Orbit started to consider options for the future of Larner Road estate and opened discussions with residents and local partners. We considered refurbishment, and total and partial redevelopment. Everyone agreed that refurbishment would not tackle the fundamental design problems or the unsustainable mix of housing. The preference and most viable option was for full-scale redevelopment. However, we still did not know if this was going to be practical or financially viable.
English Partnerships provided funding for feasibility surveys to check ground conditions at the site. Larner Road was a former quarry and there were fears, which proved unfounded, that there was significant contamination. Scott Wilson Architects produced an initial masterplan which, although eventually superseded, helped establish the capacity of the site.
Ikon Consultancy was commissioned to produce a business plan for the development, establishing a case for match-funding from English Partnerships. At this point the system for government subsidy for affordable housing changed and our application was on hold pending the launch of the new funding regime.
Demonstrating our commitment to the regeneration, Orbit employed a dedicated project manager and started to decant the tower blocks.
January - GLA funding confirmed, and Wates Living Space was selected as construction partner and developer of market sales homes.
February - Broadway Malyan was selected as architect and other consultants were appointed.
September - planning application and full Environmental Impact Statement submitted.
November - planning committee resolve to grant permission.
March - construction of Phase 1 begins.
December - first homes completed and first residents move in.
January – visit from Mayor of London Boris Johnson to see the new homes and meet the first residents moving in.
February – celebration event to mark the completion of the first homes.
March – planning permission granted for phase 2 and work starts on site.
August – the final tower block at Erith Park was demolished.
September – the Erith Park community celebrates its rich heritage with a naming ceremony for streets and apartment blocks, as well as unveiling the ‘Walk the Talk’ tour and geology board.
December – the final homes in phase 1 are completed.