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Work begins on £9.4m West Street development

Project to deliver 42 mixed tenure affordable properties and community garden in Bexley, south east London

Orbit and Wates Residential have celebrated the start of work on their West Street development in Erith with a ground-breaking ceremony.

The housing group and national developer marked the significant milestone on Wednesday, with the ceremony attended by Wates Residential Operations Director Glen Roberts, Cllr. Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of Bexley Council and Wayne Schultz, Regional Contracts Manager for Orbit.

Wates Residential was appointed to deliver the £9.4 million scheme by Orbit in April 2019. The project will see 42 mixed tenure affordable properties built in the London Borough of Bexley.

Vacant buildings including a former car parts warehouse will be replaced with a contemporary low-rise design including seven homes for London Affordable Rent, 14 homes for London Living Rent and 21 homes for shared ownership sale. The plans also include a car park with electric charging points and community garden.

The first stage of the work will see foundations installed and work on the main structure will begin in autumn once groundworks are complete. The project is expected to be completed in January 2021.

As part of the West Street project, Orbit and Wates Residential have also pledged to provide employment and training opportunities for local residents, delivering a lasting legacy for the community. Commitments include the provision of work experience placements, careers advice events, promoting and working with local social enterprises, and DIY workshops for local people to learn skills such as plumbing and tiling.

It follows the successful regeneration of neighbouring Larner Road into the award-winning Erith Park in Bexley by Orbit and Wates Residential. The former council estate was transformed and rebuilt into 587 new homes, with tower blocks replaced by a low to medium rise development of apartments and houses for affordable rent, shared ownership and market sale.

Wates Residential has also been appointed to help deliver Orbit’s proposed £95 million regeneration of the Arthur Street housing estate in Bexley. The proposed scheme will feature around 320 new homes, of which 80 per cent will be for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Glen Roberts, Operations Director at Wates Residential, said:

“The ‘ground breaking’ ceremony marks a significant step forward for the West Street development, which will deliver new homes and a community garden as well as longer-term benefits for Bexley.

“It was also a great opportunity to celebrate the work of everyone who has been involved. I’m extremely grateful to the project team for their ongoing commitment to the local area and look forward to watching as the building progresses over the coming months.”

Shina Olalekan, Head of Development at Orbit, said:

“This ceremony is not only a milestone for the project team but the community of Bexley.

“The development of West Street forms part of our long-term strategy for delivering high quality new homes in Erith and the wider region, and will contribute towards improvements to the quality of the streetscape and the overall appearance of the local area.”

Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, said:

 “I am really pleased that Wates and Orbit are building more good quality and affordable housing in Erith for Bexley residents. The fact that they will also be creating training and employment opportunities for local people is even better. I will follow the progress of the work and look forward to returning when the first families move into their new homes.”