Construction begins on Kingston’s largest social housing programme in a generation
Construction is underway on the first of over 2,000 new, sustainable homes as part of the major regeneration of Cambridge Road Estate in Norbiton.
The landmark scheme, voted for overwhelmingly by residents in a ballot in 2020, will deliver more than 2,100 homes — a mix of flats, maisonettes and houses. A total of 767 will be council homes — 114 more than currently on the estate.
The new development, a joint venture between Kingston Council and development partner Countryside, will provide vital new local homes and will enhance the design of the estate so it is a greener, more pleasant place to live and visit. It is the first large-scale project of its kind in Kingston since the estate was first built and forms an essential part of the council’s plan to create more homes of different types, particularly council homes.
At the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the official start of construction (23 May), the Leader of Kingston Council, Andreas Kirsch, described the significance of the scheme for the borough:
“Plans for the redevelopment of Cambridge Road Estate were drawn up in partnership with residents, and the community is at the heart of this scheme. This is a hugely significant moment for everyone involved as we all see the plans starting to become a reality. I can not tell you how important this is to me and the borough, as we deliver on the promise for residents - to deliver safer, warmer, greener homes for people. It is a significant step in our commitment to increase the amount of affordable housing in the borough and tackle climate change.”
The new, high-quality homes will have strong sustainability credentials. The council is continuing its work with Thames Water to create England's first district heat network to use heat from sewage treatment. Still in the early stages, the plan is for the heat network to connect to the new homes on the estate, supplying them with energy-efficient, affordable heating.
The regeneration will also have wider benefits bringing new play areas and community facilities, as well as new jobs and local training opportunities.
Poorvi Mehta lives on Cambridge Road Estate and is a member of the Community Board. She explained what the regeneration means to her and other residents:
“The whole regeneration project is so important to all of us on the estate. A lot of the residents got involved. We helped to shape the project. Both the council and Countryside listened to the views of residents. I think we can honestly say we played a big part in shaping how the estate will look.
“I'm most looking forward to having a new home, of course, but also to the community centre. It will be a great place for the community to get together, somewhere we can socialise - that's my dream.”
The council is also building 101 new low-cost and sustainable council homes on four under-utilised sites in the borough. The first of these is due to be completed imminently with residents moving in this summer, and our new Local Plan for the borough contains strong policies to ensure more affordable homes are built as part of new development projects in the future.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on 23 May at the phase 1 site at Cambridge Road Estate. Council Leader Andreas Kirsch and Portfolio Holder for Housing, Councillor Emily Davey, were joined by representatives from the Community Board, Countryside Partnerships, and the council’s regeneration team.