A ‘ground-breaking’ event has taken place at Ebury Bridge today, led by Westminster City Council’s leader Cllr Rachael Robathan, to mark the significant milestone of the first phase of building 781 new homes, of which more than 50% will be affordable.
Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Communities and Regeneration, and Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, also attended the event with representatives from contractor Bouygues UK.
Phase one will deliver the first 226 new sustainable homes of the project and 63% of the properties will be affordable. The development will be complete by 2024, paving the way for the biggest delivery of new affordable homes in Westminster in over 50 years.
The homes have been designed to ensure more usable space than the properties on the previous site, and they come with a range of open plan or separate kitchen areas. The new homes will have the highest standards of fire safety including in-home heat detectors and sprinkler systems. Most homes will also have private balconies, shared private terrace and/or podium gardens.
More than 110 households have been temporarily relocated and six empty blocks have been demolished to prepare for the construction. During this initial phase, the first taller buildings will be built, with views over the Thames and Battersea Power Station.
The majority of returning residents will have an opportunity to move into the first two new buildings, along with other Westminster residents.
Ebury Bridge will be a largely car-free development, with disabled car parking only. Both pedestrian and cycle transport will be a top priority with more than 2,000 cycle spaces for residents.
The newly built homes will use 90 per cent less carbon than the existing estate and grey water recycling will be used for household functions, in line with Westminster City Council’s plans to be carbon net zero by 2040. The council is also recycling 99% of materials from the demolition and Bouygues have worked extremely hard to ensure they reduce waste.
As well as the creation of 781 homes, of which more than 50% will be affordable, there will be a new community hub, nursery and fitness centre for residents and visitors. Plus, there will be four high-quality public squares created with and play features.
Around 270 new trees will be planted, as well as the retention of mature existing trees. Plus, there will be new flowerbeds and plants, forging natural havens for the local community and increasing biodiversity. The green spaces will have enhanced lighting for security and an on-site management team.
An extended high street with new local shops and cafés on Ebury Bridge Road has also been approved and there will be new places to work including flexible workspace at the new northern gateway.
Fabienne Viala, Chair of Bouygues Construction United Kingdom, said:
“It’s wonderful to be here to mark the first phase of the biggest delivery of new affordable homes in south Westminster. We are delighted to be partnering with Westminster City Council on this exciting project.
“The fact that the new homes will use 90 per cent less carbon than the existing estate is such a great step forward. It’s our ambition to achieve this level of sustainability across all our projects and we are all the more excited to start work.
“For us, this project is a great opportunity to support the community of Ebury Bridge Estate and bring sustainable benefits to everyone who lives and works here.”
Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:
“We want to give people the chance to have an affordable home in Westminster, and we are pleased to be doing that right in the centre of the capital at this innovative development.
“Due to the latest technologies, we have been able to make Ebury Bridge an all-electric development and introduce sustainable features. This means cheaper living for residents whilst drastically reducing our carbon footprint.
“Ebury is at the heart of our City for All vision, providing the type of homes our residents need so people of all backgrounds, needs and aspirations can live and thrive in Westminster’s vibrant communities.”
Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Regeneration, said:
“Ebury Bridge will see the largest construction of new affordable homes in Westminster in a generation. We’re committed to maintaining the strong community on the estate and a right to return for residents is guaranteed for all secure tenants and resident leaseholders.
“Our plans for Ebury Bridge have been formed in close partnership with the residents of the estate and we have made sure our plans reflect their views. I’m very much looking forward to watching the site progress and continuing to work closely with Bouygues UK.”