£1billion, 20-year regeneration project breaks new ground

ONE of the capital’s most high-profile regeneration projects continues to break new ground with the signing of a £1billion, 20-year Principal Development Agreement (PDA).

The PDA between Hackney Council, Berkeley Homes, and PCHA, part of Genesis Housing Group, is for the first phase of a wider regeneration plan which will ultimately deliver over two decades more than 4,500 new social rented, shared-ownership and private homes at Woodberry Down, Hackney. The programme will also deliver a range of new facilities including a community centre, health centre, new Academy, extended primary school, as well as retail and commercial opportunities.

In January, Woodberry Down received £27million in Homes and Communities Agency funding to build 187 new homes for social rent and 60 for shared ownership built. Work set to begin in March 2010 and the new homes are expected to be completed by 2012/13. The homes will be built across two sites, Woodberry Grove North, and the other on Green Lanes. The sites are part of Phase One of Woodberry Down’s regeneration programme.

In addition to the support for Woodberry Down, Hackney Council has received one of the highest totals nationally of HCA funding for Local Authority New Build. Earlier this month £6.26million was approved for 87 homes, on top of nearly £10million announced in September to provide 114 homes, on estates across the borough.

Steve Douglas, Hackney Council Corporate Director for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration, said: “Hackney Council has pledged its commitment to residents to provide first-rate new housing fit for the 21st century. This is an important milestone for the regeneration of Woodberry Down, which is providing high quality affordable homes as well as key community facilities.”

Berkeley Homes were contracted to develop the Kick Start sites, and have been selected as developer for the remaining phases of the development. Construction is well under way with the first 117 social rented homes being built, which are due for completion in 2011. Over 300 private and intermediate homes are also in the process of being built.

Genesis Housing Group has been confirmed as the Registered Social Landlord (RSL) – Genesis will own and manage the new affordable homes on Woodberry Down once they are built.

David Lunts, Regional Director for London at the HCA, said: “It’s very encouraging to see the progress being made to deliver this hugely important regeneration project. Our funding for Woodberry Down and across the borough as a whole means local people will benefit from a range of housing types to suit their needs.”

Justin Tibaldi, Managing Director of Berkeley Homes (Capital), said: “The signing of the Principal Development Agreement and securing of HCA Kickstart funding are key stages in the regeneration of Woodberry Down. We are making good progress on the first phase of development and look forward to helping the Council realise the shared vision for the area.”

Neil Hadden, Chief Executive of Genesis Housing Group, said: “This is great news for the development of new homes and a revitalised neighbourhood in Woodberry Down. Genesis is immensely pleased to have been selected as Registered Social Landlord partner by both the local people and by the Council. We are committed to applying our considerable skills and resources as we work energetically with all the regeneration partners to deliver the much-needed high quality affordable homes in this part of Hackney.”