'Fantastic news for Havering': Plans agreed for Rainham sites to begin biggest regeneration project in borough's history
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:39 16 October 2019
The first plans for the biggest regeneration project in Havering's history have been agreed this week, the council has revealed.
At the local authority's Strategic Planning Committee meeting on Thursday, October 10, the schemes for the Napier and New Plymouth House sites in Rainham were agreed.
Those plans will now be considered by the Mayor of London's office before a final decision is issued.
Joint venture partners Havering Council and Wates Residential first submitted plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site in Rainham in May this year.
The site is one of 12 included in the borough's '12 Estates' regeneration programme, which will see around 5,200 homes delivered in the borough by 2034.
The project will seek to double the amount of council rented accommodation and more than double the authority's affordable housing stock.
Speaking after the planning meeting, council leader Councillor Damian White said: "Today marks the next key step in our borough-wide regeneration, signalling our commitment to delivering high-quality housing for local people.
"We have listened to the needs of the community and these plans reflect your feedback to create an estate fit for families and future generations.
"The council is committed to consulting with residents throughout the 12 Estates project, and our wider regeneration programme, to help shape developments and communities together."
The plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site include 126 affordable homes, with a number earmarked for families, and a further 71 homes for private sale targeted at local buyers.
All residents moved off the site to enable the regeneration have been guaranteed the right to return, and the council has stressed it hopes to "protect the uniqueness of the area".
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The plans were subject to extensive public consultation, with more than 600 one-to-one meetings held for sites across 12 Estates programme with residents and businesses.
One of the top priorities to emerge from those meetings was the importance of preserving Havering's green spaces.
As a result, children's play areas were included in the plans with plenty of green space to make sure the scheme reflects the borough.
The landscape will also be designed to encourage wildlife, with new bat boxes, trees for birds and plenty of flowers for bees.
As part of the project, Havering Council and Wates Residential have pledged to deliver a borough-wide legacy by investing in education, training and skills opportunities, and by employing local businesses to work on the scheme.
Four Meet the Buyer events have also been held for Havering-based suppliers to learn about contract opportunities on the project.
Employing these local contractors means a lower carbon footprint and that money flows back into the area.
By the end of the project, this investment will make up a minimum of 10pc of the total programme, valued at £100m of contracts, to be secured by local businesses.
Kilnbridge Construction Services, which has offices in Rainham, has subsequently been awarded a contract to undertake controlled demolition of Napier and New Plymouth Houses, and a two-storey car park on Dunedin Road.
Kate Ives, Wates Residential's development director, said: "This is fantastic news for Havering.
"We have been working closely with our JV partner to ensure that the new homes in Havering are high-quality and fit in with the unique feel of the local area.
"The public consultations have been really helpful in identifying what local residents want to see from the borough's largest regeneration project and we look forward to starting construction in spring 2020."