Newington Butts scheme reaches milestone

By Jim Dunton - Wed 31 July 2013, 1:18 pm

Construction company Mace and property-rental firm Essential Living have been picked to build and operate a 44-storey residential block on the site of Elephant & Castle's London Park Hotel.

Last year, Southwark Magazine reported that London Mayor Boris Johnson had launched the search for a developer for the Newington Butts site, in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency.

This week, Johnson revealed that Mace and Essential Living would use institutional investment from M3 Captial Partners to deliver 462 homes, 188 of which will be affordable.

Site owner the Greater London Authority (GLA) said Peabody was preferred affordable housing partner for the scheme, and was expected to providde around 159 shared ownership homes and 29 rental properties.

The Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners-designed development will also include a new theatre space for Southwark Playhouse, a café, and retail space.

Johnson said he was keen to see more build-to-rent developments in the capital.

“We need to build more homes in London if we want to secure the capital’s economic future and the importance of institutional investors in making this happen cannot be ignored,” he said.

“This ‘holy grail’ of investment in the riskier pre-development stage is a hugely important milestone but it is just the beginning.

“I want to entice other institutional investors to come forward and invest in quality homes for Londoners, boosting the economy and creating thousands of new jobs.”

Councillor Fiona Colley, Southwark’s  regeneration lead, said the development underscored the pace  of change in Elephant & Castle.

“Over the next few years, the area will continue its transformation into a great place to live, work and visit with the demolition of the Heygate estate, improvements to transport, and the creation of thousands of jobs, homes and central London's biggest new park,” she said.

The GLA said work on the tower would begin early next year and was earmarked for completion in 2017.