AN Urban Splash joint venture, controversially granted planning permission to build 228 eco-friendly homes on a greenfield site at Grappenhall Heys, has gone into administration.
The proposed development had been described as a “blot on the landscape” by nearby residents but was voted through by Labour members of Warrington’s planning committee last July.
While fencing went up on the site just before Christmas, there has been no sign of activity since, leaving residents wondering what the future holds.
Developers Urban Splash, were selected by Homes England to deliver the final phase of development at Grappenhall Heys, created in partnership with Sekisui House, Japan’s largest housebuilder and the world leader in zero-carbon homes. The partnership with Homes England and the world’s biggest Housebuilder Sekisui House was formed in a £90m deal in 2019
Now a total of 160 jobs have been lost as a result of the administration, although Urban Splash is continuing to trade.
The US House Group was a joint venture between the Manchester-headquartered property company, Sekisui House UK – a subsidiary of the Japan-based Sekisui – and Homes England who own the remaining 4% of shares. Urban Splash and Sekisui House UK own 48% of the shares each.
At the time of the appointment of Teneo as administrator, the group had 187 employees, with 151 working at a factory in Derbyshire with the majority of the remaining employees working at the development sites. US Modular Ltd had 151 employees at the factory at Alfreton and 140 have been made redundant. US House Holdings Ltd employed 36 people and 20 have been made redundant.
Teneo will now oversee completion and/or sale strategies for the development sites, while exploring sale options for the factory.
Daniel Smith and Adrian Berry of Teneo Financial Advisory Limited were appointed as joint administrators of Urban Splash House Holdings Ltd, Urban Splash House Investments Ltd, Urban Splash House Ltd, Urban Splash Modular Ltd, Port Loop Holdings Ltd, Port Loop Ltd and Port Loop (Subco1) Ltd (together “the US House Group”) on May 11. The appointments do not impact the wider Urban Splash group or its operations.
Urban Splash said in a statement: “The directors of House – (Urban Splash House Holdings Group) have appointed administrators from Teneo to the company. The appointment of Teneo senior managing directors Adrian Berry and Daniel Smith to the company has no impact on the wider Urban Splash group or its operations, which continue to run successfully.
“House is a joint venture between individual shareholders who own 48% of the equity, Homes England which owns 4% and Sekisui House UK Limited, which owns the remaining 48% shares. The administrators will oversee completion and sale strategies for the company’s developments.”
Joint administrator Adrian Berry said: “This appointment follows various operational issues relating to the factory in Alfreton, which have impacted the wider group. We will now look to stabilise the US House Group by providing a platform to complete certain developments and explore sale options for the factory and the other development sites.
“We would like to thank all employees and other key stakeholders for their continued support.”
The last available financial results for House by Urban Splash show a £12.6m pre-tax loss for the year ended 30 September 2020.