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FAQs

Aims of the project

193 - WCC - Updated website diagrams & i

Q: What are we planning to build on this site? 

A: As part of Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s strategy to ensure 3,000 new energy-efficient affordable homes are built or underway over the next four years, we are planning to redevelop the site to provide much-needed new homes in the borough, as well as future-proof community facilities and play spaces.

The project will:

  • provide 253 new homes, a new nursery, a new community hub, and new play spaces including a public, open-access adventure playground

  • be self-financing to avoid putting pressure on council taxpayers

  • support a thriving neighbourhood with high-quality communal outdoor space, and

  • be built to the latest sustainability and accessibility standards

 

The homes will have 1-4 bedrooms. The number and size of social rent homes has been designed based on local housing needs.

Q: Are any existing Council homes being demolished?

A: No existing council blocks will be demolished. The project is looking to build new homes and re-provide new community facilities in the area between India Way and Canada Way. The only residential property that would be demolished is the former Randolph Beresford caretaker's house. The former caretaker has been rehoused and the property is currently vacant.

Q: Are private developers involved in the programme?

A: No, the council is the lead developer of the scheme and there are no private developers who will benefit from the programme. No private developers will be involved at any point.

We will not be selling any land; the council will always remain the freehold owner of the site and will manage all the affordable homes along with the maintenance of communal and external areas.

Q: How much affordable housing is part of the development?

A: The tenure mix of the new homes will meet the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s Local Plan and at least 50% of the homes will be affordable.

 

​60% of these affordable homes will be for social rent levels and the remaining 40% will be shared ownership.

 

A local lettings policy will prioritise social housing for residents of the estate in housing need. This will be developed about 12 months before completion of the scheme.

 

The number of social homes increased from 50-60% of affordable homes following local feedback. 

Q: How many social rent homes will be built and in which blocks?

A: The proposed development provides 253 new homes.

 

50% (127 homes) of the new homes will be affordable and 50% (126 homes) will be available to buy.

 

Of the 50% affordable homes, 60% of these (76 homes) will be for social rent and 40% (51 homes) will be for shared ownership.

 

The 76 social rent homes will be located in 4 of the 6 blocks. All blocks are tenure blind, this means that they look the same from outside and no-one will be able to tell what the tenure is from looking at them.

Q: How does social rent and council rent compare for a flat in the new scheme?

A: Social Rent (sometimes known as target rent or formula rent) and council rent are the same thing.

 

Social rent is set in accordance with a government formula for homes which are owned and managed by the council.

 

The proposed development will provide 76 new social rent homes, prioritised for local residents in housing need via a local lettings policy.

Q: How are local people going to be able to have enough money to pay for the affordable housing?

A: 76 homes will be let at social rent. These homes will be prioritised for local residents on the housing register, such as families that are overcrowded or residents wishing to down-size. By freeing up larger properties which are currently under-occupied the new homes will help other families on the estate who are currently overcrowded. 

 

A Local Lettings Policy will be developed in consultation with White City estate residents to specify the details (see answer to question below).

Q: What is a local lettings policy?

A: The Council’s allocation policy makes a commitment to always implement a Local Lettings Policy (LLP) on new developments.

 

Typically, if the new development is located on an existing estate, we would allocate in the following priority, which is an excerpt from the Clem Attlee Estate LLP:

 

“Approved households will be grouped and prioritised in the following order:

4.2.1.   First Priority: H&F residents on the housing register and currently residing in the immediate area i.e. The Clem Attlee Estate.

4.2.2    Second Priority: H&F residents on the housing register and currently residing in the wider Fulham area, i.e. those residing within the SW6 postcode.

4.2.3   Third Priority: All other housing applicants on the housing register.”

Q: Can our children get one of the new homes?

A: Children of existing residents that are in housing need can apply to join the Housing Register and will have priority for the new homes in accordance with the Local Lettings Policy.

 

Anyone joining the Housing Register must currently live in the borough and have lived here for a continuous period of 5 out of the last 7 years. Information about the Housing Register can be found on the Council’s website here: The housing register | London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (lbhf.gov.uk)

Q: What happens to families that can’t afford private housing and that are on benefits? Will they be re-homed locally?

A: No council homes are being demolished. No one living on White City estate will need to leave their current home.

 

Families on the housing register who live on the White City estate will be prioritised for the new homes via the Local Lettings Policy.

Q: What is Shared ownership and how does it work?

 A: Shared Ownership allows people with an annual household income below £90,000 to buy a share of a newly-built home and pay rent on the remaining share. You can buy between 10% and 75% of the property and you can buy more shares over time to reduce rent paid. If you sell the property, you’d keep the percentage of property’s current value that you own. 

What will the income requirement be for shared ownership?

