Minister visits pioneering Woodberry Down housing regeneration project

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[from 24dash.com]

Minister visits pioneering Woodberry Down housing regeneration project

Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing , Communities
Monday 18th August 2008 – 2:53pm

Minister visits pioneering Woodberry Down housing regeneration projectMinister visits pioneering Woodberry Down housing regeneration project

Government Minister Baroness Andrews has paid a visit to Hackney’s Woodberry Down regeneration scheme.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CLG) was given a tour of Woodberry Down, and also saw the area’s redevelopment plans.

She met with Deputy Mayor of Hackney, Councillor Jamie Carswell; Programme Director, Robin Smith; and Chair of the Woodberry Down Community Organisation (Woodco), Peter Naughton.

Woodberry Down is of particular interest to the Minister as it is a CLG Mixed Communities National Demonstration Project, one of only 12 in England.

Councillor Carswell said: “I am proud that we are transforming Woodberry Down for residents, and that the scheme is commanding interest from the government.”

Woodberry Down is a self-funding project set to provide more than 4,500 new mixed-tenure homes, and is already leading the regeneration field in a number of ways:

  • Playing a leading role in the Future of London Major Projects Delivery Group, which held its inaugural meeting on 3 December last year at CLG, hosted by Baroness Andrews. The group provides a forum for large scale regeneration projects in London to share best practice and to have a combined voice to lobby central government. Their combined masterplans equate to over 110,000 new homes, over 1,200 hectares, and with a capital spend of £30 billion – this year’s Future of London Regeneration Conference takes place on 21 October at the prestigious Church House in Deans Yard, Westminster, and is spread across five rooms of conference, exhibition, workshop and speed-networking spaces.
  • Woodberry Works – a training scheme offering local people a City and Guilds Level 1 qualification in construction, and the chance to work on-site as well as bespoke courses for women and Orthodox Jewish residents, to assist local people to get back into the work place. The first intake of trainees graduated on May 21.
  • The French government has twice visited Woodberry Down during the past year to learn more about the cost-neutral approach to the project, community cohesion plans, and training and employment opportunities – representatives from the governments of Switzerland and Germany have also attended.

The project will see the demolition of all the existing 2,000 homes, and its Masterplan, by Shepheard Epstein Hunter, and approved by the planning authority last September, also provides for a brand new social infrastructure of community facilities and open space.

Berkeley Homes has been selected as the developer for the first phase of the project which will see a mixed tenure development of 1,250 new homes in an investment worth over £250 million.

Pictured (left-to-right): Rupert Tyson, Chair of the Hackney Homes Board; Cllr Jamie Carswell; Baroness Andrews; Peter Naughton; Robin Smith.

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