Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the procurement of a housing development partner to deliver the eQuality Homes Cooperative Group Ltd’s (EHCGL), affordable housing cooperative scheme in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria.

eQuality Homes Cooperative Group Ltd (EHCGL) was established as a cooperative in 2018 to deliver a new form of accessible and affordable housing. EHCGL has now secured funding to the level of (£75,750) from the Homes England Community Housing Fund (HECHF) to secure a site and planning consent for around 25 homes within the Kirkby Stephen area.

EHCGL is seeking a partner to assist in the delivery of the scheme. We anticipate that the work will cover a broad range of requirements and we will be seeking a delivery partner who is flexible and adaptable. However, we are particularly seeking a partner who can assist EHCGL to:

  • promote the concept by supporting our community engagement and marketing activities;
  • develop the structure, tenure, development and operating business plan, and operating rules and procedures for the cooperative, in line with EHCGL’s vision and stakeholder requirements;
  • identify available sites in the area;
  • undertake a planning and delivery feasibility study on the available sites to narrow down the target list;
  • negotiate with the landowner to secure the target site;
  • engage with the local planning authority to conduct the necessary pre-planning enquiry;
  • undertake the necessary design, survey and reporting works to develop and submit a strong planning application for the optimal site;
  • manage all negotiations with the local planning authority, including discharging any consent conditions;
  • refine the business plan as the project proceeds and developing this into an investment grade proposal for funding for the project;
  • assist EHCGL to secure capital funding support for the scheme; and
  • project manage the procurement and delivery of the scheme, including advising on all client-based responsibilities through this process.

Our Vision

To develop a viable, accessible and affordable cooperatively owned housing development of between 20 and 25 homes in or around Kirkby Stephen, which can offer its residents as many benefits of home ownership as possible (such as the option to assign rights in the scheme and the potential for rent free living in the long-term), without the barriers, notably, the requirement for a personal mortgage.

Our requirements

We are seeking a company with a broad range of skills and experience to assist us to successfully deliver this exciting project, in line with the grant funding we have secured from Homes England and our Vision.

Pre-Qualification

In order to manage the workloads of our volunteer members, we are including the following pre-qualification requirement that all organisations should be able to demonstrate prior to responding to the ITT.  Organisations should have:

  • In house RTPI accredited planning capabilities and experience.
  • In house RIBA accredited and membership, design capabilities and experience.
  • Demonstrable understanding in the field of cooperative housing.

In the first instance please send details of how you meet these requirements to EMAIL –  tonybackhouse@level5consulting.co.uk. EHCGL reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to waive this pre-qualification requirement where organisations responding can offer a clear delivery route with sufficient advantages to merit consideration.