York council issues call for architects to design its biggest housing programme since the 70s

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A council is looking for architects to design high quality new homes for its largest housing development programme since the 1970s.

City of York Council has issued its biggest ever single design tender for new housing that will be delivered across seven sites. A minimum of 40% of the homes will be for social rent or low-cost home ownership.

The council said it is looking for architects who “share its ambition to create high quality new homes set within sustainable and inclusive developments — homes which are healthy, a joy to live in and stand the test of time”.

These are to be built as part of the Housing Delivery Programme which, just last month, announced it will build 600 homes following the removal of a borrowing cap.

“We want a competitive element to the tender to tease out agencies’ creativity, as well as to source the highest technical standards,” said Councillor Jenny Brooks, the council’s executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods.

“We’re anticipating some high-quality submissions to help us deliver 600 homes including family homes, apartments and bungalows, to help meet the city’s needs. I’m delighted by the significant levels of interest in this project.”

Councillor Carol Runciman, executive member for adult social care and health, added: “We want to build homes which give the occupants room in which to grow and thrive, and which are fuel-efficient and attractive. We want them to be in settings which help connect and bring communities together and which respect and enhance the existing. The design of developments should be rooted in public and stakeholder engagement.”

Architect-led teams interested in entering the tender process are expected to consider the liveability of the new homes in relation to light, space and layout, as well as the potential running costs for residents, the council said.

What’s more, the wider development should encourage communities to come together and spend time outdoors, through the “thoughtful design” of open space and connections to neighbouring communities, footpaths and cycle paths. Environmental sustainability should underpin the design of all new developments.

The first stage of the selection process will identify architects and design teams who share “similar ambitions and values” to the council. The top bidders will be taken through to the second stage, which will include a design element.

Architects reaching this stage will be asked to produce a concept design for one of the seven sites within the Housing Delivery Programme. This will allow them to showcase their practice’s work and understanding of the project, and to enable the council to select the practice which best fits its aspirations and quality criteria.


The tender details can be found at www.yortender.co.uk under the reference: DN379215. The closing date for selection questionnaire submissions is 26 February 2019 at 12 noon.



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