Welsh Streets Archives - Placefirst

Transformation of Welsh Streets named UK’s Best Residential Project

The 2019 RICS Grand Final took place on Friday 4th October at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, attracting over 500 of the UK’s property professionals and a host of leading developers.

The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) awards are regarded as the premier property and construction awards in the UK, celebrating the most innovative projects across the regions and their impact on local communities.

Competing against 11 regional finalists, including Placefirst’s The Green (North East), The Welsh Streets in Liverpool was named Best Residential project in the UK.

The Welsh Streets demonstrates how a long-term build to rent approach can deliver innovative design solutions to the growing housing crisis. Working with the proud heritage of Liverpool Placefirst, the Victorian terrace was reinvented through comprehensive remodelling that places the end user at the heart of the design process. Adjacent properties have been knocked through to create large, family homes, and all residents have access to landscaped communal gardens where once there were dark yards and alleys.

ABOVE: The Welsh Streets, Liverpool. Spacious family homes have been created through lateral conversions that offer a new quality benchmark in renting.


Tracey Hartley, Chair of the RICS National Judging Panel (residential) commented:

“Residential is by far the largest sector by value in UK real estate. This award recognises the vital and intimate link between a home and the well-being of its occupants. This should never be outweighed by a dry analysis of the purely financial returns a development might offer. Good residential development breathes life into old buildings, establishes new locations and provides the safe and secure roof over our heads we all need in order to thrive. The judges have seen an array of thoughtful residential schemes from both the public and private sectors where the needs of the occupants have been considered well.


“The Welsh Streets is a fine example of how to breathe new life into tired, rundown terraced housing. Instead of bringing in the bulldozers, sacrificing the established street layout and embedded energy of the existing buildings, Placefirst has imaginatively refurbished the houses and surrounding areas to create desirable, modern homes in an attractive community setting. At a time of acute shortage of quality rental accommodation available long-term at sensible rents, it is heartening to see a PRS scheme achieve just that”.

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Placefirst Secures Planning Approval for 52 New Homes at Welsh Streets, Liverpool

The ongoing regeneration of Liverpool’s Welsh Streets took a significant step forward this week as the city council approved specialist build-to-rent developer Placefirst’s plans for 52 new homes as part of a masterplan breathing new life into several streets of Victorian terraced housing.

Presented at the council’s planning committee, Placefirst secured approval to build a mix of 1, 2, 3 & 4-bedroom homes across a number of sites across the Welsh Streets.

Thirty-nine houses will be built on vacant infill sites on Voelas Street and Wynnstay Street, with the remaining 13 homes located on South Street, a key local thoroughfare currently characterised by blank gable walls.

The proposals presented at the planning committee were subject to two planning consultation events prior to and during the planning application, and several changes have been implemented in response to comments received.

Councillor Lynnie Hinnigan, deputy mayor of Liverpool and cabinet member for housing, said: “The regeneration of the Welsh Streets community is one of the city’s great success stories of the past decade and required a huge amount of partnership working to transform a collapsed scheme into an award-winning development.

“It will be fantastic to see a mix of housing being developed in the area with new, modern, striking units complementing the homes that Placefirst have brought back into use – it is another big step in the rebirth of this area.”

James Litherland, planning & development manager at Placefirst, commented: “Given the well documented and fractious planning history of the Welsh Streets, we are delighted with the approval for the new homes at Welsh Streets.

“Through comprehensive masterplanning and remodelling of the Victorian terraces, Placefirst is creating a unique residential neighbourhood in Liverpool and demonstrating the inherent flexibility of terraced housing.

“Approval of the new-build homes will ‘complete the circle’ of our original masterplan and ensure the Welsh Streets offers a diversity of homes to meet families’ diverse needs.”

The new homes have been designed to create a modern, complementary contrast with the Victorian terraces, and use a palette of materials chosen to ensure a consistent streetscape design across the wider Welsh Streets. Similar to the refurbished properties, the new homes will have access to attractive landscaped communal avenues which are replacing traditional yards and alleys typically associated with terraced housing.

Through long-term build-to-rent investment, Placefirst is transforming several streets of Victorian terraced housing previously set for demolition. Existing properties have been completely remodelled to create spacious, energy-efficient family homes, and rear yards and alleys have been converted into a mix of terraces and landscaped communal gardens.

This innovative approach has resulted in 12 national and regional property awards to date, most recently collecting Best Residential Development at the RICS North West Awards in May 2019.

Placefirst aims to start construction of the new homes at the end of summer 2019, working with in-house contractor, Placefirst Construction. The first homes should be ready to welcome new families from spring 2020, with full completion of the Welsh Streets anticipated for late 2020.

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Placefirst Submit Plans for First New-Build Homes at Award Winning Welsh Streets Development

The award-winning regeneration of The Welsh Streets took another step forward this week as Placefirst submitted plans for 52 new-build homes as part of the ongoing transformation of Victorian terraced streets.

