The first plans for a £1bn housing regeneration scheme in London have been approved, marking a significant step forward for the flagship home building programme.
Joint venture partners Havering Council and Wates Residential submitted plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site in Rainham in May this year.
On 10th October, the plans were agreed at a Strategic Planning Committee meeting. The plans will now be considered by the Mayor of London before the final decision is issued.
The site is one of 12 included in the ’12 Estates’ regeneration programme, which will see around 5,200 homes delivered in Havering over the next 12 to 15 years. The £1bn project will seek to double the amount of council rented accommodation and more than double the number of affordable housing.
The plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site include 126 affordable homes, with a number earmarked for families, and a further 71 homes for private sale targeted at local buyers. All residents who have been moved off the site to enable the regeneration have been guaranteed the right to return.
The Council has committed to increasing the housing stock across the borough, and aims to deliver homes for local people whilst protecting the uniqueness of the area.
The plans were subject to extensive public consultation, with more than 600 one-to-one meetings with local residents and businesses taking place across the wider regeneration project.
Havering is London’s greenest borough and creating even more high quality green areas is one of the Council’s top priorities. Through consultation with residents, it emerged that this was a priority for local people too.
As a result, children’s play areas were included in the plans with plenty of green space to make sure the scheme reflects the borough. The landscape will also be designed to encourage wildlife, with new bat boxes, trees for birds and plenty of flowers for bees.
As part of the project, Havering Council and Wates Residential have pledged to deliver a borough-wide legacy by investing in education, training and skills opportunities, and by employing local businesses to work on the scheme.
Some of these benefits are already being felt — in May more than 80 Havering entrepreneurs took part in a free two-week business training course, while in November local primary school children spent a morning using the computer game Minecraft to explore and redesign blueprints from the site.
Four Meet the Buyer events were held for local suppliers to learn about contract opportunities on the project. Employing local contractors means a lower carbon footprint and that money flows back into the local area. By the end of the project, this investment will make up a minimum of 10% of the total programme, valued at £100m of contracts to be secured by local businesses.
Kilnbridge Construction Services, which has offices in Rainham, has subsequently been awarded a contract to undertake controlled demolition of Napier and New Plymouth House, and a two-storey car park on Dunedin Road
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “Today marks the next key step in our borough-wide regeneration, signalling our commitment to delivering high-quality housing for local people.
“We have listened to the needs of the community and these plans reflect your feedback to create an estate fit for families and future generations. The Council is committed to consulting with residents throughout the 12 Estates project, and our wider regeneration programme, to help shape developments and communities together.”
Kate Ives, Development Director for Wates Residential, added: “This is fantastic news for Havering. We have been working closely with our JV partner to ensure that the new homes in Havering are high-quality and fit in with the unique feel of local area.
“The public consultations have been really helpful in identifying what local residents want to see from the borough’s largest regeneration project and we look forward to starting construction in spring 2020.”