New housing development named after prominent and ‘much loved’ Roehampton campaigner

Published: Monday, October 18, 2021

A new housing development has been named after a prominent community figure who dedicated his life to bringing communities together.

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Reverend McKinney's two children Ruth, 32, and Alex, 31, cut the ribbon to formally open the development

The development in Bessborough Road, Roehampton, has been called McKinney House to celebrate the life of the former vicar of Holy Trinity Church the late Rev. Jim McKinney who died almost three years ago.

The site which delivers 10 new council homes including five three-bed maisonettes, two three-bed flats and three two-bed flats, is the first stage of the regeneration of the Alton Estate by Wandsworth Council.

The Rev. McKinney was one of the founding members of the Roehampton Forum and Partnership created to bring local communities together in Roehampton. Both continued to operate for over 20 years. He also chaired the Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network for 10 years as well as being a local school governor at Roehampton Church School.

The Rev. McKinney’s wife Sue is a local councillor. She said: “My husband’s aim as a vicar was to bring communities together. He did this through his extensive pastoral work believing that hospitality was the key to bringing people together no matter what their political persuasion or faith group was.”

The Rev’s two children Ruth, 32, and Alex, 31, cut the ribbon to formally open the development on Friday 15th October. The Bishop of Southwark also attended the event.

The development marks the first stage of the redevelopment of the Alton Estate. The site of the new development was previously the location of a car park and Sherwood Lodge, a 1930s two-storey building. Each new home has access to either a private garden or balcony and are fully adaptable to meet the future mobility needs of residents. One of the maisonettes is fully wheelchair accessible and has been adapted to meet the needs of a local family.

The development also offers a secure communal garden with play equipment for children under five years old, secure communal bike and bin storage areas, five parking spaces and new homes for birds and bats.

Environmental works to the pavement and landscape adjacent to the development and retail parade on Petersfield Rise have also been implemented including planting new trees and planters.

New residents will move in over the next few weeks including Emma Williams and her three children. She said: “We are very excited to be moving in. It is so lovely with big windows bringing a lot of light into the property. I was surprised when I first saw it just how nice it is."