A: GLA grant funding requirements specify that the total household income must be below £90,000 per annum in order to qualify for a new shared ownership home. More information about eligibility can be found here: Buying a home | LBHF

 

The new shared ownership homes in this development use a model which reduces the minimum share of the home that can be purchased making them more affordable for people on lower incomes.

Here is an illustrative example of how the finances for owning a shared ownership property would work:

Assumptions

  • 25-year capital repayment mortgage

  • 5% interest

  • Applying the standard affordability assumptions laid out by the GLA which is that not more than 40% of net household income to be spent on housing costs (mortgage, rent, service charge)

 

  • Property valuation:                   £500,000

  • Minimum Share for sale:          10%  (£50,000)

  • Minimum Deposit:                    10%  (£5,000)

  • Service charge:                        £175 per month

  • Rent on unsold share:              2.75%

 

In this example, the minimum total household income to be able to buy the shared ownership home would be £63,000.

The exact affordability of the properties will be understood closer to completion when an up-to-date market valuation for the homes will be available.

Q: How do I find out more about getting a new home?

A: It is not yet possible to register specifically for any proposed affordable homes. If the project gets planning permission the earliest any homes would be available is 2027.

 

The council have committed to a local lettings policy that would prioritise local residents on the housing register for any social housing built in the central area of white city estate. The policy will be developed with residents after planning permission approximately 1 year prior to homes being completed.

 

Finding out if you are eligible for the housing register:

For further information and to apply to join the Housing Register:

The housing register | London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (lbhf.gov.uk)

Housing Advice Tel no: 020 8753 4198 (Option 1, Option 1)

 

Affordable Ownership in Hammersmith and Fulham

Finding out more information about Shared ownership in the borough through the Home Buy team:

Buying a home | London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (lbhf.gov.uk)

 

Home Buy run an appointment only service. Arrange an appointment with a Home Buy Officer on 020 8753 6464 or email: h&fHomebuy@lbhf.gov.uk

Reduced height axo with updated BJS Jan2

Q: How tall are the proposed buildings?

 A: The Community Hub and Nursery buildings are 1-2 storeys high. These are proposed next to St Johns XXIII primary school and opposite Cornwallis house.

 

5-storey residential blocks at the edges of the site match the heights of the surrounding existing blocks and are 23 metres away from existing homes in Denham, Champlain, Evans and Mackay Houses.

 

There are three points in the centre of the site where the height is 6 storeys. This allows the provision of enough homes to self-fund for the project without impacting on existing homes. Full daylight/sunlight analyses will be submitted as part of the planning application which will be available to view on the council website. 

 

Other options were explored however they would have led to a loss of more trees, less open space, or required the community buildings to have homes above them - which was not a favoured option in the community feedback.

 

Q: Will there be any overlooking onto neighbouring properties or an impact on daylight? 

 A: The buildings have been designed to minimise overlooking the neighbouring property by:

  • Having distances of between 18-23m from the nearest buildings, which is the same as the distance between other buildings on the estate

  • Positioning balconies and trees to minimise overlooking neighbouring properties, especially those nearest the Nursery/School.

  • Giving a great amount of consideration to the impact on daylight/sunlight on neighbouring homes during the design of the development.

 

The massing and form of the building has been directly influenced by following BRE (British Research Establishment) daylight and sunlight guidance for an urban area. A Rights of Light Surveyor has been appointed to test the massing throughout the design process and ensure it falls within the BRE guidance. A report will be publicly accessible as part of the planning application submission.

 

Q: Will there be parking provided on the site?

A: The development will be car-free apart from the provision of 26 parking bays for blue badge holders. Residents moving into the new homes will not be able to apply for resident parking permits. The borough’s planning policy requires all new developments to be car-free in this way.

 

The proposals allow for 3 parking spaces provided for the community hub staff and a further 3 parking spaces for use by the nursery. 

 

In the proposed designs, the 19 existing parking spaces opposite Denham house and Mackay House affected by the development will be re-provided. Therefore, the development will have minimal impact on parking locally.

 

Q: Is the square footage for residential properties the same or larger than those on the current estate?

A: All homes are designed to meet the nationally described space standards which can be viewed here:  Technical housing standards – nationally described space standard - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The new flats will generally be larger than existing homes on the estate. Below is a snapshot from exhibition boards of comparable bedroom sizes. Click here to see all the exhibition boards from the project: Resources | White City Central

 

In addition, 10% of the homes will be built to wheelchair accessible standards.

bedroom sizes hq.jpg

Q: How has the council ensured that local residents have influenced the designs?

A: The Council has worked with residents on an extensive programme of engagement with a mixture of different forums, aimed at reaching a wide range of the local community. A summary of these activities is set out below:

 

We informed residents about the project by providing:

  • 13 newspapers + 10 flyers/invitation letters (each sent to around 2,200 homes)

  • Project websites, and geo targeted digital promotion

  • Exhibition material displayed in Bridget Joyce Square, local community centres and in our Project Hub in the Housing Office (from April 2022).

