Britain s biggest housebuilding programme - in Hackney?

One of Britain s biggest housebuilding programmes looks set to be in Hackney, with another 1,000 mixed tenure homes to be built at one of the country’s largest regeneration schemes.

A funding package was announced this week for Hackney Council’s 20-year Woodberry Down regeneration programme, ensuring that it continues through the downturn in the housing market.

The Council is investing a package worth over £16million during the next four years, while developer Berkeley Homes has contributed more than £30million. Funding for affordable housing has also been received from the Homes and Communities Agency. The development programme will deliver a range of new facilities including a health centre, and retail and commercial opportunities. This follows hot on the heels of the 1,000 homes already being built, as well as a new community centre and Skinner’s Academy, completed in November.

Planning permission was also granted earlier this month for construction work by Berkeley Homes to take place at the Horston and Sherwood, and Newnton Close sites, with Phase 2 being considered in March, to build together a total of 226 homes for social renting, 182 for shared ownership, and the remainder for private sale.

Taken together, the funding and planning approval mean that nearly half of the 4,600 homes planned for the 20-year regeneration programme are now either under construction or due over the next five years.

Cllr Karen Alcock, Deputy Mayor of Hackney, said: “Hackney Council made a pledge to residents that despite the economic climate we would find new and innovative methods with partners to provide housing at Woodberry Down. The Council’s own investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to one of the largest regeneration programmes in the capital.”

She added: “Hackney is also among the top-performing London boroughs for affordable housing provision, and is on course to exceed a three-year total target of 1,961 affordable homes by 2011.”

Justin Tibaldi, Managing Director of Berkeley Homes (Capital), said: “Woodberry Down is one of the most significant regeneration schemes to be launched in the country in the past decade. Berkeley Homes are totally committed to it and will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that together we deliver the investment necessary to create a real, sustainable community where people will choose to live, and that provides long-term social and economic benefits for the wider area.”

Ruchell Peng, Genesis Regeneration Manager for Woodberry Down, said: "This is another positive step for Woodberry Down, and a good sign that it’s all taking shape. It is a real achievement that the partnership work at this important site is starting to bear fruit and is further proof of Genesis work to deliver the kind of houses and services that local communities deserve."

Genesis will acquire and manage around 1,900 affordable rented and intermediate homes over a twenty year period. This equates to 41% of the total. The first new homes for social renting to become available at Woodberry Down are expected to be ready for occupation by Spring.

Cllr Alcock is available for interview on this matter – for more information please contact:
James Willsher
Regeneration Communications Manager
Hackney Council
020 8356 4694

Notes for editors
The attached jpg shows an artist’s impression of how the Old School Site, where work has been under way since 2009, will look.

Hackney Council is exceeding a three-year GLA target for affordable housing delivery in the borough, including with 57% family-sized (three-bedroom or more) social rented homes, above the London target of 42%:

-Hackney’s 2008-11 GLA affordable homes target: 1,961

-projected delivery: 2,360

-this represents 120.35% of Hackney’s GLA target

Hackney Council is leading the delivery of Woodberry Down’s regeneration, which will involve a mix of over 4,600 social rented, private and shared ownership homes, and a range of new facilities including a community centre, health centre, new Academy, and extended primary school, as well as retail and commercial opportunities.

The Council works with partner organisations to support community development projects at Woodberry Down, including those providing training and employment, so that local residents can benefit from the area’s regeneration.

The 20-year regeneration of Woodberry Down is being delivered in partnership with Berkeley Homes and Genesis Housing Group with support from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)
The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England. Our role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. We provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.

Berkeley Homes
Founded in 1976 Berkeley Homes is the largest division of the Berkeley Group PLC, a FTSE 250 company. Berkeley Homes has a turnover of over £500 million and last year completed 1,800 units. Berkeley Homes has unrivalled expertise in creating sustainable communities within complex regeneration schemes.

Genesis Housing Group
Genesis owns or manages more than 40,000 homes across London and the south east for tens of thousands of people. As one of the most diverse housing groups in the UK, Genesis Housing Group’s main aim is to provide great services, great homes, great places and great opportunities for its customers.