Work has begun to build 427 new genuinely affordable homes on the former Marks & Spencer’s warehouse site near Westfield.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council helped unveil the new White City homes last week in what is quickly becoming London’s most exciting new neighbourhood. The genuinely affordable homes help fulfil the council’s promise to deliver for local residents who have been struggling to get their feet on the property ladder.
A new five-acre public park – called Exhibition Park – is also being built just a few steps away from Wood Lane tube station, joining up with land on the other side of the railway arches outside the new John Lewis store in Westfield.
“We’re determined to do our bit to crack the housing crisis and deliver the genuinely affordable homes our residents need,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
“So it’s really exciting to see construction start on this important scheme in what is already London’s most exciting new neighbourhood.”
It follows on from another 89 new genuinely affordable homes which H&F Council secured for residents in White City as part of the negotiations around the planning approval for the £600 million Westfield extension works by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
The one, two and three-bedroom flats are the first to emerge on the doorstep of Europe’s biggest shopping centre, Westfield. Local residents will be moving into the new homes at the end of this month.
Negotiating hard with developers
The new White City Living scheme in Wood Lane, close to both Wood Lane and White City underground stations, sits on the opposite side of the new homes, offices and television studios of the recently renovated Television Centre.
White City Living developer, St James, originally secured consent for 298 new genuinely affordable homes on the site. Working in partnership with the council, an extra 129 homes were added, taking the total number of new genuinely affordable homes being built on the site to 427.
This means H&F Council has now secured more than 630 new genuinely affordable homes in White City for local people – not overseas property investors. The new affordable homes consist of one, two, three and four-bedroom flats, with the first wave of residents due to get their keys in July 2019.
H&F Council has also secured £22 million from the developer to ensure local people benefit from the new local investment and growth such as the £1 million going towards improving the Wood Lane estate.
New public park
The five-acre Exhibition Park had its first tree planted by Cllr Cowan last week. It’s one of 430 new trees that will be planted in the new public park, as well as an additional three acres of green space for residents, four water features and 31 restored railway arches.
There will be six separate gardens for residents which includes the Magnolia Garden and the Central Gardens, lined with trees suited for all the seasons, on the new development. Plus a lagoon, opposite the railways arches in front of Westfield.
The council has also negotiated for a new network of walkways, bridges and cycle paths, along with new pedestrian routes which will create improved links with Westfield and the wider White City area. In addition to the new pedestrian and cycle connections, there will be 100,000 sq ft of shops, playgrounds, restaurants, cafés and office space.
More affordable homes coming
Meanwhile, H&F Council has recently negotiated a series of deals with developers, at zero cost to taxpayers, for other genuinely affordable homes to be built across White City.
Seventy-one genuinely affordable homes for residents have been secured on the new Ed City development in Australia Road, with 38 flats for key workers and 33 flats for social rent.
The council has also begun to redevelop a former hostel it owns in Lavender Court with 45 new, genuinely affordable homes for residents.
Work is also underway to build 30 new, genuinely affordable homes at the council-owned Fulham North Housing Office and adjacent car park on the Clem Attlee Estate. The new homes should be ready by 2020.
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