Westminster City Council marked its final construction site opening today (Thursday 18th June), following temporary closures due to Covid-19, in a move to kickstart the London economy and to continue to deliver affordable homes in the heart of the city.
Ordnance Mews, Melrose and Keith House and Helmsdale House, three infill sites in north Westminster, were the last of the 17 council-run construction sites to open, following Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. These three sites are in the final stages of construction and are due to be finished later this year. All 15 properties, comprising of one, two and three bed homes, are council homes for social rent.
By following government advice to ensure sites are safe to remain open, Westminster is helping to support the construction sector and investing in the economic recovery of London and the wider UK. The council is investing £1 billion into an ambitious development programme over the next five years to build thousands of new homes and public spaces for residents.
Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Regeneration at Westminster City Council said:
“We are committed to leading London’s economic recovery, which is an essential part of the nationwide recovery. By building more homes here, we will create real economic value and the whole country can profit from our investment.
“By opening this final construction site, we’re continuing to support the construction industry, which represents 7% of the UK’s GDP and 9% of Westminster’s workforce, whilst continuing to build new affordable homes which our residents desperately need.
“Now all of our sites are open and operating safely, we are one step closer to delivering 1,850 new affordable homes for residents by 2023 and making Westminster a City for All.”
The council has been working closely with contractors to help them to keep their sites safe and make necessary adjustments to ensure social distancing is possible for the protection of their workers and the wider public.
The council has set out an ambitious regeneration programme to deliver 1,850 new affordable homes by 2023, part of a £1 billion investment in regeneration across the city over the next five years.
So far, the council has delivered 803 affordable homes, so is halfway towards its overall target.
The council is on schedule to deliver over 2,400 new homes by March 2023, of which over 80% will be affordable.
20% of the affordable homes built are family homes (three and four bed), and over 50% of total homes are two bed or more.
About Ordnance Mews, Melrose and Keith House and Helmsdale House
All of the 15 properties, comprising of one, two and three bed homes, are council homes for social rent.
These sites are packaged together for delivery by Lowe Build Ltd.
Work started on site for these three schemes in April 2019. The council will be creating a Local Lettings Plan to ensure that local people are prioritised for these new homes, giving them a chance to gain something after the disruption from construction in their community.
Construction was paused in March 2020 as a result of Covid-19 and has restarted over the last week.
These three schemes are all currently projected to complete in November/December/January.
All 17 of the council owned construction sites are now back open. They are: