Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you carrying out the redevelopment?
By redeveloping this area, we can provide a major increase in much-needed high quality homes in Westminster. We can double the number of affordable homes on this site and provide people with better housing built to modern standards that is cheaper for them to run. We can also offer a much broader mix of homes, including social rented, intermediate, and senior living. Alongside this, we can provide much better public and community spaces, making this a greener place with more facilities and new jobs for local people.
What is happening to residents of Walden House?
The lease at Walden House was due to expire in June 2021, however we recognise the challenge WCC faces in providing alternative accommodation for residents. Therefore, we have agreed to provide up to an additional two years beyond 2021, providing up to four years for WCC to help residents move into a new home.
Walden House residents will be rehoused within the borough and WCC has offered them a right to return to the new affordable homes we will deliver. We are now working closely with them to ensure they know the facts and can get involved in the design of their new homes and neighbourhood.
What is happening to residents of Cundy Street Flats?
We first notified our Cundy Street tenants back in 2012 of the possibility of the redevelopment, which we confirmed early in 2019, over two years before the end of their leases. Since this notification we have been offering individual tailored support to help them plan carefully for the future. Some of the tenants are on protected tenancies; and where any of our residents have a right to continued tenancy, we are offering them suitable alternative accommodation nearby in Belgravia and have employed specialist help to assist us with this.
Will you be providing affordable housing in the new development?
Yes, we will be providing a material increase in social rented and intermediate homes on site, which would double the number of affordable homes currently there. 35% of the new homes will be dedicated to affordable housing; to be split between social rented and intermediate tenures in line with Westminster’s policy. This will help the 7,000 households which are on the Council’s waiting list.
What steps are being taken to prevent anti-social behaviour and provide security in the new development?
Anti-social behaviour has been a consistent theme in our conversations with the local community, and we have looked to address this issue as the design has progressed. We have met with the police to discuss local concerns and listen to their experience of how well-designed places can mitigate crime. We have also appointed a specialist consultant who has advised on design interventions that can help with these issues, using examples from across London where new developments have successfully tackled anti-social behaviour in the local area. These include measures such as on-site security presence, CCTV, improved lighting and restricted hours of access.
Following discussions with a working group we set up with Coleshill Flats residents, we have since incorporated gates into either end of Elizabeth Place Gardens. This is the space behind the Coleshill Flats which will be transformed into an urban garden; the gates will be closed at night preventing non-residents accessing the space and stopping some of the issues that take place in the car park today.
When can we see more detail of the plans?
We had our first conversations with the community in March 2019, which was at a very early stage in the thinking for the development. We wanted to first understand from local people what their aspirations were for the area and what they would like a new development to deliver. During the second phase of consultation in June 2019, we showed how the initial designs had evolved based on the early feedback. Since then, we have been busy working on evolving our designs for the Cundy Street Quarter, taking on board feedback from both phases of public consultation, as well as meetings with Westminster City Council, local amenity societies and community organisations. Later in 2019 we hope to share the developed proposals where we hope the community can get a real sense of what the place will look and feel like as well as sharing details about the ground floor uses, the accommodation mix at upper floors and the public spaces.
What do you expect the timescales to be?
We are hoping to submit our application to Westminster City Council in spring 2020. We would expect construction to start in late 2021 at the earliest.
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