Leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell, was at Southall Waterside today to welcome the first new residents to their homes and celebrate this key milestone in one of London's most ambitious regeneration projects.
Local people are now moving into the first 304 homes, all of which are being initially offered to existing Ealing residents on either an affordable rent or shared ownership basis. The new affordable homes have been delivered in partnership with Ealing Council, Catalyst and Clarion.
Over the next 25 years Southall Waterside is set to create around 3,750 homes of all tenures, as this 88-acre former gasworks is brought to life and reconnected with the surrounding community. The site's masterplan, developed in close collaboration with Ealing Council, will create a welcoming, open landscape with a mix of new amenities for everyone to enjoy. This includes plans for a health centre, primary school, community centre and a buzzing commercial district with shops, restaurants, a cinema and public squares.
In the years ahead around half of this vast brownfield site will become public open space, including approximately 40 acres of parkland and biodiverse habitats. This will include a network of inviting nature and fitness trails, wetlands, cycle-paths and walkways.
Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council, said: "Southall Waterside was previously a disused industrial site and the much-needed regeneration of this land means that it is now beginning to actively contribute to our local economy. The development is providing jobs and will bring a diverse mix of new amenities to the area. Importantly, it is also delivering affordable homes for Ealing residents - this means that Southall Waterside is a community for all and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Berkeley and Catalyst as we welcome more residents to Southall Waterside."
Tony Pidgley CBE, Chairman of Berkeley Group, comments: "This is one of the most challenging and ambitious regeneration programmes Berkeley Group has ever undertaken and it's a huge pleasure to see the first local people making Southall Waterside their home.
"Together with Ealing Council and our fantastic local partners, we are transforming this long derelict site into a welcoming new part of Southall for the whole community to enjoy. In the years ahead we will create a truly sustainable place with up to 40 acres of beautiful parkland and biodiverse landscapes."
Ian McDermott, Chief Executive of Catalyst, said: "We are excited to welcome our first residents to Southall Waterside. Our partnership with Berkeley and the London Borough of Ealing enables us to fulfil our commitment to being part of mixed-tenure neighbourhoods in fantastic places which enable people to thrive. Southall Waterside offers our residents much more than homes - it offers them a chance to become part of a wider community and I look forward to seeing this flourish in Southall."
Southall Waterside will be connected to the neighbouring 90-acre Minet Country Park and an inaccessible one-kilometre stretch of the Grand Union Canal is being restored and opened up to the public.
The celebration of Southall Waterside's first residents comes just a few months after the official opening of the West London Construction Academy on another part of the site. This unique joint venture between Berkeley and West London College has created a 20,000 sq. ft. vocational training centre offering a range of high-quality construction apprenticeships. The first students are now training here and the academy has now been recognised as one of the Mayor of London's Construction Academy hubs.
The development of Southall Waterside is set to create 21,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, and a further 600 permanent roles. Berkeley is working closely with Ealing Council and local businesses to ensure local people are the first to benefits from these valuable career and training opportunities.