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Sun June 20 2021

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Government lends London developers £300m seed funding

4 Jun 20 Homes England, the government’s housing agency, has agreed loans totalling £309m to three major London housing developments.

Artist’s impression of the Millennium Mills, post redevelopment, in Silvertown Quays
Artist’s impression of the Millennium Mills, post redevelopment, in Silvertown Quays

The three schemes, in Brent Cross, Silvertown and Barking Riverside, have a total capacity for up to 20,000 new homes.

The loan funding, from the government’s £4.5bn Home Building Fund, is justified on the basis that it will pay for site infrastructure to be put in more quickly and so speed up the construction of housing in the capital.  

In Brent Cross, a £148m loan will enable the Brent Cross South Limited Partnership (BXS LP) – a partnership between Barnet Council and developer Argent Related – to fund the land and infrastructure works needed to unlock the delivery of 6,700 homes. The homes will be delivered approximately four years faster than they would have been without the funding, it is claimed, on a 180-acre brownfield site which stretches from the North Circular Road to Cricklewood Lane between Hendon Way and the Edgware Road. BXS LP is also developing office space, community and leisure facilities, and schools.

The Silvertown Partnership, consisting of an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group and Lendlease, will use a £105m debt facility to unlock 3,000 or more new homes at Silvertown Quays. The 62-acre brownfield development in the Royal Docks, Newham, also has planning approval for office, retail and leisure space. Millennium Mills, a former flour mill and local landmark, will be brought back to life. The high up-front infrastructure costs have previously been a barrier to development of the scheme.  

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Lastly, Homes England has agreed a £56m funding package for enablling infrastructure at Barking Riverside, a 179-hectare development of more than 10,000 new homes. Barking Riverside is being delivered by Barking Riverside Limited, a joint venture between the mayor of London’s office and housing association L&Q. Plans for Barking Riverside also include 65,000 square metres of commercial and leisure space, as well as healthcare facilities, seven new schools and a London Overground station.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher described the loans as “a real statement of intent”.

Gordon More, chief investments officer at Homes England, said: “Despite the unusual and challenging situation the housebuilding sector, and indeed the whole country, is currently facing, Homes England remains open for business and committed to helping our partners deliver much-needed new homes.

“By investing in projects on this scale and allowing funding to be recycled into future phases of development, we are able to support significant schemes where commercial lenders may not. This means these three major developments can invest in the infrastructure they need to deliver in these uncertain times and accelerate the delivery of new homes.”

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