Under plans submitted to Liverpool City Council this week, the latest £8m proposal is set to deliver a mix of 1/2/3/4-bedroom houses as part of a wider 299 home masterplan that includes the comprehensive refurbishment of over 300 Victorian terraced properties.

The newly built homes, located on Voelas Street, South Street and Wynnstay Street, will occupy a mix of longstanding vacant sites and areas where refurbishment has not been possible. Once delivered, the new homes will stitch together the historic street pattern of The Welsh Streets and transform South Street, a key pedestrian route currently characterised by blank gable walls.

The new homes have been designed to create a modern, complimentary contrast with the Victorian terraces and use a palette of materials that ensure a consistent streetscape design across The Welsh Streets. Similar to the refurbished properties, the new homes will have access to attractive landscaped communal avenues which are replacing traditional yards and alleys typically associated with terraced housing.

IMAGE ABOVE: A computer generated image of the proposed homes on South Street.


Proposals for the new-build homes were shared with the local community and senior council officers at a public consultation event held at Placefirst’s marketing suite on 14th December 2018.

Subject to planning approval and enabling works, Placefirst aim to commence construction by Summer 2019, working with in-house contractor, Placefirst Construction.

David Smith-Milne, Managing Director of Placefirst commented:

“These new designs for Welsh Streets will make a great contribution to the ongoing regeneration of this historic neighbourhood, and offer even more people a genuine alternative to volume housebuilder solutions that are increasingly homogenous and devoid of any genuine placemaking.

At a time when Build-to-Rent is largely characterised by small, urban apartments aimed at the young, and ownership starter-homes offer little other that small, identikit houses disconnected from established communities, Placefirst are creating aspirational, larger and architecturally exciting homes and leading the way in housing can be exciting and interesting once again.

Families with children make up the largest section of the private rented sector, yet very few are benefitting from the market clamour to Build-to-Rent. We are proud of our award-winning track record in Build-to-Rent communities and these new properties will offer long-term and secure residencies for their new occupiers when they become available in early 2020.”

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Welsh Streets wins Best Build-to-Rent Development at 2018 Inside Housing Development Awards

The 2018 Inside Housing Development Awards took place on Thursday 29th November at The Brewery in London.

Attended by over 750 senior housing professionals, the awards celebrate the best in new UK housing, awarding developers and landlords who go the extra mile to create outstanding places and make a meaningful contribution to the current housing crisis.

Placefirst’s transformation of the Welsh Streets was judged to be the Best Build-to-Rent Development in the UK, seeing off stiff competition from large scale build-to-rent developers such as Fizzy Living and Dolphin Square.

The £35m development is regenerating a cluster of 400 empty homes in Toxteth, Liverpool. Set across several streets of Victorian terraces, Placefirst have completely overhauled the properties and surrounding streetscape to reimage the terrace for the 21st century. Larger homes have been created through lateral conversion of adjacent properties, and traditional rear yards and alleys have been replaced by terraces and gardens. These homes now offer best-in-class accommodation for low-to-middle income households and its success has unlocked further regeneration investment within the local neighbourhood.

Martin Ellerby, Head of New Business & Innovation, collected the award on behalf of Placefirst and commented: “Placefirst is a values led business with a clear aim to provide affordable, aspirational homes and places for families that are increasingly reliant on the private rented sector. This win for The Welsh Streets is welcome recognition of all the hard work the team and our partners have put in to deliver this community focused development, and demonstrates that build-to-rent isn’t just about serviced apartment blocks in urban centres”.

The Inside Housing Development Awards were judged by an expert panel of 14 housing executives from the public and private sector including MHCLG, Homes England, RTPI, Design Council and JLL.

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Welsh Streets wins Refurbishment of the Year Award at Building 2018

The 2018 Building Awards took place on the evening of 6th November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Now In its 24th year and regarded as one of the most prestigious UK development awards, the event was attended by over 1,400 senior-level directors, chief executives and partners from across the breath of the industry.

Hosted by Rob Brydon and packed with entertainment, the evening was an unparalleled opportunity to highlight success, instil pride and celebrate the very best in UK construction.

Placefirst’s regeneration of The Welsh Streets was awarded Refurbishment Project of the Year, beating off competition from high profile shortlist including The Royal Academy of Arts, The Temperate House at Kew Gardens, and the former BBC Television Centre.

The judges commented: “Welsh Streets is a radical build-to-rent scheme that encourages community and provides a blueprint for developers all around the country to copy.

For a full summary of why the Welsh Streets was chosen at Refurbishment of the Year can be found on the Building website.

The Refurbishment of the Year Award is now the eighth award for The Welsh Streets in 2018, having previously collected three British Homes Awards, three North-West Property Awards, and a Business Insider Liverpool City Region Award.

David Smith-Milne, Managing Director at Placefirst commented:

2018 has been an amazing year for Welsh Streets, but to win this award against such high profile competition is particularly special. Everyone involved in the project has worked so hard to make this a special place for our residents. The homes are unique within Liverpool, offering 21st centrury homes within the shell of traditional Victorian terraces, and setting a new benchmark in affordable market rent”

The Building Awards judges include David Birkbeck (Chief Executive of Design for Homes), Ike Ijeh (Architecture Correspondent at Building) and Lynne Sullivan OBE (Chair of Good Homes Alliance).

