More than 900 homes were completed in Stoke-on-Trent last year – the second highest annual total since the housing crash.
The city saw 948 units added to its housing stock in 2019/20, down from the 1,066 completed in the previous year but still much higher than the government-set target of 525.
Last year’s total included 726 new builds – down from 939 in 2018/19 – along with 210 conversions and 12 communal accommodation units.
These figures, which are featured in Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s latest annual monitoring report, only cover the period up to March 2020, and so they predate the pandemic.
They include a number of major housing developments, including the 151-apartment Clayworks complex in Hanley, and 101 houses built on the former Churchill Pottery site off Waterloo Road. There were also 61 new homes on the old Victoria Ground and 55 on the former Bucknall Hospital site.
Nearly all the new housing – 99.7 per cent – was built on brownfield land, up from 98 per cent in the previous year.
Dan Jellyman, cabinet member for infrastructure, regeneration and heritage at the city council, welcomed the figures for 2019/20.
He said: “We have a commitment to bring forward brownfield land for redevelopment, for both housing and employment schemes. To reach the figure of 99.7 per cent of new housing being completed on previously developed land is really pleasing and exactly what our residents want to see.
“Building on brownfield has the double whammy of removing eyesores and breathing new life into areas that need regeneration, and these sites are often already in areas where people want to live, with amenities and services nearby.
“What is really important is that we build houses for Stoke-on-Trent people. There are certain places in this country where people grow up but then have to move away because they simply cannot afford to buy a house because of the local property prices. We don’t have that issue here, and our approach to house building is about providing homes for residents at all stages of their life.”
The amount of employment floorspace completed in Stoke-on-Trent also fell in 2019/20, from 69,558 square metres to 53,565 square metres.
But the amount of office space completed during the year increased from 688 square metres to 2,669 square metres.
Mr Jellyman added: “This is a really encouraging report that shows Stoke-on-Trent is moving in the right direction in a lot of important areas. The data captured is for the period pretty much up to the outbreak of the pandemic last year, and we know Stoke-on-Trent was experiencing an economic resurgence before coronavirus, the like of which it had not seen in generations.
“When the lockdown gradually lifts, I’m confident the city will come out in a strong position ready to pick up where we left off, because of all the groundwork we have already put in. We are an affordable and accessible city, which will be two really important factors in a post-pandemic United Kingdom.”