Construction for a new retirement village in Hornchurch is officially underway. This began with a ground breaking ceremony at the Solar, Serena and Sunrise Courts last week.
Following demolition of the former sheltered accommodation on the site, and planning approval being granted, ground works are now set for the construction of 175 new homes thanks to the Council’s joint venture partnership with Wates Residential.
The homes will specifically be for local people who are approaching, or who have reached, retirement age. Designs for the site include a residents’ lounge, as well as public and private spaces to promote and enhance biodiversity. This is being encouraged through carefully selected planting that includes appropriate and indigenous trees and shrubs. Green and brown roofs will also be implemented on all the new residential buildings to provide habitats for local plants and wildlife.
Of the 175 new homes, 80 will be for affordable rent, 54 for shared ownership and the remainder available for open market sale.
At the ground breaking, Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council was joined by Councillor Robert Benham, Councillor Dilip Patel, Neil Stubbings, Director of Regeneration and former Serena Court resident, Alan Jones, to celebrate the first spade in the ground.
“Havering Council and Wates Residential are working in partnership to design and build homes that put local people first. Here at Solar, Serena and Sunrise Courts the needs of these people will be met with excellent facilities for those who are approaching or have reached retirement age.
“Whatever their age or stage in life, they deserve quality homes that are fit for the future. This is why we are investing heavily to solve the borough’s housing needs and to help our local communities be the best they can be.”
Hugh Jeffery, Regional Development Director for Wates Residential, said:
“It is traditional when we get to this stage of a development to celebrate the first day of construction, and this is an important milestone in the delivery these new retirement homes for the people of Havering
“Like all our projects on the ’12 Estates’ programme, we are working in partnership with Havering Council to design and build new homes using local knowledge and with the end user in mind. This is because, everyone deserves a great place to live, and here soon local people will be able to enjoy modern retirement living in these safe, warm and comfortable homes.”
Former resident Alan Jones of Serena Court, who was rehomed from the site to allow for the regeneration project to start, said:
“It’s been so nice to be back to see the progress on site today. The plans look great and I’ve already said that I want to return when the homes are ready. I can’t wait to get back!”
The development at Solar, Serena and Sunrise Courts forms part of the ‘12 Estates’ regeneration programme between Havering Council and joint venture partners Wates Residential, which is part of leading privately-owned construction, property services and development company, the Wates Group. It will see around 3,500 high-quality new homes delivered in Havering over the next 12 to 15 years. Other projects underway include Waterloo Estate and Queens Street in Romford and Napier and New Plymouth House in Rainham.
The overall programme is helping to deliver millions of pounds of investment into the local economy as well as generate new opportunities, training and jobs. Along the way, the partnership is committed to buying British where possible, with 20 per cent of the programme also being spent with local Small and Medium Enterprises, valued at £100m.