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Development roundup – joint ventures, FTB homes and co-living thrives

In this week’s roundup, PIT takes a look at the latest UK schemes, including the newest phase in Barratt London and exclusive apartments for first-time buyers (FTBs) in Croydon. Meanwhile, an influx of homes is set for Derbyshire and a new Mayfair site has been acquired for a joint venture. There has also been good news in the co-living sphere, which has seen a growth of 50% this year so far.

Sealey Tower launches at Barratt London’s Upton Gardens

Sealey Tower, the newest phase to launch at Upton Gardens, will consist of 68 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, available for private sale from £365,000.


Due to complete in summer 2022, the phase is expected to sell exceptionally quickly, having already attracted a large number of first-time buyers priced out of neighbouring Canary Wharf and Stratford.

Upton Gardens is built on the old West Ham Football Club ground, situated in Upton Park, in the borough of Newham, east London. West Ham played at the ground from 1904 to 2016, when it relocated to Stratford.

Located in Zone 3, Upton Gardens is within a six-minute walk from Upton Park Tube station, offering fast connections to central London in under 15 minutes, making it an ideal location for both professionals and families.

The surrounding area has been part of a post-London Olympics regeneration project, with investment continuing to improve the local landscape.

Residents can enjoy a range of independent shops, fruit and veg stalls, bakeries and restaurants, alongside traditional pubs and an abundance of green spaces.

New homeowners can enjoy an authentic east London lifestyle with deposits from as low as £18,250 using London Help-to-Buy.

Exclusive FTB apartments open at Croydon development

Affordable housing developer Pocket Living has launched 30 one-bedroom discount apartments at Addiscombe Grove, marking the first phase of its new community in East Croydon.

On May 7, the apartments were made exclusive to first-time buyers either living or working in London. These are priced at a 20% discount compared to the local market, with purchasers owning 100% of their property.

The new homes sit within a 21-storey development designed by architecture practice Metropolitan Workshop. Design cues have been taken from the angled geometrics of the iconic NLA Tower nearby, while reflective glazed tiles intensify light and shadow.

Inside the building, significant attention has been placed on the amenity spaces to create an environment that Pocket’s residents will enjoy socialising in with their neighbours. To that end, residents have access to three outdoor gardens, including a landscaped communal roof terrace on the 9th floor, a 20th floor Nordic Garden and a Hidden Garden on the 21st floor.

There are also a number of internal communal spaces, which include a workspace with Hyperoptic Wi-Fi, a Residents’ Lounge, and a Wellness Room which can be used for yoga and meditation sessions, or resident get-togethers.

The one-bedroom Pocket home is designed to accommodate modern city makers’ lifestyles, maximising the feeling of space whilst creating a homely environment. It is divided into three separate rooms accessed from a hallway, which includes an open-plan kitchen and living space, a double bedroom and a wet room with a large walk-in shower area.

A dedicated utility cupboard in the hallway provides space for household storage, and the bedroom has a designated area to add creative storage.

Meanwhile, both the open-plan kitchen and living space and the bedroom are enhanced spatially with high ceilings and large full height windows to maximise daylight.

Jenny Anson, head of sales at Pocket Living, comments: “If you look around Croydon, much of the new affordable housing currently available doesn’t allow for 100% ownership, which is restricting options for first-time buyers who want to get on the housing ladder in an area that they love.”

“We’re especially committed to making 100% homeownership a reality for those who contribute economically, socially and culturally to the day-to-day life of the capital, which is why we offer a unique 100% ownership, 20% discount product.”

She adds: “At Pocket, we are all about creating thriving communities where our residents can feel at home the minute they get their keys, which is why we have placed such great care and attention on the design of our communal amenities.”

The development is located just a four-minute walk from East Croydon station, which has excellent links to London, Gatwick Airport and Brighton, plus there is also much to be enjoyed in the area itself.

Surrey Street Market and arty vegan café Matthews Yard are just two of the culinary delights on offer. Boxpark is also a popular destination for foodies or those looking for a fun day out and includes 80 refashioned shipping containers housing cafés, restaurants, bars and music venues.

The area is also in the midst of a multi-billion-pound investment programme that is transforming the area into a hub of creativity, technology, culture and leisure. For a change of pace, the hilltop community of Crystal Palace is just a short train ride away, and has quirky independent shops, eclectic eateries and 360-degree views over central London and the Surrey countryside to enjoy.

In addition to the Pocket homes, as part of a joint venture between Pocket and housing association Optivo, 41 homes are also available through Shared Ownership.

