The influence of the Olympic Games in attracting new investment to east London has seen two organisations join forces to deliver a £250 million estate regeneration just over two miles from the Olympic Stadium.
Willmott Dixon’s development division Regen has formed a joint venture with housing and community regeneration association Poplar HARCA to redevelop the seven acre Aberfeldy estate in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
Representing the biggest investment in this part of London, the estate renewal will provide 1,176 homes, shops, healthcare and community facilities over 12 years, with work divided into six phases. The regeneration replaces dilapidated 1950s-era housing and creates a better living environment for residents, complete with new shops and open, green spaces for recreation.
Outline planning consent has now been granted for the mixed-use scheme, with detailed planning approval also given to start the £40 million phase one to build 342 new homes, together with retail space, at the eastern end of Aberfeldy. The homes comprise a mix of private sale, shared ownership and affordable rent.
Close to East India Road DLR station, it’s a major boost for jobs and growth in Poplar following years of local infrastructure investment in readiness for the nearby 2012 Games.
The planning green light is also a major bonus for the construction industry, one of the hardest hit sectors during the economic downturn, with over 1,000 construction jobs being sustained during the estate’s renewal between now and 2024. It’s also expected to bring 300 new jobs to the area after completion.
Construction work will be carried out by Willmott Dixon’s capital works division and will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with Levitt Bernstein the architect for phase one, and local businesses will be used whenever possible.
Aberfeldy’s regeneration is one of the largest new housing schemes in Tower Hamlets and sees both organisations combine their development, housing and community regeneration skill-sets. Steve Stride, chief executive of Poplar HARCA said: “Tower Hamlet’s Council and London Thames Gateway Development Corporation have given the green light to a transformational regeneration programme that will enhance thousands of residents’ lives, and significantly improve the infrastructure and amenities of the Aberfeldy area.”
The regeneration is the largest development project undertaken by Regen and follows another large mixed-use project it invested in recently in Greenwich known as Prime Place. Regen CEO Andrew Telfer said: “The shows that RPs like Poplar HARCA want to utilise our development know-how to make their vision for a new era of housing for hundreds of families a reality. Along with that, the imminent Olympics and the fantastic infrastructure around the Games have really focused attention on the great housing opportunities in Poplar.
“This is a mammoth undertaking that will provide an exciting future for Aberfeldy estate’s residents as well as enticing a new generation of people looking to benefit from the region’s Olympic legacy and its quick links into Docklands and the City. Taking our regeneration experience of similar estates in other parts of London, we are pleased to be working with Poplar HARCA which has a strong and well established presence in this part of east London.”