Cambridge Road Estate ballot and development partner confirmed

Kingston Council has confirmed that the ballot for the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration will be held in Autumn this year.

Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd will be the joint venture development partner, subject to a Full Council decision, for the once in a generation chance to provide new council homes for residents.

This gives the council the opportunity to offer new homes for existing and new residents, as well as improving public and community spaces on the Cambridge Road Estate.

Kingston is one of the first London boroughs to hold a resident ballot for its estate regeneration plans. The ballot will be independently run and overseen by the Electoral Reform Services and will ask residents to vote on whether they support the council's regeneration proposals for new homes on the estate.The council will run the ballot in accordance with the Greater London Authority guidance.

There will be a wide-ranging and extensive programme of engagement over the coming months to ensure everyone has the opportunity to give their views and be part of the masterplanning. If the result of the ballot is ‘yes’, a planning application will be submitted to Kingston Council’s planning service in 2020 for consideration.

Cllr Emily Davey, Kingston Council Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

“Residents are at the heart of plans for the Cambridge Road Estate and we will be working with them every step of the way to shape the new homes and new estate. This is a once in a generation opportunity to build new homes on Cambridge Road Estate, as well as new facilities such as parks, play areas and community spaces.”

Working with Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd, the council plans to build around 2000 new homes on the estate over the next 10-15 years. The new partnership will bring over 60 years of construction expertise and experience, as well as opportunities to train local residents to help deliver the project. Subject to a positive ballot result, construction works will start in early 2021 with the first new homes ready to move into in 2022. All residents will be supported before, during and after a move. To minimise disruption to residents, building works will take place over a period of time.

Notes to Editors

Working with the GLA, the council is committed to building more social housing in the borough and the Mayor has already provided £46 million towards this. Following a Mayoral announcement on 23 October 2018, Kingston is set to receive a further £67.8 million through the ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ funding prospectus to support its ambitious plans.

Everyone who is a secure council tenant, and resident leaseholders and freeholders, will be guaranteed a new home on the Cambridge Road Estate. Residents will also be given the choice of moving to a home in a different location in the borough if they prefer. There will be additional council homes to rent, and homes for sale on the estate.

On the 18 July 2018 the Greater London Authority (GLA) published guidance on the requirement to hold a ballot on proposals for regeneration of social housing estates where the landlord is obtaining funding from the GLA. Although the council is already in contract with the GLA for funding, and therefore would be able to apply for exemption from this requirement, the council has decided to carry out a voluntary ballot for CRE.

The council will be using the Greater London Authority guidance for eligible voters to undertake the ballot. Those aged 16 or above and who are social tenants living on the estate or residents on the council’s housing register will be entitled to vote.

In March 2017, the Growth Committee approved a recommendation to progress the

regeneration of CRE by way of a 50:50 joint venture with a development partner. This was the recommended route as it had the advantages of allowing the council equal control over the development going forward and an appropriate balance of risk and reward. It also enabled the council to access skills and experience in regeneration that it did not have in-house.

Countryside Properties have experience of working in partnership with local authorities and housing associations to create affordable and private housing through joint ventures. In the last 30 years, they have collaborated on more than 45 regeneration schemes including Acton Gardens in London and New Broughton Village, Greater Manchester.