Committees back Battersea estates regeneration

Published: 24 February 2017

The regeneration of two Battersea estates has moved a step closer with unanimous cross-party support from two council committees.

A recommendation for the preferred bidder to be the council’s development partner in building more than 2,000 homes at the Winstanley and York Road estates, beside Clapham Junction station, was supported on 20 February by the Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Committee members heard how secure council tenants and owner-occupiers in homes being demolished are guaranteed a newly-built home on their estates, with more homes for low cost rent and shared ownership being built. 

A competition was launched in January 2016 to find a development partner to replace outdated housing in a 32-acre section of these estates. Following public consultation, 70 per cent of respondents supported redevelopment. 

The Winstanley and York Road regeneration will open up the area to the wider neighbourhood with a street-based design involving street doors, similar to the neighbouring Kambala Estate, and with no distinction between social and private housing.   

Proposals also include a redesigned and improved park; a new leisure centre; a new community centre; a new library; new shops and business space.

A total of 530 council homes will be demolished and reprovided on the estates for secure tenants, as well as newly-built homes for all owner-occupiers. One hundred new shared ownership properties, with 100 homes to be let at affordable rents, and 300 at market rents, will be built, with properties for sale helping to pay for the redevelopment.

The committee heard how the council will enter into a Joint Vehicle arrangement with the development partner, which will provide local residents with jobs, training and apprenticeships. Opportunities expected to become available through the regeneration include security; site office administration; decorating, as well as other construction roles, and jobs created by the new retail and business space. 

Regenerating the Winstanley and York Road estates is part of the council’s Aspirations programme to improve life chances in the borough, through new housing, employment, training and health initiatives, and with access to sport and cultural activities. It began in 2012 with a focus on the Winstanley and York Road estates, in Latchmere ward, Battersea, and the Alton estate, in Roehampton and Putney Heath ward.

Both Cllr Jane Cooper, Chair of the committee, and Cllr Paul Ellis, Cabinet Member for Housing, thanked Latchmere ward councillors Simon Hogg, Tony Belton and Wendy Speck, who attended and spoke at the meeting, for their support for the regeneration during the past few years.

Councillors discussed a range of issues, including ensuring affordable pricing at the new leisure centre; capping service charges for day-to-day maintenance in the new homes; local jobs and training; options for older and vulnerable residents in need of sheltered housing; and how local infrastructure would manage with an increase in residents. 

The recommendation for the preferred bidder was also supported unanimously on 22 February by the cross-party Finance and Corporate Resource Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and at a meeting of the council’s Executive on 27 February.

Afterwards, the council and preferred bidder will work out a timetable for development and conduct extensive public consultation on detailed designs for the regeneration, before applying for planning permission.