ST Helens is bucking the national trend - by embarking on a house building bonanza.
Figures revealed by St Helens Council show 434 homes were either completed or under development during the first half of 2011, compared to a mere 157 built in the borough during 2010.
Nationally, house building is down, with government statistics showing the lowest number of new homes built last year since records began.
In St Helens, however, the picture is altogether rosier.
Developers including Taylor Wimpey, Barratt, David Wilson, Miller Homes, Morris and Jones, are all currently involved in local projects.
The Cunningham Grange scheme, which is being completed on the site of the old Saints ground, is one of many developments easing pressure on the local housing market.
Council officials, who complied the figures, say they have worked hard to create excellent working relationships with leading players in the industry.
Councillor Andy Bowden, cabinet member for Urban Regeneration and Housing, said: “In this very difficult economic climate it is crucial that we as a local authority do all we can to advise and guide builders through the planning process which are there to meet the needs of the borough and its communities.
“We have made partnership a top priority and it’s now bearing fruit by these impressive performance figures.”
Gareth Owen, regional land and planning director at Taylor Wimpey North West, the company behind Cunningham Grange, had nothing but praise for the council’s approach.
He said: “When I deal with St Helens Council they provide an excellent service and are there with help and advice on the best way forward.
“We have an excellent working relationship with their planning and development team which ensures that we can develop our sites in a way that best benefits the local community.
“This makes St Helens a location that we actively seek to work in because of this positive partnership.”
n See St Helens’ top property guide starts on page 31