Westminster estate to double in size twelve years after Council first proposed plans

By Owen Sheppard, local democracy reporter

Pimlico’s Ebury Bridge estate will be redeveloped and doubled in size with a net increase of 422 homes, it has been confirmed.

The unpopular regeneration scheme, first proposed by Westminster Council nearly 12 years ago, was given planning permission by councillors on April 20.

Demolition of the 1930s estate’s red brick blocks will happen in phases and over a number of years, with residents moved into temporary housing before having the right to return.

It will also require 32 trees to be felled, which the council said was necessary to “deliver significant public benefits”.

The finished scheme will include nine blocks with exteriors made of glass and green and terracotta-coloured cladding. Two of them will be 17 and 18 storeys tall. Upper level floors will have balconies and each block will have a “shared amenity terrace”.

An artist’s impression of what the new Ebury Bridge estate will look like Image sourced from council planning documents.

The council’s masterplan shows a total of 758 new flats in the finished scheme, of which about 386 will be made available as “affordable” housing. The rest will be privately sold.

Of the affordable flats, 66 per cent will be classed as “intermediate” rent, where tenants are charged up to 80 per cent of the typical market rate.

The other 34 per cent of the affordable flats will be rented at prices that are usually under 50 per cent of market rate.

Redeveloping the estate has proved controversial as a set of earlier proposals to refurbish some of the estate was abandoned, despite residents backing it in a “yes” or “no” ballot in 2013.

Westminster Council struggled and eventually couldn’t find a developer to carry out the work, because the property industry saw the scheme as “commercially unviable”.

This time, a contract has been signed with construction firm Bouygues UK.

The council said newly built properties will be 90 per cent more energy efficient than the current homes.

Debbie Jackson, the executive director for planning and housing, said: “The development of the Ebury Bridge Estate will see more than 400 additional new homes built. This includes 53 per cent affordable homes. The new homes will use 90 per cent less carbon compared to the existing estate and it will be a low car scheme.

“The right to return for residents is guaranteed for all secure tenants and resident leaseholders.”

There will also be 3,018 square metres of space on ground floors of the new blocks facing Ebury Bridge Road, which will be used for retail, business and community uses.

Twenty-six residents wrote objections to the latest plans while four wrote in support.

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