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Welsh Streets collects three awards at NWPAs


The 2018 NWPAs took place on Thursday 11th October in the Lutyens Crypt at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Established over 15 years ago, the NWPAs annual awards, created by Move Publishing, have become an important fixture in the North West property community, celebrating the best of residential and commercial development across the region.

Placefirst’s transformation of the Welsh Streets was the big winner on the night, collecting three of thirteen awards, including the coveted Judge’s Special Award which included developments from Barratts, Redrow and David Wilson Homes.

In addition to the Judges Special Award, the Welsh Streets was also collected the Best Regeneration Award, and Best Affordable Housing Award.

David Smith-Milne, Managing Director of Placefirst commented: “Everyone has worked so hard to make the Welsh Streets a great place to live once again, and it’s thanks to the hard work of our team and the support of the council that we are able to celebrate this amazing trio of awards.

The Welsh Streets is preserving the rich heritage of Victorian Liverpool whilst delivering a range of truly modern family homes that create a distinctive mix of ‘old & new’. More importantly though, the Welsh Streets is setting new standards in renting for families that rely on this sector for their housing needs.

The NWPAs judges include Alastair Shepherd, director of Falconer Chester Hall; Lesley Martin-Wright, CEO of Knowsley Chamber and Head of Business Growth for Knowsley Council, and Elaine Cunningham, owner of Elaine Cunningham Design Studio.

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Welsh Streets shortlisted for national property awards

Following the recent award for Best Residential Development at the Insider Liverpool City Region Dinner earlier in May, Placefirst’s regeneration of the Welsh Streets has been shortlisted in four categories at three major industry awards.

The Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2018

The Sunday Times British Homes Awards celebrates exceptional design in all things home. It is the only honours that recognises every aspect of housebuilding – from one-off houses to major developments, interiors to landscaping, individual extensions to placemaking on a grand scale.

The Welsh Streets has been shortlisted in two award categories:

  • Housing Crisis Solution
  • Development Transformation of The Year

The award winners will be announced at a gala lunch in London on Thursday 20th September 2018.

Building Awards 2018

Building is the UK’s leading construction magazine and the awards are the industry’s longest running and most prestigious recognition of excellence.

The Welsh Streets has been shortlisted for Best Refurbishment.

The Building 2018 Awards will take place in London on Tuesday 6th November.

Inside Housing Development Awards 2018

Inside Housing is a leading housing industry magazine and the Development Awards are an opportunity for landlords, developers and architects to enter their best developments and teams to be recognised within the UK housing market.

The Welsh Streets is a finalist in the Best Build for Rent Development category.

The Inside Housing Development Awards will take place in London on Thursday 29th November.

Martin Ellerby, Head of New Business & Innovation at Placefirst commented:

The Placefirst team are committed to improving the rental experience for households across the country; it’s something we are all passionate about and to be shortlisted in four national award categories is testament to the hard work and dedication of our growing team. The calibre of short-listed entries is very high and , win or lose, we are delighted our work has been recognised at such a high level.

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Phenomenal Welsh Streets wins Best Residential Development at Liverpool City Region Awards

Over 700 of the region’s top property professionals gathered on Thursday 7th June at The Titanic Hotel, Liverpool to celebrate the Insider Liverpool City Region Awards. The awards, now in their 15th year celebrate the best developments and companies working within the Liverpool City Region.

Placefirst’s transformation of the Welsh Streets was awarded Best Residential Development of the Year, beating off stiff competition from Russell Homes, Sovini Homes and Chancery House LLP.

The Welsh Streets is breathing new life into over 400 empty homes in Toxteth, Liverpool and raising standards in private renting for the growing number of households who rely on this sector for their housing needs. The transformation of this once decrepit estate was hailed by the judges as “phenomenal”.

David Smith-Milne, Managing Director of Placefirst commented:

Placefirst set out to shake things up in the private rental sector by offering families great homes and a personal service so they can call a rented house a home. At Welsh Streets we have completely reimagined the Victorian terrace, preserving rich heritage features whilst introducing a number of modern design interventions that family life and community at their heart.

To be awarded Best Residential Development across the Liverpool City Region is a genuine honour and exciting news for the Placefirst team who strive every day to make renting better and a genuine alternative to home ownership”.

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Placefirst report huge market interest in Phase 2 of Welsh Streets

Placefirst, the award-winning build-to-rent developer behind the transformation of the Welsh Streets in Toxteth, have reported significant market interest in the next release of homes with over 40% reserved off-plan.


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Not Quite Light beautifully captures reinvention of the Welsh Streets, Liverpool

Highlighting the heritage and transformation of hundreds of Victorian terraced properties in Toxteth, Liverpool is at the heart of a photographic project focusing on the Welsh Streets.


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