QWhat’s happening and why?
Wornington Green estate is being demolished and redeveloped.
The estate was built between 1964 and 1985 estate consists of 538 homes made up mainly of flats in six-storey connected blocks.
An options appraisal carried out between 2001 and 2005 found that complete redevelopment was the best way to address problems on the estate including high levels of both overcrowding and under-occupancy.
The regeneration plans include building 538 quality homes for housing association rent and 20 new retail units for Portobello Road – generating up to 200 new jobs. The road plan will be integrate the new neighbourhood into the surrounding community and a new community centre will be built.
Once work has finished a park will be returned to the council that is the same size as Athlone Gardens was before the redevelopment started.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) granted planning approval for phase 1 in March 2010. Phase 1 is currently on site and includes the building of 324 new homes, a mix of 174 for affordable rent and 150 homes for private sale. RBKC granted planning approval for Phase 2 in July 2014.
QIs all of the existing estate being demolished?
Each block of flats and houses will eventually be demolished, to enable the construction of the new homes. This process is phased and will be completed over a period of approximately 10 years.
QHow is the regeneration being funded?
The redevelopment of the estate and re-provision of the affordable rented housing is mostly paid for by selling properties.
QWill we lose access to the park while the construction work is being completed?
No – although part of the park will need to be built on to avoid tenants needing to be rehoused away from Wornington Green, a space equal to at least 50% of Athlone Gardens will be kept for community use throughout the construction process. The final park will be at least the same size as the existing Athlone Gardens.
QHow noisy will it be during the works?
Building works can be noisy. To minimise disruption and to meet health and safety requirements, we will ensure that works are safely separated from occupied homes.
QHow will the new street plan work and how will traffic and parking be controlled in the new development?
One of the key ingredients of the regeneration is to put back as much of the original street pattern as possible. The street layout has been approved by the Council and this approach will not only link the new buildings to the existing streets but will also provide on-street parking for residents (which will include disabled bays) and visitors to the area. Owner-occupiers who buy properties on the development will not be eligible for a Council parking permit and will need to use pay and display bays or purchase a basement parking space. After each phase is complete, the Council will take legal responsibility for the new streets including the pavements and will be responsible for maintenance, signage, lighting and enforcing any parking restrictions. The new streets allow for two way traffic with permit parking at the side of the roads. In Phase 1 there will be 42 new on-street permit parking spaces which are in addition to the existing spaces on Wornington Road and Portobello Road.
QIs the Venture Centre going to be demolished?
It is a condition of the council giving Catalyst planning permission that a premises is available for the Venture Centre can continue to provide a service throughout the development. A new community facility in Phase 3 will be built and open before the existing Venture Centre is closed and demolished.
QWhy are Ardmore working on Saturdays?
As part of the planning permission the council specifies the days and hours of working on site. Ardmore has permission from the Council to carry out construction activities Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm and on Saturday between 8am and 1pm. No noisy or disruptive work should take place on site outside of these hours.
Because we have experienced delays, due to the window companies going out of business and problems with the power supplies and to make up for lost time, there will be occasions when Ardmore are on-site outside of these hours, doing internal painting and decorating, but this work will not cause any noise or disruption to residents.
If you experience noise or disruption outside the agreed hours of work please report it to Maria Cunnea, Ardmore’s Resident Liaison Officer, on 07747 862 022 or by email MCunnea@ardmoregroup.co.uk. You can also contact the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Noise and Nuisance Service which is in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 020 7361 3002.
QWhat kinds of shops will become part of the new development?
All new shops will be at ground floor on Portobello Road and the first of these are in Phase 1 under Block 2. Residents are consulted on the possible uses as part of the formal planning application. The outline planning permission has already established what kind of shops can be in the new development:
• Use Class A1 – retail sale of goods to the public (e.g. shops and hairdressers);
• Use Class A2 – financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, estate agents, betting shops);
• Use Class A3 – restaurants and cafes;
• Use Class A5 – hot food takeaway;
• Use Class B1 – business (e.g. offices).
We want to encourage tenants who will continue the current variety of shops and restaurants along Portobello Road. When the retail units are ready they will be marketed at a commercial rent on the open market.
QWill there be any facilities for young people in the new development?
We don’t know yet. New community facilities will be provided in Phase 3 of the regeneration, which will have the same inside and outside space as the Venture Centre. RBKC will be responsible for consultation over the re-provision of the community facilities and we would encourage residents to get involved and have a say to ensure that the new facilities reflect local need. The same is true for the new park. Again RBKC will be responsible for consultation on what will be included in the new park, so that’s another great opportunity to get involved and influence what goes into this new public open space.
QWhat are the eco-friendly features of Phases 1 and 2 of the new development?
We are complying with the Code for Sustainable Homes which is the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. The code aims to reduce carbon emissions and promote higher standards of sustainable design. It uses a 1 to 6 rating system (6 being the best) to rate the overall level of sustainability performance of a new home against a number of categories. These include use of energy, carbon emissions, responsible use and recycling of water, the materials we use for the new buildings, how we manage waste and deal with pollution. Code Level 3 is now incorporated into the Building Regulations, but we are going one better and will be achieving Code Level 4 across the scheme as a whole - that’s Phases 1, 2 and 3! To help us to reach this high Code Level we are using solar power also known as photovoltaics. These have been incorporated into the building designs from an early stage and what this means is we are using light and converting it into electricity to help reduce the running costs of the buildings. Photovoltaics can already be seen on Block 1 of the new development.
QHow will the new owner/occupiers be encouraged to mix and interact with residents living in social housing (and vice versa)?
Catalyst will continue to publish Here & Now and distribute it to all properties in the existing estate and the new development. It will promote events to all residents and encourage them to get involved in the local community and benefit from all that the area has to offer.
We will continue to promote existing community facilities like the Venture Centre in Here & Now and the work of the Wornington Green Community Group.
We will also work with partners to provide new opportunities for local people including access to services and community facilities, training, jobs and green space for everyone on the existing estate, new development and surrounding area. We want to make sure that the new development is a place where people want to live and work together.