Work has begun on the first 229 Notting Hill Genesis homes of the Aylesbury regeneration project, 84 per cent of which will be let at social rents.
The site, known as Package A, is being developed by Hill and means within two years, residents from later phases of the project will be able to move directly into new, high quality homes in their community.
Package A is part of the first development site, in Albany Road, which in total will feature more than 800 homes, a new public square, a community centre and two new parks.
A ceremony to mark the beginning of work was held on Thursday 25 July, hosted by development partners Southwark Council and Notting Hill Genesis, in partnership with Hill.
One resident, Omobolaji Raimi, 28, who lives in phase four, said: “It was great to see the site and look at where our new homes will be built. I’m really excited about the new flats which will be built to different standards than where I live now.
“I went to visit Manor Place Depot (another Notting Hill Genesis development in Walworth) and the homes were really nice. The homes here will be similar and they are more spacious than where I live now, and it will be nice to have safe blocks with secure door entry.”
But a new home isn’t the only reason the Aylesbury regeneration promises Omobolaji a brighter future. “I visited Chris Cotton (community connector for young people on the Aylesbury team) in 2014 and he has helped guide me through my career ever since,” he added. “I’m now working as an engineer for TfL and I wouldn’t have that job now if it wasn’t for the help Chris gave me.”
Fellow Southwark residents who have gained employment with support from Notting Hill Genesis’ Community Investment Team also spoke about their experiences of the regeneration. Resident Board members of community organisation Creation Trust and the chair of a local Tenant and Resident Association also attended to celebrate the milestone event.
Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, planning and development at Southwark Council, said: “Our commitment to the transformation of the Aylesbury Estate will create new quality homes; dramatically improve living conditions of existing residents, with new community facilities and an increase in the amount of genuinely affordable homes and re-provision of social rent homes.
“This is a fantastic day for the hundreds of Aylesbury Estate residents who want to see new genuinely affordable homes in the area. I am very pleased to see this positive step forward and look forward to welcoming the new tenants, many of whom will be moving from the later phases of the project, into their new homes.”
Kate Davies, chief executive of Notting Hill Genesis, added: “A huge amount of work has gone into reaching this stage, over many years, and our commitment to providing high quality housing to existing and new residents is as strong now as on the day we were chosen as development partners.
“This is just the first step in a much larger project, but with great facilities and a large amount of affordable housing for lower-income households, it is a real example of our vision for the wider neighbourhood.”
There will be 3,500 homes created across the entire regeneration, half of which will be affordable housing. Of that half, 75 per cent will be let at social rents, while the rest will be for shared ownership or shared equity. At least 30 per cent will be family homes of three bedrooms or more.
Over the lifetime of the project, 1,400 job, training and apprenticeship opportunities will be created for Southwark residents, and Hill will be providing some of these as part of the contract.
Greg Hill, deputy chief executive of Hill, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Notting Hill Genesis and Southwark Council on the delivery of the Aylesbury Estate. This exciting and complex project will bring high quality new homes and substantial community investment to the area. As a housebuilder, we understand the importance of community investment and we strive to continue our innovative collaborations with like-minded partners to build in the areas that will benefit the most.”