Erith Park, Bexley

Wates Residential

Client

Orbit Homes and LB Bexley

Partner

Broadway Malyan Architects

The full Erith Park regeneration will see the replacement of seven high-rise blocks on the formerly run-down Larner Road estate, creating 587 new homes for affordable rent, private sale and low cost home ownership, housing around 2,000 people. The first phase consisted of 196 homes for affordable rent, 82 for shared ownership and 65 properties for private sale.

The five-year scheme to create a mixed-tenure community, funded by the HCA and supported by a grant from the Mayor’s Affordable Homes Programme, represents one of the largest projects of its type in London.

Phase one of this £123m regeneration programme, incorporated the demolition of five 1960’s tower blocks to make way for 343 new low to medium-rise apartments and family homes. Wates Residential acted as developer partner for Orbit; investing and taking responsibility for the development’s 20% market sale element, as well as the role of design and build contractor for the affordable housing element.

The first phase completed 20 weeks ahead of programme and was a resounding success for the delivery partnership. A formerly deprived, hard to let and substandard estate with significant issues was transformed into an exemplar place where people want to live. The project achieved sales value increases of up to 40% in comparison with other local developments

As a result of this success, Wates was awarded the second phase of the regeneration programme and the team are currently on site building a further 244 new homes.

  • £123m Value
  • 587 Total number of homes

TECHNICAL SOLUTION

All homes on the site met the requirements of Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, with all apartments being served from a central combined heat and power system located in the basement of Block A, which served all of the other blocks through an underground pipe network. A major ‘cut and fill’ exercise was undertaken, removing 30,000m2 of hazardous material from the ground which was screened and treated before being re-used to level out the site, capped with 600mm of certified crushed concrete. This process also captured 20,000m2 of waste concrete following the demolition of the five tower blocks which previously occupied the site.

CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

Logistical planning was a key challenge on the site. The team concurrently delivered the demolition of the five existing tower blocks alongside site remediation and the construction of the new homes, having to factor in the movements and safety of all residents of the 205 properties.

With only a single entrance into the site, a huge amount of planning and consideration was required. Wates employed a specialist logistics company, given the importance of both safety and programme time, to ensure that this process was delivered correctly.

Phase two was occupied throughout the first phase of the regeneration. In order to minimise inconvenience to residents and neighbours, we fully engaged with all stakeholders, ensuring that all services remained commissioned throughout, including drainage diversions to avoid clashes and our traffic management strategy kept construction and residential traffic separated.

We also adopted considerate working practices to minimise dust and noise, evidenced by an extremely high Considerate Constructors Scores of 45 and a Gold CCS Site Award in 2016.

COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

Throughout delivery of the £60m first phase, Wates Residential created the
following key social and community outcomes:

• 31 apprentices employed on the scheme
• Wates’ ‘Building Futures’ programme supported 17 local long-term unemployed
people, 13 of whom have progressed into employment and further training
• Changing Paths programme helped ex-offenders gain work experience and
career opportunities
• £20k spent on site with social enterprises
• 350 tonnes of carbon emissions will be saved every year

QUITE SIMPLY, LAWRENCE AND THE WATES TEAM HAVE ACHIEVED THE IMPOSSIBLE AT ERITH PARK, AND HAVE DONE SO WHILST MAINTAINING A CONTINUED FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PEOPLE – THE PEOPLE WHO WORK HERE, THE PEOPLE WHO WILL LIVE HERE IN THE FUTURE AND OUR NEIGHBOURS.”

Caroline Field Regeneration Manager - Orbit Group

Wates Residential

Delivering mixed tenure housing schemes.

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