Clarion Housing Group’s £1 billion investment to transform three estates in the London Borough of Merton gained approval from Merton’s Planning Committee, last night - Thursday, 8th March.
The Group’s ambitious plans will deliver around 2,800 new homes across three neighbourhoods – Eastfields and Ravensbury in Mitcham and High Path in Wimbledon, along with 9,000sqm of retail, leisure, office, work and community space. Crucially, all of Clarion’s existing residents will be rehoused in homes of an appropriate size, dealing with existing overcrowding.
Over 200 of the new homes are ear-marked for existing resident homeowners, in an innovative offer allowing them a new home at no additional cost on a full freehold or leasehold basis. A further 1,800 homes will be built to rent and buy, boosting Merton’s supply of high-quality new housing.
The successful application follows years of close working between Clarion, Merton Council, the Greater London Authority (GLA), residents and the wider community. Its benefits extend far beyond the new homes and facilities through the provision of over 700 constructions jobs per year; training and apprenticeship opportunities and community infrastructure payments of almost £30million, with £24.66 million direct to Merton.
Bob Beaumont, Director of Regeneration commented: “Last night’s decision is a clear demonstration of estate regeneration’s ability to deliver positive change and a testament to our close working with residents and the Council. The benefits this regeneration will bring are far reaching and possible due to Clarion’s extensive capacity and expertise.”
Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Housing, said: “The £1.2 billion regeneration of High Path, Ravensbury and Eastfields will provide huge benefits to the residents there and to the wider community in Merton by bringing much needed new housing to these areas, improving the local environment and creating jobs. I am pleased to see that Clarion’s proposals have all been designed in consultation with existing residents. As a Council we are determined to work with housing providers to build more homes, whilst at the same time providing wider benefits without comprising the rights and needs of existing residents.”
Clarion’s decision to pursue the regeneration of the three neighbourhoods was driven by the standard of existing homes, levels of overcrowding and the findings of an independent residents’ survey.
Last night’s successful planning application is complemented by two previously approved sites at Ravensbury and at High Path. Work on the first new homes on these will start later this year.
The regeneration of the three Estates will benefit from over £15m of grant funding through the GLA’s Homes for Londoners 2016-2021 programme.
Clarion’s current commitment to the regeneration of its existing estates is £2.6 billion. This includes regeneration proposals for the Barne Barton Estate, Plymouth, with planning due to be submitted later this year. Clarion is also about to complete a major regeneration project in Merton’s neighbouring London Borough of Sutton, which provides 675 new homes and rehoused all existing residents.