HCA and Durkan help get Croydon building in a £20million scheme

A significant development site in Croydon which was stalled since 2006 has been unlocked and is now under development as a result of the Get Britain Building 2 initiative. Over half the properties within what will be a £20million development are affordable, shared ownership or private for-rent dwellings.

The scheme, which has been made possible thanks to £4.5million from the Mayor of London and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), will create 98 new homes in Scarbrook Road, Croydon and is now under construction by Durkan.

Accepted as part of the Get Britain Building 2 initiative, the site was acquired by Scarbrook Road Developments LLP as a speculative purchase in 2006 but the redevelopment plans were halted for a mixture of reasons, including the deep financial recession and bank funding challenges.

Planning permission was granted only in September 2010 and is being hailed by Durkan and others as a prime example of the way in which Get Britain Building can act as a catalyst to kick-start challenging schemes.

Construction has commenced, with an anticipated completion date of March 2015. The land was previously the site of the Croydon Business Centre.

The 13-storey block includes 98 units with associated car parking. The residential provider, AmicusHorizon, is taking 17 units allocated under the Section 106 agreement as affordable homes and has also opted to take 22 of the private units which the housing association will offer for Shared Ownership. In addition, Durkan is retaining 20 units as Private Rented Sector units, so that the development will offer a significant number of dwellings – 59 in total – for those who would be unable to buy private property on the open market.

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Land said:

“The Mayor is investing billions to increase the number of homes being built for working Londoners while boosting the capital’s economy. Mixed tenure developments like Scarbrook Road show just how successful this can be, bringing new homes and jobs to Croydon.”

Margaret Allen, Director of Programmes at the HCA, said:

“Scarbrook Road is a great example of how Government investment through the HCA is helping to unlock stalled housing schemes across the country, increasing the number of much needed new homes and contributing to the economy.”

AmicusHorizon was introduced to the developer by the London Borough of Croydon’s regeneration team. The decision by the housing association to take the extra homes for sale as shared ownership dwellings in addition to the allocation of affordable homes granted within the planning consent was a critical factor in the decision to progress with the scheme.

Daren Nathan, Development Director of Durkan, explained:

“This is our first development agreement with the Greater London Authority and a great milestone for us to reach. There has been a true collaboration between all the contracting parties and with the London Borough of Croydon. The scheme has taken a long time to come to fruition, not least because of the financial recession leading to inevitable funding difficulties. Without the combined efforts of all parties, this stalled site would not have been unlocked.

“It is a credit to the relationships built up between the HCA, Durkan, LB Croydon and AmicusHorizon that we are now underway with what will be a huge asset to the area. Above all there was a collective effort combined with a desire to involve this scheme in the Get Britain Building 2 initiative which gave the vital access to funds from the HCA and the support of the GLA. We are proud of the partnership initiative involved and the engagement of all those involved”.

Bunmi Atta, Regional Development & Commercial Property Director of AmicusHorizon, agreed, saying:

“The partnership of Durkan, AmicusHorizon, the Homes and Communities Agency, the Greater London Authority and London Borough of Croydon is a fantastic example of collaborative working between partners. Scarbrook Road is a great development and provides much needed affordable homes in Croydon for local residents”.

Bptw Architects have created a design for what will become a landmark building.

Daren Nathan added:

“This scheme is a great example of how Get Britain Building can kick-start a development to provide beautifully designed and well-constructed homes improving the lives not only of those who will live there but of the wider neighbourhood too.”