Pocket Living breaks ground on its flats at The Heights

Five people in hi-viz, we only know who three of them are
New Greenwich Council leader Anthony Okereke, centre, with regeneration cabinet member Aidan Smith, left, Jo van den Broek in the digger and Pocket executives

The developer Pocket Living has broken ground on its new blocks at The Heights, where 48 new flats are now being built on part of an old council car park.

New Greenwich Council leader Anthony Okereke helped launch the development alongside newly-elected Charlton Village councillor Jo van den Broek and Aidan Smith, the new cabinet member for regeneration.

Pocket, which has funding from City Hall, plans to sell them all the flats for 80 per cent of market value to people earning under £71,000 within the borough of Greenwich – meaning they tick the official definition of “affordable”, if not the dictionary definition. The company says it has 650 people who live or work in the borough who are interested in buying, and has previously said that a typical buyer would be earning about £40,000.

When Greenwich Council first revealed its plans to sell land on its housing estates to Pocket in 2018, it caused an outcry within the local Labour party, with a quarter of the party’s councillors at the time attending a protest meeting at Charlton House.

The Heights development
The blocks will sit opposite existing houses on The Heights

However, while plans to build houses on estates on Lewisham Road and Kidbrooke Park Road were scrapped, the plans for The Heights stayed in place and were passed at a planning meeting early last year. The only objector to speak was Van den Broek’s predecessor as Labour councillor, Gary Parker.

Okereke said: “Our borough is growing fast and we need homes that suit everyone, so schemes like these will be important as we tackle the housing crisis. We know demand is high for homes in Greenwich and we’re doing everything we can to deliver housing for all, and projects like this will help first time buyers get on the ladder and keep local people living, working and enjoying our fantastic borough.”

Nick Cuffe, the chief operating officer of Pocket Living, said: “Our latest research, which polled over 1,000 Londoners aged between 25 and 45 years old, found that the biggest obstacle to non-home owners is ‘house prices being too high’ at 51 per cent, while 30 per cent claim they can’t afford a mortgage and 27 per cent are struggling to raise a deposit.

“As the cost of living continues to rise it is vital that we deliver innovative housing solutions to unlock homeownership for the next generation. As such, we are proud to be delivering new homes in Greenwich and working with a council who shares our ambitions to get more Londoners on the housing ladder.”

The development is scheduled for completion at the end of next year. It is Pocket’s first in the borough of Greenwich and follows two schemes in the borough of Lewisham; at Marischal Road, off Lee High Road, and at Arklow Road in New Cross.


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