Investment has been boosted to £111million to help fast-track the regeneration of Canning Town and Custom House.
Newham Council has scaled up funding to speed up plans for around 5,000 new homes and improvements to shops, streets, squares and parks. Bus services and health facilities will also be bolstered.
The move came after a consultation showed residents were keen to speed up the process of change.
Three new neighbourhoods have been created in Canning Town since 2010, along Barking Road and Fife Road, providing 1,200 new homes. A further 1,200 are under way, as well as new shops, improved transport connections, better streets, enhanced parks, a redeveloped primary school and a new library.
Last year cabinet approved an initial £5.5million funding for the council’s regeneration team to begin consulting with residents about regeneration plans in the Custom House area and buying properties from homeowners.
Following positive feedback from residents and requests for the regeneration to move forward more quickly, the cabinet has scaled up the investment across Custom House and committed to bring forward regeneration in the remaining Canning Town sites. At a meeting on Thursday, June 15 it agreed to add £7.4m to the capital programme for 2017/18 and a total investment of £111million over the next five years.
It has allocated £98m for the phased emptying, buyback, property purchase and site preparation of the Custom House and Canning Town Area, £5m for the phased funding of the transport interchange, public realm works and interim activities at Custom House and £8m for wider costs such as a council-led planning application, a project team and engagement and socio-economic activities.
The council will now draft its application, which if approved, could speed up the process by two years.
There will be no net loss of social housing across the area.
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “We know that residents have been frustrated that it has taken so long for the regeneration to get started, especially in Custom House. However we’ve never lost sight of our ambition for whole area.
“This funding, will allow us to work with council tenants to find new homes and to buy all residents’ properties in the next phases, and in future phases where they want to move early. The sooner we get started, the better for residents.”
The council has agreed two charters, one for residents and one for retailers at Freemasons Road, to ensure they are supported through the regeneration programme to find alternative homes and premises and are provided with compensation if necessary. Council tenants also have the right to return to the area once work is complete.
Later in the year the Mayor and cabinet will consider details of the preferred approach for seeking one or more partners to work with to fund and deliver the new regeneration schemes.
A key aim of the joint venture will be to ensure the council benefits financially from the regeneration so it can pump profits into vital frontline services.
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