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New city centre homes for Wakefield's Merchant Gate

Housebuilder Strata has agreed a deal with English Cities Fund (ECf) to deliver 116 new homes as part of the Merchant Gate masterplan in the centre of Wakefield.

The new residential development, located close to Wakefield Westgate railway station on a former surface car park, secured planning consent in December last year. The scheme will comprise 100 two-bedroom townhouses and 16 affordable two-bedroom apartments.

Homes available on the development will include the Livorno, a two-bedroom townhouse designed over three floors. The Livorno is one of Strata’s best-selling house types, popular with first-time buyers looking for an alternative to apartment living. It has an open-plan living area and impressive master bedroom with ensuite. The second bedroom offers flexible living and can be used as an alternative lounge or home office.

ECf is a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and the Homes and Communities Agency.

James Scott, senior development surveyor for ECf, said: “Merchant Gate is a vibrant commercial quarter in the centre of Wakefield and this new development will be a positive addition to the new community established here as part of the first phases.

“Its central location, excellent transport links and nearby amenities makes it a perfect choice for young professionals and commuters.”

Chief Executive of Strata Andrew Weaver said: “We’re looking forward to adding more new homes to the Merchant Gate community and offering something different to buyers. The Livorno provides a unique opportunity to own a townhouse in close proximity to the city centre and the train station.

“Every Strata home is of high quality design and specification and this attention to detail has been continued into the external design of the development, but also ensuring we complement the existing properties at Merchant Gate.”

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said: “Merchant Gate is one of the key gateways into Wakefield city centre and a major area of regeneration in the city. The addition of new homes in this area is very positive news and will complement the work that has already taken place, making it a great place to live and work. A key selling point is that Merchant Gate is very close to Westgate Station, on the main east coast route to both London and Leeds.”

Strata is planning to start work on site in May 2016, with the first homes ready to move in by May 2017.

ECf is working in partnership with Wakefield Metropolitan District Council and Network Rail to regenerate the significant city centre site immediately adjacent to Westgate Station and the Civic Quarter. So far Merchant Gate has delivered 90,000 sq ft of offices, retail and leisure space, 66 apartments and a £9 million investment in infrastructure and public realm.