Havering Council to spend millions in bid to safeguard 197 home Rainham development
PUBLISHED: 17:09 06 August 2020
Havering Council is to spend millions of pounds on buying properties at a planned Rainham housing development following the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
The 197-home scheme for the Napier New Plymouth site is part of the 12 Estates programme, a joint venture between the council and Wates Residential.
But a report said the pair have agreed that it is not possible to begin construction until the housing market recovers to pre-Covid levels or they find a solution to “the deterioration in viability linked to Covid-19”.
It added: “The outbreak of Covid-19 has created an unprecedented situation in which the joint venture must consider its ability to deliver the schemes and ensure exposure is limited.”
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The recommendation made to Cabinet was to give the green light for the council to progress the planned development, made up of 126 ‘affordable’ homes and 71 open market homes, as a 100 per cent council scheme. According to the report, this proposal would see the council acquire the 71 units and commit to an increased outlay of £57.3m for the development, up from £36.5m.
It said: “This option increases the quantity of housing in the borough at a time when the demand for affordable housing linked to the Covid-19 outbreak is likely to increase.
“With the council’s support, the joint venture can continue with the programme dedicated to providing good quality affordable family housing with enhanced design to meet the need of local residents.”
Building work on the project is now set to start in September and the council will have the option to make the tenure of the 71 homes as all shared ownership, a mix of shared ownership and open market sale or letting at London affordable rents. Despite the impact on the Napier New Plymouth scheme, the report said the Covid-19 outbreak is unlikely to affect future developments earmarked for completion beyond the next two years such as the Waterloo Estate redevelopment in Romford.
Council leader Damian White confirmed the recommedation was approved on Wednesday, calling the move a “win-win” for residents. He added: “It is making sure we are able to bring forward a regeneration development in the south of the borough.”
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