriving creative and digital scene are drawing more and more people to our fair city.

“Inner-city living is becoming more precious to people who want to retain the work-life balance without long commuting times. The unique prospect of houses with gardens in the city centre is incomparable, and the interest that we’ve had in the properties so far has been very encouraging.

“We predict that further inner-city developments will occur as the demand for central living increases along with the skilled and educated populace.”

The growing economy, particularly across the north of England, has seen a recent increase in property prices. In South Yorkshire alone, property prices have seen a 3.75% increase in value in the last 12 months.

New buyers shouldn’t be deterred, though, as Aisling explained: “The Help-to-Buy scheme, which allows buyers to get a mortgage with a 5% deposit with the rest of the deposit secured by the Government, will give access to homes to people who have, until now, been unable to leave the rented market.

“Regional property development is on the up and with greater numbers of people now able to access funding, the marriage of these two factors builds a brighter future for Sheffield’s city centre.

“2014 should see the expansion of inner-city property developments as developers and builders identify the opportunities available on formerly-industrial central land and move away from traditional green-space outside of the city. “

Cllr Jack Scott, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene said: “We certainly welcome this new housing development at Kelham Island.

“This part of Sheffield is becoming an increasingly popular location for people wanting to live close to the city centre whilst aiming to reduce their energy bills.

“We are always keen to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and these environmentally-friendly homes will certainly contribute towards the work we are doing across the city to make Sheffield even greener.”

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