Residents have moved into the first homes completed at a housing development on the former St George’s Hospital site in Hornchurch.

Romford Recorder: The first residents have moved into homes at St George's Park in Hornchurch. Picture: BellwayThe first residents have moved into homes at St George's Park in Hornchurch. Picture: Bellway (Image: Archant)

The first people are now living at St George’s Park, off Suttons Lane. It will have 356 homes when complete.

Property developer Bellway is continuing work on the first phase of the construction process, to include 194 homes.

This features 44 “affordable” properties for rent or shared ownership and a range of one and two-bedroom apartments as well as two, three, four and five-bedroom houses.

Bellway bought the 29 acre site from the NHS for more than £40million in March 2018, with the hospital having closed in 2012.

Emma Hamlett, sales director for Bellway London, said: “The arrival of the first residents at St George’s Park represents a key milestone in this landmark development for Hornchurch.

“St George’s Park will deliver much-needed new housing, large areas of public open space and major investment in local schools.

“Seven new play areas will be located around the site including Suttons Green, which will be the central public open space once the development is completed.”

Bellway said the development celebrates the history of the neighbouring former RAF Hornchurch, an air base during the First and Second World Wars.

The hospital was used as accommodation for airmen based there in the latter conflict, and road names at St George’s Park include Spitfire Approach, Aerodrome Close and Gliders Drive.

Bellway has donated Suttons House, an ex hospital building on the site, to the Hornchurch Aerodrome Historical Trust which plans to convert it into a museum commemorating the former airfield’s history.

Emma added: “At the same time as regenerating this derelict brownfield site, we are paying homage to its rich heritage by maintaining some of the existing hospital buildings, one of which is to be converted into a museum about RAF Hornchurch.”

Last month, Havering Council’s cabinet approved the purchase of 36 one and two-bed ‘affordable’ homes at the St George’s Hospital development from Bellway.

Councillor Joshua Chapman, cabinet member for housing, said: “Our property purchase programme is providing homes for people who need them right now. Purchasing homes on the St George’s Hospital site is a practical demonstration of this administration’s commitment to providing high-quality homes for local people.”