Southwark Development sets new standard for affordable housing in London

22nd May 2015

Southwark Development sets new standard for affordable housing in London

Today (22 May), Deputy Mayor of Housing & Land, Richard Blakeway, joined representatives of St James, Southwark Council and Peabody to formally open the doors to Chambers Wharf.

The collection of 182 shared ownership and social rented homes represents the first phase of a major regeneration project which will transform the existing derelict brownfield site into a mixed-use riverside community.

Completed in less than two years through a pioneering partnership between Southwark Council, St James, Peabody and the Greater London Authority (GLA), the scheme provides a blueprint for delivering high quality affordable housing quickly in London.

St James has delivered the entire affordable housing provision prior to the construction of any private homes, using £9m of forward funding from the GLA. The build programme commenced in May 2013 and was completed in March 2015.

Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James, comments: "Chambers Wharf represents a pioneering approach to affordable housing provision in the capital. We wanted to raise the bar and showcase what can be achieved within a short timeframe. It's tenure blind in a prime location, creating 182 contemporary, affordable homes that residents can be proud of."

This phase of the regeneration has provided:

  • 62 shared ownership apartments, 106 social rented apartments, and 14 social rented family homes in a mix of one, two and three bedroom styles
  • A new community centre which can be used by the local secondary school
  • 7 new apprenticeships  and training for 34 unemployed local borough residents
  • A car club, improvements to local highways, and a contribution to the local children's play area

Designed by world renowned architectural practice, SimpsonHaugh and Partners, the affordable homes are set across two modern buildings, staggered 7 to 10 storeys. Every home has private outdoor space and enjoys the renowned build standards of St James: there were zero defects on practical completion.

Cllr Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: "In Southwark we are tackling the housing crisis head on and are doing all we can to build the quality affordable homes our residents so desperately need. This development delivers affordable homes at social rent, while also helping local residents get onto the property ladder with shared ownership homes."

One of the first residents of Chambers Wharf is Ingrid Thomas (aged 36). Previously living in a two bedroom apartment, she has moved into a four bedroom townhouse with her three boys and eight-month old daughter: "We now have the space and facilities to function as a proper family. I'm blown away by the high quality and design of the home. The outdoor space is also wonderful and it has already started bringing residents together. The children are also really excited about the play area which is currently being built!

"I couldn't be happier right now; it's the new start I'd been waiting for. The fact that my children love their new home makes me even more appreciative of living in this life changing new development."  

Spread across seven buildings, ranging from 10 to 14 storeys in height, a total of 587 homes will be created at Chambers Wharf. The development will attract a mix of couples, families and young professionals to an area fast becoming a well-established residential location in Bermondsey. It will also introduce new walkways and cycle routes, with pedestrian access throughout the site, vastly improving the public realm and reconnecting the area with the riverside.

Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive of the Peabody Group comments: "Peabody has been at the heart of Southwark for almost 150 years and we want to extend our mission to as many people as possible. Chambers Wharf is an example of how strong partnerships can help deliver high-quality affordable homes, jobs, community facilities and amenities both for the residents and the wider community."

For additional press information, please contact at LUCHFORD APM or call +44 (0)20 7631 1000

Notes to editors:

About St James
St James was established in 1996, originally as a joint venture with Thames Water. Over the past fifteen years, the company has established a reputation as a design-conscious developer delivering urban regeneration projects that transform derelict sites into fantastic places for people to live.

St James is a member of the Berkeley Group.  Berkeley was voted Britain's Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011 and has been ranked Britain's most sustainable major housebuilder for the last eight years in a row by the Next Generation benchmark. In 2014, the Berkeley Group supported a total of 21,000 jobs nationwide, equating to 5.6 jobs for every home built.

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