Peabody hosted a topping out ceremony recently for a development it says will bring 119 “affordable” homes, and “huge” social value to London’s Portobello Square.
The housing association, along with lead contractor Bouygues UK, held the event to mark the completion of the roof on the penultimate phase of its Wornington Green estate regeneration. All told, the programme will deliver over 1,000 homes, 600 said to be affordable.
In this phase, Peabody is building 230 new homes including apartments, duplexes, and mews houses. Of these, 119 are affordable. Peabody says this includes 108 social rent homes for existing residents on the estate at their current rent levels.
The remaining homes are for market sale; “to fund the provision of social homes in one of London’s priciest post codes”.
Phil Jenkins, executive director of development at Peabody, said: “Portobello Road is one of the most iconic roads in London, with a diverse, vibrant community. But it’s an area in high demand and in serious need of affordable homes. Portobello Square offers more than a thousand high-quality homes for the community – 60% of which are affordable.
“Many larger families were outgrowing their homes on the previous estate. So, we’re particularly pleased to be able to offer some adults from those families their own tenancies as part of this redevelopment.
“It’s equally important that we provide a fantastic social value program that offers significant community benefits. We enjoyed spending time with residents over the summer and look forward to running more events in future.”
The first residents will move into the new homes in autumn 2024, the organisation says. As Jenkins indicated, many already lived on the estate with their families and are adults who have now been given their own separate tenancies – giving them their independence while keeping the community together.
All homes will be powered by air source heat pumps, helping to reduce CO2 emissions while providing a more energy efficient system for residents and reducing their energy bills. The project also includes 5,000 sq. foot of brand-new commercial space.
Construction contractor Bouygues UK will deliver the new Peabody homes alongside a huge social value program that is said to be already benefiting the community.
Peabody and Bouygues UK have rolled out a wide range of activities for the community, from employment opportunities to fun days out. Employees from both organisations are volunteering their time to support the community with workshops on DIY, digital inclusion, and employment.
The team is also helping students at the local school with their CVs and interview techniques, while promoting the benefits of a career in construction.
Fabienne Viala, chair and chief executive of Bouygues UK, said: “The project is offering employment, training and social value opportunities, which will enhance the lives of local people for years to come. Congratulations to everyone involved for reaching this significant milestone on a much-needed scheme that will deliver a considerable number of new homes.”
Councillor Mona Adam of Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, said: “It’s fantastic to see Peabody and Bouygues UK offering so many fantastic events and opportunities to local people. Their social value program and fun excursions mean a lot to the community, as well as much-needed affordable and high-quality homes.”
The chair of the resident steering group, added: “It was exciting to see the progression of the next phase of homes at Portobello Square. It’s important to the community that lots of homes, including social rent homes, are provided by Peabody. And thankfully, 60% are affordable. I’m especially pleased to see family-sized homes for new and existing residents.”
Main image: Peabody and Bouygues UK host a topping out ceremony at Portobello Square, London. Credit: Taking the Pixels
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