Higgins has delivered the final phase of 225 brand new homes as part of the major regeneration of the award winning Ocean Estate, Stepney Green, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The completion of the regeneration works was marked with a celebration event in the community garden with senior representatives from Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority along with leading housing association L&Q and Higgins.
The latest phase, known as “Ocean H’, consisted of the design and build of three residential blocks, varying in height from two to thirteen storeys, with basement parking and associated landscaping.
Richard Higgins Chairman of Higgins Group plc comments, “The completion of Ocean Estate is a significant milestone in the regeneration of this part of East London and we are delighted to have worked with L&Q and played a major role in its transformation to deliver better housing for residents and create a safer environment for them to live in.”
Angie Hooper, Land, Acquisitions & Planning Director at L&Q said, “We are delighted to be celebrating this major milestone at the Ocean Estate. L&Q believes that everyone deserves a quality home they can afford, and we are proud of our involvement in this transformational project.
“It was nine years ago that we first embarked on this journey with our partners at Tower Hamlets and the GLA, delivering quality homes, vibrant open spaces and employment opportunities. We look forward to working closely with the local community for years to come.”
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The Ocean Estate was once the place people pointed to when they wanted to show what was wrong with social housing in this country. Those days are now long gone.
“Now it is a symbol of what can be achieved when positive partnership working. I know what a difference this council-led transformation has made for our residents.”
James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development at the GLA said, “I was very pleased to visit the Ocean Estate to see the latest phase of development. It was great to see that existing tenants and resident leaseholders had been guaranteed new homes, and that the new homes include accessible family-sized homes for residents who need them.”
Higgins delivered a mixture of private and affordable housing, as well as the creation of two new pedestrian priority streets, which form a crucial link from the existing neighbourhood centre to the established Whitehorse Open Space.
Gymnasium space has also been provided on the ground floor of Block A, while a brand new energy centre to reduce energy costs and help people out of fuel poverty, as well as contributing to a healthier environment with reduced CO2 emissions, is located in Block B.
The scheme has also provided a range of social and regeneration opportunities, including construction training and employment opportunities for local people.
Ten years ago, the Ocean Estate was one of the country’s most deprived neighbourhoods. From the outset, the concept architects, Levitt Bernstein involved disillusioned residents to shape the proposals of the estate and focused on creating a real sense of place within the new Ocean Estate. New buildings were designed around central communal courtyard spaces and different tenures could not be distinguished in the buildings.
Now, with more than £220 million invested, Ocean Estate has been transformed into a collection of modern neighbourhoods with a welcoming community spirit.
Neighbourhoods have been created that not only boast attractive, high quality homes but a wide range of communal facilities, from play areas and ball courts to spaces for group activities and a community centre with a GP.
The Ocean Estate has won a number of industry awards, including ‘Best Place to Live’ in 2015 by the then Mayor of London. The project was also praised by the Royal Institute of Planning in their 2016 ‘Poverty, place and inequality’ report.