2020 to see Mayor of Newham’s ambitious housing programme move at pace

The Mayor of Newham’s promise to deliver more than 1,000 genuinely affordable council homes will gather pace in 2020, as transformation works take place across the borough putting residents at the heart.

​A raft of changes given the go ahead by Newham Council at the end of 2019 will see a significant boost to the Affordable Homes for Newham programme along with other multi-million pound development projects taking shape across the whole borough. All transformation works will have Community Wealth Building at the heart, an innovative approach to create a borough where everyone feels they have a stake. 

The Affordable Homes for Newham programme was established to deliver the Mayor’s pledge for 1,000 council-owned homes to be started by March 2022. This followed the award of £107m of grant from the GLA under Building Council Homes for Londoners and represents significant investment by the council. Building work has already started on 234 of these homes with plans submitted for a further 137. 

The Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “I am already excited about what’s to come in 2020 and I am focused on the important task of building houses that residents can afford. Over the past 12 months, we’ve achieved a lot and I’m pleased we’re on course to meeting my target to start building 1,056 new council homes by March 2022. 

“This journey begins and ends with our residents. That’s why, since I was elected in May 2018, we’ve been adopting pioneering co-production and co-design approaches so we work closely with local residents and actively involve them in a meaningful way from the very start. We’ve spoken to and involved just under 1,000 residents across all our housing delivery and regeneration programmes and held 20 participatory events though Shape Newham.

“We still have lots to do especially given the scale of the housing challenge facing our borough. That’s why, as the largest landowning local authority in the country and the tenth largest public sector body landowner, we’ll be making the most of this on behalf of our residents.” 

Last month, the council gave approval to a range of multi million pound development schemes delivered by Newham Council and partners which will see changes take place across the whole borough, from Stratford in the north to Canning Town in the south and Plaistow in the centre.

At the last meeting of the council’s Local Development Committee (16 December 2019), planning permission was awarded to build 22 new homes in Canning Town and Forest Gate – 11 at 236 Romford Road, eight in Idmiston Road and three homes in Chargeable Lane. 

The planning approval follows a widespread consultation of residents by the council, whose feedback helped influence the final designs. The properties on Idmiston Road and Chargeable Lane will be built on the site of old garages, where typically there can be a lot of anti-social behaviour such as drug dealing. Work will start this year and completion is expected in late 2021. 

Further homes will be created in Plaistow as Red Door Ventures, the housing company owned by the council will use £113.1m of funding from the council to deliver 294 new homes across a range of different sites. 

Of these homes, 104 will be let at London Affordable Rent levels (a form of social rent which is, on average, around 50% of market rent for Newham) using funding secured by the council under their Affordable Homes for Newham programme. Eight will be shared ownership and the remaining 182 homes will be let at market rent.

The Plaistow developments will bring significant benefits to the area bringing a proposed community hub to Valetta Grove with added commercial space and public realm improvements plus a proposed gym, café and convenience store. Local labour and apprenticeship opportunities will be created through construction. All homes will be built to modern energy efficient standards to reduce fuel bills and help combat fuel poverty. 

Across the borough, through the Shape Newham programme, a funding pot of £1.746million will be shared among eight town centres for enhancements to public spaces which will be determined by residents. 

A series of assemblies saw more than 200 local people getting involved and giving their views on changes they want in their neighbourhoods. The aim is to create 18 imaginative and original public art and public space projects. 

This project is an important part of Community Wealth Building agenda and Shape Newham will use the council’s purchasing power and influence to keep wealth in the local economy. Where possible local artists will be used in any collaborations and the architects will offer five paid work experience placements.

New homes, new community facilities and a new town will be created as work on the next stage of Canning Town’s Hallsville Quarter progresses after the green light was given by the council’s cabinet in December. 

Hallsville Quarter is a new commercial and civic heart and will bring new retail, leisure, hotel, office and community spaces. As part of phase 3, a new health centre will be created as well as two new public squares which will act as a community hub bringing together residents and shoppers to relax, eat and socialise.

The works, delivered by Linkcity, have already seen 528 new homes built through phase one and two. Phase 3 will deliver an additional 620 new homes with the potential for at least 245 affordable homes including 50 much needed extra care homes which are specially designed for Newham residents with additional care requirements. 

Published: 13 Jan 2020