Five development and management consortia have been shortlisted by national regeneration agency, English Partnerships, to proceed to the next stage of the London-Wide Initiative (LWI). The LWI has been created to generate a model to fast-track the delivery of affordable homes in Greater London, and the selection process aims to appoint one or more partners.
As part of the next stage, Countryside Properties, QUINTessential Homes, First Base Partnership, The London H2O Partnership and Key London Alliance, have been asked to prepare proposals in response to development briefs for three brownfield sites. The sites, in Catford, Elephant & Castle and East India Docks, are part of a portfolio of 12 owned by English Partnerships and each presents a different development opportunity that will test the ability of the shortlist to come up with innovative design solutions.
The LWI aims to deliver 15,000 key-worker homes within five years and a pilot phase, across the first 12 sites, is expected to deliver around 3,500 homes, 2,000 of which will be for key workers. The initiative will help bridge the gap in the supply of affordable homes required to meet the needs predicted by the GLA, which estimates that 31,900 new homes are needed each year, 50 per cent of which should be affordable.
While the solutions put forward by the winning bidders will be judged on individual merits, they must meet a range of objectives laid down by English Partnerships. These include design excellence, cost savings through volume procurement, incorporation of sustainable Modern Methods of Construction, reduced service charges and creation of an asset base with long-term investment potential. English Partnerships’ major contribution will be to minimise the risk associated with site assembly, allowing partners to concentrate more fully on innovation in construction and design techniques. A pre-development investment programme is already underway to make the sites ready for building work.
Source: English Partnerships