25 Oct 2019

Peabody and Lendlease sign '8bn Thamesmead homes deal

Peabody and Lendlease sign '8bn Thamesmead homes deal

The two firms will start building 11,500 homes on the site once the DLR has been extended to the area.

Peabody housing association and Lendlease have signed contracts to build more than 11,000 homes at Thamesmead in south east London, a project valued at '8bn.

Peabody, which operates more than 66,000 homes across'London and the South-east, took over the Thamesmead estate five years ago. The housing scheme is home to 45,000 people and is best known for featuring in Stanley Kubrick's dystopian film 'A Clockwork Orange'.

The new 50/50 joint venture ' officially known as Thamesmead Waterfront LLP ' represents the largest'development in Peabody's 150-year history, delivering 11,500 new homes on the 250-acre site (pictured), alongside new public amenities including new shops and transport links.

Lendlease was named as preferred bidder back in February 2019, Peabody having begun its search for a development partner in October 2017.

Speaking to Housing Today, John Lewis, Peabody's Thamesmead executive director, said both the contractor and his organisation were committed to the area for the long term. 'We want to create a fantastic place to live and work, investing in existing stock and building new homes,' he added.

Lewis said the new project, part of a 30-year regeneration of the Thamesmead area, was predicated on the DLR heading south across the Thames through a purpose-built tunnel. 'Two years ago [London mayor] Sadiq Khan committed to bringing the DLR across the river from Thamesmead, north to south, through a tunnel. Given the length of time it takes to get these sorts of infrastructure schemes done we estimate getting started on the homes in around six years' time.'

When the Jubilee underground line was being built in the 1970s there were plans for its route to take in Thamesmead, then a relatively new housing scheme. Instead the line carried on to Stratford instead of turning south, and Thamesmead was ignored.

Lewis said: 'We are confident the DLR will come across the river. We've got Crossrail coming to Abbey Wood, but there aren't the sort of transport links in north Thamesmead, up by the river, that are needed.'

Lewis stressed that what was being developed was not a dormitory town. 'This is a new neighbourhood for London. 45,000 people now and many more than that in future. We want people to have access to both sides of the river, with people visiting from the north side and residents being able to travel in the other direction.'

Lewis said now that the deal was done the joint venture would begin serious talks with the local council ' Greenwich ' plus TfL and the local community.

He said: 'We wanted to ensure we had a real structure in place, a long-term investment plan. We wanted to get that sorted first.

'There will now be a long-term planning process and while we've had discussions with Greenwich council we can now get going on the planning side of things.

Lewis said the joint venture wanted to create 'the right mix of housing. All sorts of tenures will be delivered. It's about creating an affordable neighbourhood.'

In a statement Neil Martin, chief executive of Lendlease, Europe, described the opportunity and economic potential being offered both Thamesmead and the capital was 'enormous'.

Martin also said the key to the scheme's successful delivery was improving transport connections for existing and current residents and businesses. 'Doing so would open up this area of London to new audiences and improve the opportunities for those already living there.

'Improving transport links is a vital part of the long-term regeneration of the area, as it will bring those new homes within reach of the heart of London and help us deliver one of the most exciting new places to live in the capital.'

Lewis said work was also underway on initial phases of new housing elsewhere on the Thamesmead estate, with 1,600 new homes being built near Southmere Lake, while the housing association was spending '22m replacing windows on 19 towers across the estate.

'New developments are great, but people wanted improvements today,' he added.

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Source: Housing Today'


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