Another 73 new homes handed over as children bury time capsule

Posted 10/11/2023

The official handover of 51 flats and 22 town houses in Stonebridge saw school children burying a time capsule in the grounds of the development’s new play area this week.

Pupils from neighbouring Stonebridge Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School buried artwork, letters and mementos from the pandemic years at the grand unveiling for the new green space that includes play space and an outdoor gym. The time capsule buried in the play area is due to be opened fifty years from now on 09 November 2073 when today’s primary students will be able to look back at their childhoods.

Households are ready to move into the 51 one, two and three-bedroom homes in a high energy efficiency block in Hillside, Stonebridge, named after community champion, Revd Roy Smith. Families moved into the street of 22 four-bedroom townhouses in Milton Avenue over the summer and were visited by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Councillor Promise Knight, Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Renters’ Security, said: “We are very proud and absolutely delighted to hand over 73 new homes to Brent residents in a neighbourhood that has been utterly transformed through our partnership with Higgins and the Jason Roberts Foundation. Together we’ve succeeded in turning wasteland that had become a hotspot for fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour into much-needed, high quality housing alongside a children’s play area and an outdoor gym.

“A secure home in a safe neighbourhood is the basis for a good quality of life and that’s what we’ve achieved here. At a time when we are seeing around 148 households a week seeking housing, these new homes are crucial. Despite increasing the supply of new homes more than any other council in the country last year, the demand continues to soar, and we are calling on the government to provide more support.”

Revd Roy Smith was the vicar of St Michael and All Angels Church in Hillside for 23 years before he retired 17 years ago. “I am pleased that the building is being named after me,” he said. “It must be that someone thought I had done a good job in serving the community. I just hope that people will find employment and will be happy living here.”

The day’s events also saw the official opening of the Stonebridge mural, which celebrates the lives of four international footballers who grew up in the area and whose legacies continue to inspire young local athletes today. The mural backs on to Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, the alma mater of three of the footballers depicted: Dave Regis, Otis Roberts and Jason Roberts MBE. Cyrille Regis MBE is the fourth legend. School children helped to design the mural that was made possible thanks to the partnership between Brent, the Jason Roberts Foundation and Higgins.

Colin Ricketts, Regional Director of Higgins Partnerships, said: “We are delighted to mark the completion of these much-needed affordable homes in Stonebridge with the burial of the time capsule and the unveiling of the mural, which we hope will bring much inspiration to the local community for years to come. 

“Our partnership with Brent Council and Jason Roberts Foundation has also enabled us to provide a vital programme of support for those living in the area and it has been really rewarding to work with groups of all ages who have gained access to sports education, improved health and provided pathways to employment.” 

The Hillside site has a ground level under croft car park with 22 spaces and a landscaped podium on the first-floor level which links the two blocks.