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London borough reveals regeneration partner

The London borough of Havering has announced Wates Residential will be its partner for what it claims will be the biggest social housing regeneration project in the capital.

The local authority is to form a joint venture with the developers, which will see 12 council estates regenerated to provide around 3,000 homes over the next 12 years.

According to the council, the project will doubling the amount of affordable housing on the 12 estates, with the London borough’s current stock of 856 homes replaced to create 3,112 homes of mixed tenure, encouraging more integrated communities.

A Construction Academy will also be established through a partnership with Havering College and the Construction Industry Training Board to deliver around 165 apprenticeships over the life of the scheme.

In addition, the council has promised the right to return is guaranteed to every existing resident on the estates being regenerated.

‘Any housing that requires rebuilding will be done on a like-for-like basis to ensure no loss of existing affordable housing,’ said the local authority in a statement.
The council has also undertaken an extensive consultation exercise, which started 18 months ago and is still on-going.

To date, this has involved 741 residents across the 12 sites, 154 group meetings and 82 newsletters. There have also been over 600 one-to-one meetings with tenants.

The council said the feedback so far has shown strong support for the project from the majority of residents, who will soon be involved in the design of their new homes.

‘This is the most exciting and ambitious council home building programme in London, and I’m confident our new partner will be able to help us deliver our future vision for the borough,’ said council leader, Roger Ramsey.

‘Forming this joint venture will allow us to provide high-quality new homes for existing residents and young people who want to stay in the borough.

‘This, together with the arrival of Crossrail, and plans for two dedicated housing zones, means developers, businesses and residents will all want to be a part of a future Havering,’ added Mr Ramsey.

While Wates director, Tim Wates added: As a family-owned business, we have always been committed to giving something back to the places that we build in. I am proud that we will not only provide crucial additional housing, but also significant benefits to the community through our investment in skills, training, education and jobs for local people.

‘The ability to deliver wider community benefits through our long-term partnership is what will set this project apart.’

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