Construction has now been completed at the landmark mixed-tenure development on Luton Street near Edgware Road, delivered by Westminster Builds and Linkcity.
This pioneering project is the first step in Westminster City Council’s long-term regeneration of the established Church Street neighbourhood; it is revitalising the area with 171 modern new homes, state-of-the-art community facilities, over £5m of community contributions and transformative public realm enhancements.
The Luton Street regeneration has been delivered by joint venture partners Westminster Builds – Westminster City Council’s wholly owned development arm – and Linkcity, a division of Bouygues UK and a trusted partner that has delivered many projects with the Council. The partners have jointly funded the project and are jointly responsible for delivery, finances, marketing and sales; Linkcity is leading the construction with Bouygues UK as the main contractor.
Providing huge economic benefit, income generated by the sale of homes will unlock funding to deliver new and refurbished homes, amenities and public space across Westminster’s ten development sites in and around Church Street. Of the 171 modern new homes at Luton Street, 109 are for sale and 62 designated affordable, including 12 townhouses; with three additional affordable townhouses that were completed further up Fisherton Street, by the delivery partners earlier in 2022. These popular homes are now occupied by local families. Local people have been prioritised as part of the sales strategy, giving those living in the city first call on purchasing a home here.
With recent changes to the Council’s Administration, the project team have reviewed the number of affordable social rent homes that are part of this scheme and are now making further changes to maximise the number of social rent by a further 15 homes, which includes 3 x 3 bedrooms and 12 x 2 bedrooms, with the remainder 4 x 1-bedroom homes offered as intermediate rent.
The scheme has community at its heart; the partners have also delivered a 490m2, triple-height, three-court new sports hall and community space for the wider neighbourhood to benefit from. The new centre, run by Everyone Active in partnership with Westminster City Council, will feature a three-court sports hall suitable for football 5 a-side, basketball, futsal, netball, volleyball, badminton, and table tennis.
The new Church Street Community Sports Centre will offer affordable access for community groups and residents, and there is a community studio which can be used for group exercise classes ranging from yoga to events, community meetings, children’s parties and soft play.
A £3m contribution is being used to improve local infrastructure and public realm, while a further £2.4m contribution is being used to improve surrounding residential buildings.
Development also includes the first section of a new green spine, a landscaped pedestrian route that will better link Church Street with Marylebone and re-establish connectivity within the neighbourhood. Designed with pedestrian and cycle paths, gardens and play areas, this is a space predominantly for people away from cars. It will encourage healthy living through opportunities for walking, cycling, play and exercise, while biodiverse green spaces will be wonderful places to relax and will attract birds and wildlife.
Many local people have been employed to the project as part of the partners’ commitment to social impact. By March 2022, the partners had exceeded their percentage contractual targets for local employment by 140% for work experience placements, 267% for local support activities, 103% for new apprentices and local jobs and an impressive 576% for volunteering hours.
Cllr Matt Noble, Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Regeneration and Renters at Westminster City Council, said: “Building genuinely affordable and social homes for local people is at the top of the list of priorities for the council and so I’m delighted to be able to offer more social homes than originally planned as part of this development.
The Luton Street development, and the wider Church Street regeneration programme, is delivering changes that will revitalise the area and provide numerous benefits to local people and communities.”
Phillipa Prongué, Managing Director, Linkcity, comments: “This partnership between council and private developer has resulted in a ‘best of both’ project; Linkcity’s placemaking, construction and development credentials are creating a development that can compete internationally in a crowded marketplace while Westminster’s involvement as a partner means that the delivery of the scheme is always underpinned by a community-first approach.
“This is a scheme that is not only bringing new homes, community facilities and green space within its own red line but also unlocking the transformational regeneration of an entire neighbourhood as a result. This would not have been possible without the equal contribution of either partner.”
Rob Bradley, CEO, Bouygues UK, said “We’re proud to have delivered this exemplar project to the residents of Westminster. The quality of this landmark mixed-tenure development is testament to the strength of the Bouygues UK, Linkcity and Westminster Builds partnership. As one of the first contractors to work with the council’s newly launched development arm, Westminster Builds, the relationship has been a huge success and we look forward to seeing where it will take us in the future. Congratulations to all those who played a part in this incredible scheme.”