Aviva Investors & Packaged Living to develop 195 energy-efficient family homes in West Midlands

Family homes

Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), and Packaged Living, the specialist UK Build-to-Rent developer, announce they have completed a deal to acquire and develop 195 homes in the West Midlands town of Telford, Shropshire.

It is the first investment made since the two firms announced a partnership (‘The Partnership’) in November 2021, which will create a single-family rental platform of suburban properties across the UK, increasing the supply of affordable homes whilst also supporting the transition towards a low-carbon future.

The 195 units forward purchased by the Partnership consist of 148 semi-detached, 9 terraced and 38 detached homes, and together will provide over 179,000 sq ft of family housing. The properties form part of the wider Charlton School development in Telford, set on the former site of a secondary school and owned by established UK housebuilder, Vistry Partnerships.

As part of Aviva Investors’ commitment to achieving net zero across the entirety of its Real Assets platform by 2040, the Partnership will focus on creating sustainable communities, targeting an EPC-A rating for all properties under development and offering highly energy-efficient homes designed to minimise energy usage and costs for families. Three years ahead of government policy, all homes constructed by the Partnership will use air source heat pumps and electric-only energy solutions, rather than gas-powered alternatives for heating and ongoing energy needs.

The development will also feature electric vehicle charging for every dwelling with an associated parking space, whilst all timber will be sourced from sustainable sources and buildings will be designed to incorporate water recycling measures. An ecologist will also be appointed to undertake a biodiversity assessment, with the Partnership looking to achieve a positive impact upon completion of the project.

The project continues Aviva Investors’ commitment to decarbonise the entirety of its c.£47 billion Real Assets business and reach net zero status by 2040. Last year, Aviva plc announced its plan to become net zero by 2040, outlining the most demanding target of any major insurance company in the world, also publishing its ‘Building Future Communities’ report, which outlines how Aviva is using its expertise in risk management and resilience to help prepare homes and businesses for climate change.

James Stevens, Head of Real Estate Investment at Aviva Investors, said:

“As one of the UK’s largest investors in real estate, property and infrastructure, it is hugely important that – consistent with our values – we make a material contribution to the transition towards a low-carbon future, using our size and influence to create meaningful change. With the built environment accounting for a large proportion of total emissions in the UK, our project in Telford is an exciting opportunity to create a community with high social value, which also leads the way in demonstrating how the UK’s residential market can be more sustainable and environmentally conscious.

George Fraser Harding, Head of European Funds at Aviva Investors, added:

“We look forward to working with our partners at Packaged Living to create a family-oriented location which provides much-needed affordable homes to middle-income families. We believe this will be an exemplary development in that regard, with material social and environmental benefits for residents as well as our investors, the large proportion of which are UK pension savers.”

Jonathon Ivory, Managing Director of Packaged Living, commented:

“We believe Single Family Rental is the next chapter in the evolution of the BtR story and we are really excited to be working with our partners Aviva Investors to prove this concept. Our first project will not only provide much needed housing to the local area, it will also demonstrate our commitment to deliver properties that are fit for the future, combining high quality finishes with high energy efficiency, low carbon solutions and importantly lower costs for the families that will live there.”

Aviva Investors was advised by law firm Shoosmiths.

Simon Meek, real estate partner at Shoosmiths, added:

“This deal is boosting family rental supply with homes that are energy efficient and sustainably developed. Shoosmiths shares the values of environmental responsibility, so it’s a privilege to have advised on the project – a milestone in the partnership between Aviva Investors and Packaged Living.”

Darren Beale, Managing Director West Midlands, Vistry Partnerships said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Packaged Living and Aviva to deliver this significant mixed tenure development in Shropshire. The range of dwellings and various tenures will offer the widest possible choice of affordable homes built to the highest standards.”