December saw the green light given to The Collective’s latest scheme, with the co-living developer granted planning permission to transform an unused commercial site on Stratford High Street into a new public destination for the local community.
The London Legacy Development Corporation gave permission for a 22-storey scheme which will feature short-stay co-living rooms, a community and events hub, and affordable workspace for small businesses and local entrepreneurs.
Plans for The Collective Stratford - which would join The Collective Old Oak Common and The Collective Canary Wharf, as well as a planned scheme in Borough High Street, as part of The Collective’s growing portfolio - were developed following extensive engagement with local businesses and community organisations to ensure the scheme meets their needs and is well-integrated into the local area.
The Collective Stratford is set to deliver 287 short-stay co-living rooms with a shared cinema, restaurant, gym and outdoor terraces, in addition to 7,700 sq ft of workspace (including 3,450 sq ft of co-working space which will be let at 50% affordable rent).
There will also be community space for local residents, businesses and charities, a ‘Community Investment Programme’ for local partners to use the events and employment facilities free of charge, and the creation of 155 jobs through the new hotel and employment space.
Designed by London-based firm PLP Architecture, the co-living rooms on offer can be used by members for one night up to a few months and provide exclusive access to shared amenities such as a cinema, gym and terrace with panoramic views across London.
The project aims to support local businesses with an estimated £10 million of extra spending from members and guests as part of a wider vision for Stratford to be a community, culture and enterprise hub that will attract dynamic and creative visitors to the area.
To improve the chances of this being the case, The Collective Stratford is set to offer an array of much-needed community space for local residents, charities and business, with an art hub to showcase the work of local talent and host a variety of weekly cultural events.
Small businesses and local entrepreneurs will have access to more than 7,700 sq ft of office space, including flexible co-working space, of which 3,450 sq ft will be let at 50% affordable rent levels for a 25-year period.
This is being provided to respond to local demand from SMEs, creatives and start-up businesses.
Furthermore, the project will be centred around 7,100 sq ft of public realm and green space, with The Collective contributing £650,000 towards the surrounding public realm including improvements to Stratford Station. Local biodiversity is also set to be enhanced with the clearing and landscaping of nearby Channelsea River.
At Stratford, The Collective has already launched a Community Investment Programme (CIP) involving partnerships with local groups and charities to increase their outreach and social impact. The Collective will offer CIP partners a minimum of 10 hours per week to use the employment and events facilities in the new Stratford High Street scheme free of charge, as well as access to at least three of the events organised by The Collective each week.
Additionally, the CIP partners will be offered free use of the workspace and desks on a programmed basis.
The employment space, meanwhile, is set to deliver 60 associated jobs alongside the 95 new jobs available within the hotel - a significant uplift on a currently empty site.
James Penfold, global planning and communications director at The Collective, said: “We’re really excited to move ahead with creating a new cultural destination at The Collective Stratford, which will have a truly symbiotic relationship with the surrounding neighbourhood – a place not only to stay and work but that will also deliver a community hub and much-needed creative facilities for local talent.”
He added: “We’ve spent a lot of time in active dialogue with the community and as a direct result we’re proud to launch our ‘Community Investment Programme’, which will identify, fund and provide free use of our spaces for local charitable and creative enterprises. This is just one of the ways we endeavour to effect a long-term positive impact in every community we enter.”
Andrei Martin, a partner at PLP Architecture, said: “Our design for The Collective Stratford laminates work, cultural, social and accommodation spaces within a hybrid typology. Complementary uses and collaborative spaces supplement a compact arrangement of private living quarters so that working, living, creating, exchanging, socialising and entertaining all occur within a formal arrangement that operates more as a vertical neighbourhood than an individual building.”
The Collective will be in charge of developing, managing and operating the scheme, with construction of the project expected to commence at the end of 2020, and completion due in 2023.
As well as the approval of The Collective Stratford, The Collective secured planning consent for five purpose-designed co-living schemes in London last year, as well as a further approval in Chicago in the US.