Update on Winstanley & York estates redevelopment: slow progress and more delays

3 mins read
New blocks erected on York Estate - Credit: CJI

Winstanley and York Estates redevelopment project is progressing very slowly. Currently, only Block 5 on the northern part of the project has been erected, and work is still ongoing.

Block 5 on York road – Credit: CJI
Architect’s view of block 5

Block 5 comprises three buildings, referred to as 5A (14 storeys – 55 shared equity and social rented accommodation for decant instead of the originally planned 65 shared ownership accommodations, after the Council eventually acquired Block 5a), 5B (6 storeys – shared equity and social rented accommodation for decant), and 5C (12 storeys – shared equity and social rented accommodation for decant). In total, it is expected to deliver 126 Council homes.

Upon completion, two of the buildings in the linked block (Blocks 5B and 5C) will provide homes for the remaining Council residents in Scholey House, Jackson House, and Kiloh Court, enabling the demolition of those buildings and the commencement of another phase of the scheme. Block 5A will be used to rehouse all of Arthur Newton House and some of Holcroft House.

View of the masterplan with indication of block 5 location

The acquisition of 55 units of social rent on Block 5A was part of a negotiation between Conservative councillors and Labour councillors in 2021, where the latter would not to oppose the plan in exchange for the provision of additional council homes.

Southern view of block 5, with the old block of Pennethorne House on the left hand side – Credit: CJI

In February 2021, as it became apparent that there would be long delays before any community facilities provided by the project, it was also agreed that they would fund and deliver the refurbishment of play areas at Ganley Court and between Holcroft House and Scholey House that would not be impacted by development in the early years.

In the Housing and Regeneration Overview report presented to the Council committee on 14 September 2021, the estimated completion date for Block 5 was Summer 2023, but it is now likely to be ready in Spring/Summer 2024.

They have only just begun to build the hoarding for Block 6, which is also part of phase 1 in the project. Block 6 will primarily be used to rehouse Holcroft House.

Hoarding a just being erected for the site where block 6 will be built – Credit: CJI

The current programme targets commencing construction of Block 6 during autumn 2024. To achieve this, Pennethorne House will need to be vacated by May 2024 to enable its demolition to allow construction to start. Pennethorne House is currently predominantly used for temporary accommodation, with three non-resident leasehold properties, one resident leaseholder, and one secure tenant remaining.

Block 5 and 6 are among the “small” towers in the project, which is expected to culminate with 32-storey towers to accommodate private flats and the leisure centre in the middle of the current York Garden.

York Garden currently – Credit: CJI
Council’s plan for the Winstanley and York Road estates

More delays on the project

In July 2023, a report by the Director of Housing and Regeneration presented the updated situation on the Winstanley and York estates regeneration project. It explained that a revision of the Joint Venture (JV) annual business plan between Taylor Wimpey and Wandsworth Council should occur by Summer 2024.

The 2023 Plan proposed a strategic pause to some elements of the scheme whilst continuing with Block 5 on-site and proceeding with the next scheduled block: Block 6.

The pause was also to enable a strategic review of the JV and the scheme. The outcome of the review and of the performance and future of the Joint Venture structure beyond Block 6 will be reported as part of the decision on the proposed 2024 Business Plan.

The overall scheme, initially budgeted for £1bn in 2017 slipped to £1.4bn in 2019, and is likely to be well in excess of £2bn nowadays. As a consequence, the financing for phase 1 appeared to be in trouble as early as 2021.

Three years after they announced that they were dropping the leisure centre they promised to build on the first phase of the project, they have still not achieved the remainder of phase 1. In 2021, it was announced that the leisure centre would be delayed by 4 years, but it now seems completely unlikely to start in 2025.

The project is now completely out of schedule, and nobody seems to have a clear idea of the future of the plans. As of March 2024, they have achieved only a third of phase 1. If we extrapolate based on the announced plan, it could end after 2040.

Original schedule for the project as presented to the community in 2018

Thames Water construction site

In the meantime, the new London Super sewer is under construction at the same location, just beside block 5 and within the boundary of phase 3, for the Falconbrook pumping station. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a 25 km (16 mi) combined sewer under construction, running mostly under the tidal section (estuary) of the River Thames across Inner London to capture, store, and convey almost all the raw sewage and rainwater that currently overflows into the estuary.

Falconbrook pumping station – Thames Super sewer construction site – Credit: CJI

The site is used to connect the existing local Combined Sewer Outfalls system (CSO), known as the Falconbrook Pumping Station CSO, to the main tunnel. CSO systems are sewers that are designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe.

Thames Water construction site – Credit: CJI

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CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.

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