The Council is leading the regeneration of Woodberry Down, which involves demolishing 1,980 homes on the estate and building more than 5,500 new ones, with 41% for social renting and shared ownership. A range of new facilities is also being built, including:
- three new public parks
- a community centre and library
- a new Academy and extended primary school
- a new children's centre
- retail and commercial opportunities
This received planning permission in February, 2014.
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Woodberry Down regeneration news
Published on a regular basis and delivered to all Woodberry Down households, the newsletter provides residents with the latest information concerning the regeneration scheme. We also produce a Turkish edition to meet the needs of the large local Turkish-speaking community.
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The 20-year programme is one of London's biggest, and is being delivered in partnership with the Woodberry Down Community Organisation (WDCO) resident steering group, Berkeley Homes, and Genesis Housing Association. The partners work with organisations including Manor House Development Trust to support community development projects at Woodberry Down, including those providing training and employment.
Twenty per cent of Berkeley Homes' workforce is from Hackney: 90 people in total, with 19 apprentices from the borough working on site, half of the development's total number of apprentices. Genesis Housing Association has assisted local businesses to get off the ground, as well as employing its own local labour.
Issues such as the listing of the local primary school and John Scott Health Centre led to changes in the programme's phasing plan, and also taking account of the economic climate, the masterplan for the regeneration was updated in consultation with residents over 18 months from 2012. The revised masterplan received consent from the borough's planning sub-committee in February, 2014, and will deliver:
- a 30% increase in public open space compared to the original masterplan
- the best possible response to the location, making the most of the surrounding natural assets of the reservoirs, New River and Finsbury Park
- a greener environment, with a stronger network of open spaces linking the reservoirs to the New River
- bigger courtyard gardens
- a commercial centre for the neighbourhood providing a range of retail facilities for residents
- a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, better crossings, and the narrowing of Seven Sisters Road
- a range of community facilities to meet residents' needs
- up to 17% more homes across all tenures
The story so far
A March morning in 2009 marked the start of building work at Woodberry Down, the culmination of years of work from residents, planners, architects, developers, and councillors.
The spark of an idea in 1999 was confirmed by a later structural survey stating that the buildings could no longer be refurbished, and that redevelopment was necessary to provide residents with much-needed new homes.
No government funding was available to build new council housing, so building a mix of properties for private sale would pay for the new homes for social renting.
In 2005 Berkeley Homes was appointed to develop the kick start stes for the first phase of the programme. Following the approval of an area action plan and urban design framework, in August 2006 the first principal development agreement was signed. Genesis Housing Association is now acquiring block by block the more than 1,900 homes for social renting and shared ownership that are being built during the next two decades.
Following extensive consultation with residents, the original masterplan was adopted in 2007 and first updated in 2009, allowing for a five-phase programme and tenure mix with 41% of the new homes being for social renting and shared ownership.
Woodberry Down was one of the first recipients of funding for social rented housing from the newly-created Homes and Communities Agency in early 2009, and on 12 March of that year the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, broke the ground along with Deputy Mayor Cllr Karen Alcock, Peter Naughton, Chair of WDCO, and other stakeholders, to mark the scheme's first construction work - the building of 117 affordable homes, funded by the London office of the HCA, now part of the Greater London Authority.
The new Skinners' Academy opened in 2010, while the first residents to move into these first new homes to be built at Woodberry Down did so during the summer of 2011, at the same time as the opening of the new Redmond Community Centre, and six new retail units were completed at the end of 2012.
By 2014, so far 441 existing properties have been demolished and 1109 new homes completed, made up of 421 social rented, 135 shared ownership and 553 homes for sale.
A further 180 homes, made up of 109 for social renting and 71 for shared ownership, are nearing completion, while 318 homes for sale are also being built.
The riverside path by the West and East reservoirs is proving immensely popular with residents of the area, while a new park, The Green, opened in April 2013 on Woodberry Grove North beside new homes for social renting and shared ownership, at the same time as The Edge, a newly-refurbished youth centre.