The social value of regeneration

Havering Council has embarked on one of the biggest and most ambitious housing regeneration projects in the capital. But for us, regeneration is about more than just building houses – we are building communities for future generations.

Working in partnership with national developer Wates Residential, our ‘12 Estates’ regeneration project will deliver approximately 5,200 high-quality homes, across 12 council-owned estates, in the next 12 to 15 years, doubling the council’s stock of rented accommodation and more than doubling the number of affordable homes.

We have already made excellent progress on the first phase of the project, with Napier and New Plymouth House in Rainham, and Solar, Serena and Sunrise Courts in South Hornchurch, currently being demolished. Rainham is a more deprived part of the borough, so beginning the 12 Estates project there will be a real game-changer for the area.

We held extensive public consultations to ensure planning for the Napier and New Plymouth site included the things that are important to our residents. Thanks to these consultations, children’s play areas and plenty of green space are included in the planning.

It is important that we put residents at the centre of everything we do, and – with an ageing population – vital that our regeneration creates homes that meet the needs of the community. So, the antiquated Solar, Serena and Sunrise Courts site will give way to a modern retirement village, with accessible design and social spaces creating a safe haven for elderly residents.

Our joint venture with Wates Residential is a 50/50 split, with the council contributing the land and the developers covering the costs of construction. In the past, we have struggled with opportunities for larger-scale regeneration because of depressed land values. As these have increased, we have been able to move on from piecemeal developments to comprehensive opportunities to rebuild whole communities for our residents, for our sons and daughters, the people who have made Havering their home.

“It is important that we put residents at the centre of everything we do

We are ensuring that this investment in the borough goes much further than just creating new homes; we are committed to delivering social value. For us, social value is the added social, economic and environmental benefits that can be gained from regeneration – from education and skills support through apprenticeships and our pop-up business school event, to engagement with communities through outreach events.

Local contractors Kilnbridge Construction Services and Downwell Demolition were appointed earlier this year for the first-phase demolition work, after Wates Residential held four ‘Meet the buyer’ events for local suppliers to learn about contract opportunities.

Through our supply chain initiative, ‘Meet the buyer’ events, training opportunities and apprenticeships, we can make sure this project benefits as many businesses and residents in Havering as possible.

The 12 Estates joint venture is just one element of the multibillion-pound Havering regeneration project, with further ventures on the horizon, masterplans for Havering’s town centres, and an improvement programme for housing estates not earmarked for regeneration.

It is such an exciting time to live and work in the borough, and to be part of this great legacy we are going to deliver.

For more information about Havering’s 12 Estates project, please visit www.havering.gov.uk/info/20057/building_new_homes_for_havering.

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