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A brighter future for Erith

Orbit South and Wates ‘cement’ relationship with development agreement signing at Erith Park in South London

Published 11th October 2013 | Press Releases

Orbit South and Wates Living Space Ltd have formalised their relationship by signing an unconditional contract for the development of Erith Park in the London Borough of Bexley, one of the largest regeneration projects in London. Orbit Homes selected Wates as their construction and development partner for the project in 2012 and since that time, the two organisations have jointly developed both design and cost plans.  A series of reviews at project milestones ensured that the project was viable and that Orbit was achieving value for money. Following the final viability check, both boards finally approved the development agreement, which has now become unconditional.

Vivien Knibbs, Executive Director, Orbit South says; “We are delighted to formalise our relationship with Wates and look forward to delivering the first new homes at Erith Park together. It’s going to become the community of choice in Erith, with new streets and gardens plus a public green space for everyone to enjoy.”  

Tim Wates, Director, Wates Group Ltd says: “The Erith Park project is an example of first class community regeneration and we are proud to partner Orbit South in delivering this landmark project.”

Over the life of the project, all seven tower blocks will be torn down and replaced with over 550 low rise homes in a £120m regeneration project. Four tower blocks have already been demolished and a fifth will be down by December this year. In phase one, 40% will be three and four bedroom family houses with gardens. The apartments will be low rise and all will have a private balcony or terrace. 10% will accommodate wheelchair users.

Orbit South and Wates share a commitment to the social purpose of the scheme, which is evidenced by our comprehensive construction skills and training programme, extending from school visits to apprenticeships. We also continue to hold events for local residents to keep them informed about the changes taking place and to celebrate key milestones.

Both private and public open space will be enhanced including the creation of a new ecology park in an area of currently unused scrubland. Around 350 tonnes of carbon emissions will be saved every year and water consumption will fall by over 40%. All of the homes will meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and meet the London housing design standards.

The cost of the whole regeneration is about £120m. The construction contract cost of phase one is £60m for the affordable and private sale homes. £14.9m is being provided by the Greater London Authority under the Affordable Homes Programme and the remainder will be funded by Orbit from a combination of reserves and borrowing and by Wates Living Space.