Work finally set to start on £40m rebuild of St Leonard’s Court, Hoxton

The �40million block will have 32 per cent affordable homes. The policy states half of homes should

The �40million block will have 32 per cent affordable homes. The policy states half of homes should be affordable. - Credit: Archant

Work will finally start on the new £40million St Leonard’s Court block next year, six years after the plans were signed off.

GV of St Leonards Court in New North Road.

GV of St Leonards Court in New North Road. - Credit: Archant

Developer Countryside has been given the contract for the eight-storey building in New North Road, which will see the number of homes go up from 64 to 71.

Only 32 per cent of those – 23 –will fall into the “affordable” bracket, though. Not only does that fall below the target of half in Hackney’s policy but there were 50 council bedsits and one-bed flats before it was demolished. Those homes will at least be “genuinely affordable”, though – 15 will be social housing and eight will be shared ownership. There will be a mix of one, two and three-bed homes as well as open space, bike storage and a central courtyard.

The block was earmarked for demolition in 2012 but the town hall was forced to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and it wasn’t flattened until last year.

Council chiefs were accused of managed decline of the block when they decided to knock it down after saying it would be too expensive to repair.

All of the 50 council tenants who lived there were moved out of their homes and placed into council-owned housing across the borough. St Leonard’s is the only estate of the 18 that form Hackney’s huge redevelopment project where tenants were not given the right to return.

The town hall says this is because many of the tenants lived in bedsits or on-bed flats before it was knocked down, and they were being replaced with more family homes, which they were not offered.

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Hackney mayor Phil Glanville was a key figure in the plans when he was a Hoxton West ward councillor.

Speaking about the contract being awarded, he said: “London is experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis, so I’m proud that Hackney is building the genuinely affordable homes we need to respond to the challenge.

“This council-led development being built by Countryside will mean more modern, high-quality homes for social rent and shared ownership for Hackney residents.”

Andy Fancy, MD Countryside said: “This is an exciting opportunity to create the foundations of an integrated and sustainable community in a highly sought-after and central part of the capital.”