Prices for the one-bedroom Pocket apartments start from £260,000. For more information visit www.pocketliving.com or call 020 7291 3683.

Multi-million-pound land sale set to bring 200 homes to Derbyshire

A multi-million-pound land sale in Somercotes is to provide an influx of new homes in the Derbyshire region.

Property consultancy Fisher German and joint agent Wiverton have completed the sale of a site off Birchwood Lane with planning permission for 200 dwellings to housebuilder Avant Homes.

The firms were instructed to market the site on behalf of the landowner, after Chave Planning obtained planning permission on their behalf for the erection of 200 dwellings, with 30% having affordable status.

A reserved matters application was also submitted by Chave Planning following the outline planning permission, which Avant Homes submitted in April 2022.

Matthew Handford, senior development surveyor at Fisher German, says: “After a very competitive sale process, we are pleased to provide new market and affordable housing in Derbyshire through a deal with Avant Homes which will accommodate the demand for properties in the county.”

“The site was in high demand, with the level of offers received exceeding expectations. This reflects the positive market conditions for development land at the current time, underpinned by strong sale rates, restricted land procurement opportunities and house price growth.”

He goes on to say: “It was a pleasure to work with Avant, and the development will bring great benefit to prospective homeowners looking for fresh housing opportunities in the area. I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”

Lorna Rider, land director at Avant Homes Central, adds: “We are very pleased to have acquired this site in a highly sought-after area of Derbyshire, allowing us to deliver 200 high-quality new homes. Our development will feature a mix of properties to suit a wide range of buyers and represents a significant investment for Avant Homes in the Somercotes area.”

Caroline Chave, director at Chave Planning, comments: “The proposed development at Somercotes will positively impact the local area and communities close by. We are delighted to have worked with Fisher German and Wiverton to promote this site and secure planning permission and look forward to seeing the development come to fruition.”

Work on the site is anticipated to begin in August 2022.

New Mayfair site acquired for multi-unit flagship residence

Property developers 1.61 London and Urbanwise have partnered with investment firm Valpre Capital to create a new Joint Venture (JV) with plans to purchase and develop multiple projects across Central London.

The JV has recently made its first acquisition on a £40 million gross domestic value site in the heart of Mayfair with planning permission for a new multi-unit residential development.

Development roundup – joint ventures, FTB homes and co-living thrivesTucked away behind private gates on a quiet, private road, the flagship residence will provide the ultimate privacy and luxury whilst being a stone’s throw from Bond Street and Grosvenor Square.

The JV has planning permission to transform the site into a boutique collection of 10 new super-prime homes ranging from one-to-three-bedroom apartments and duplex penthouses, with private terraces, communal gym and porter service.

Construction will begin shortly with an estimated completion in Q3 of 2023.

Alex and Michael Christou, founders of 1.61 London, comment: “We have dedicated ourselves to delivering a truly exceptional experience for our clients with the highest levels of design, craftmanship and service. We are incredibly excited to be working alongside our partners Urbanwise with their wealth of construction expertise and Valpre Capital who bring deep financial experience and investment capabilities to the JV.”

Keith Ewart and Keith Allington, founders of Urbanwise Developments, add: “Three Kings Yard is undoubtedly an exceptional location for the JV’s first development. At the heart of this new venture is the 1.61 London design brand which as its ever-growing following demonstrates is showcasing a much needed and refreshing update to prime luxury interior design.”

Co-living sector reports 50% growth in 2022

London’s co-living market has bounced back strongly from the pandemic to enjoy a prolonged period of growth, according to the latest data from the London co-living operator Built Asset Management (BAM).

According to its data, BAM experienced 59% growth in the year from March 2021 to March 2022; a period during which the UK was emerging from Covid-19 lockdown measures. 

The data shows that the number of vacant units in BAM-operated buildings has shrunk by 98% since the depths of the pandemic, with occupancy rates now back to pre-pandemic levels.

“These figures are testament to a market that has bounced back from the negative impacts of the pandemic in a very healthy way,” Alex Gibbs, co-founder and director of BAM, comments.

“While the last quarter of 2021 was certainly showing signs of a return to normality for the market, the first quarter of 2022 has cemented this. There are many factors influencing this, but the decision to cease all Covid-19 restrictions has clearly played an incredibly significant part.”

He adds: “The resulting effect of measures lifting is young professionals returning to the city, with increasing confidence that the doors to their offices, amenities and social venues will this time remain open.”

“We are looking forward to seeing this growth continue over the coming months. Now is a great time for landlords and investors to consider entering the co-living market to benefit from this upturn.”


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