Children from Surrey Square Primary School were joined by children's book and TV character Horrid Henry to celebrate a new chapter of the Aylesbury Estate regeneration beginning, with work getting underway on a new community hub.
The work on the site, known as Plot 18, will create a brand new library, health centre and more than 100 homes for rent from Notting Hill Genesis. But it wasn't just about the young – many "young at heart" residents who we have consulted about the design of homes for over-55s also joined the celebration.
The event, in Inville Road, off Thurlow Street, saw the pupils handed goody bags and books. Southwark Council is proud to be reversing a national trend by building a new, modern library for the community, which will take pride of place in the neighbourhood hub and bring together people of all ages from across the Walworth area and beyond.
A total of 122 new homes will be built in this phase of the project, in addition to the library, health centre, early years facilities and commercial space. A water feature will act as the centrepiece of the hub.
Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet member for Growth, Development and Planning at Southwark said: "It is fantastic news for the local community that work is starting on the area known as Plot 18. The community facilities on Plot 18 will be the keystone of the wider work to ensure the local community is at the heart of plans for the Aylesbury, and will feature a new library, early years centre and medical centre that will not only be used by the residents but also the wider community."
"At a time when councils are still having to consider closing or reducing the number of libraries and other frontline services, we are particularly proud to be building another new, modern library to provide valuable services and spaces to our local community."
"In addition the site will include homes for local people aged over 55 that have been co-designed with a group of older Aylesbury Estate residents."
Kate Davies, chief executive of Notting Hill Genesis said: "Creating a community that works for everyone is at the heart of our plans for the Aylesbury neighbourhood. The work starting today is central to all of that, providing both socially rented homes specifically for the over-55s and high-quality facilities to be enjoyed by all."
"It was great to see young pupils and older residents both enjoying the event and being able to look forward to the improved homes and public spaces now underway. It has been a long process to get here but our commitment to this area and its residents remains as strong as ever."
Bradleigh Coker, associate director of production at Vistry Partnerships, added: "It is fantastic to be here today alongside our partners Notting Hill Genesis and Southwark Council as work gets underway to create a thriving new neighbourhood for the Aylesbury community. Working together, we're providing a range of new community facilities and services, alongside more than 100 new homes for rent. True regeneration, when done correctly, delivers quality homes and services in places where they are often needed most, providing better outcomes for local people."
All of the new homes on the square will be available for rent – 23 offering social rent housing to over-55s, and 99 for private rent through Folio London, Notting Hill Genesis' market rent brand which offers high quality, fully furnished homes in great locations with no hidden fees or admin charges.