We involved the community in:

  • 14 Awareness raising and insight gathering activities

  • 15 Co-production sessions on key themes

  • 10 Activities with targeted audiences

  • 13 Exhibition events

  • 22 Resident Advisory Panel meetings

  • 8 Construction Working Group meetings

  • Sessions with on-site operators

  • Meetings with other community and council stakeholders.

 

We ensured residents were able to influence the project by:

  • Offering a variety of ways to be involved for different audiences, including opportunities to co-design specific elements

  • Embedding local priorities early in the process through the development of a “community brief” detailing what residents wanted from any development

  • Implementing a feedback loop to regularly update the design team, community, advisory panel and key stakeholders to make sure we were getting it right.

 

Details of the engagement activities will be set out in the Statement of Community Involvement which will be submitted with the planning application and will be available to view on the council’s website.

 

Residents can continue to get involved in the project. The resident-led Construction Working Group are currently involved in the procurement of the main contractor for the programme (appointment subject to planning permission).

 

The Council’s Defend Council Homes Policy (DCHP) was created by residents and independent advisors and formally adopted by the council in January 2021. We have applied the principles of the policy to the White City Central project from then on. The DCHP requires that an advisory panel (referred to as a steering group in the policy) is set up which is separate from any Tenants & Residents Association.

 

Q: How has resident feedback influenced the plans?

A: Some examples of how resident feedback has influenced the plans include: 

Residential buildings

  • We increased the amount of social housing from 50-60% of affordable homes following local feedback. Unit mix responds to local housing needs.

  • Buildings have been designed to blend in by using similar tones of brick and architectural detailing.

  • The approach to height informed by resident feedback to reduce impact on daylight.

  • The location of the buildings is designed to work in harmony with existing elements of landscape and trees retained where possible.

Community buildings

  • Community buildings have been designed without housing above and with connection to key outdoor spaces.

  • Addition of community café, teaching kitchen and workshop space based on local feedback.

  • Feedback gathered from all onsite operators enabled their priorities to be incorporated so that services can continue to operate in spaces suited to their needs.

  • More storage has been incorporated in the hub building and on the rooftop. Iterative changes to distinct spaces has been made with operators, prioritising flexibility and mix-sized spaces. Considerations around access, overlooking and internal intercoms/reception system have been updated based on feedback.

  • Inclusion of changing places facility, and accessible water tap near entrance based on feedback from local disabled people.

 

Landscape

  • Parking removed from Bridget Joyce Square.

  • Green, active and open routes improving connectivity - paths straightened following feedback about safety.

  • Increased connections to nature, with community garden and nature garden, edible landscape and community growing.

  • Boundaries reduced whilst making key spaces safe for children

  • Play on the way and adventure play emphasised and increase in publicly accessible open space

 

Landscape features co-designed with young people and residents including:

  • Playground designs inspired by local children’s ideas.

  • Stage, social spaces and seating.

  • Public art in enhanced public square with space for markets.

  • Tree and sensory plant species including edible planting.

  • Improved outdoor gym area where style of equipment and surfacing chosen based on local gym users feedback.

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Q: What will happen to the existing community facilities?

 A: A new forest school nursery will be provided for Randolph Beresford. Pending Management agreements with the council, all other in-use community facilities (White City Community Centre, The One O’clock Club, Family Annexe, The Housing Office, The Play Association) will be provided with a space within a new community hub. The new facilities have been designed based on the needs of these local organisations and their feedback on the proposals. 

 

During construction Randolph Beresford Nursery will remain where they are and the former health centre will be replaced by a temporary modular community hub whilst the new space is built. Some services will relocate off-site during construction

Q: Why are some services being brought together into one building?

A: The central area contains a number of currently, and historically well-loved community facilities and play areas. Some of these have fallen into disrepair, or are disused and it is increasingly hard for the council to fund these services separately.

 

Bringing organisations together under one roof makes it more efficient and affordable for the council to sustain services. It also makes it easier for the community to know how to access services. It also creates enough space on the site to build more, much-needed homes.

 

Q: Which services will be in the same building? How will this work?

A: The Community Hub has been designed based on the feedback and needs of the following existing service providers: 

  • White City Community Centre

  • The One O’clock Club

  • Randolph Beresford Family Annexe

  • North Area Housing Office and LET team

  • Services operating out of the Adventure Playground Building:

    • H&F Play Association’s Anthony Liliths project 

    • Harrow Youth Club

 

These buildings are all currently owned and maintained by the council and they commission or fund many of services that take place within them. The new spaces in the Community Hub respond to what is currently available but have also been designed with flexibility to accommodate other activities and uses in the future.

 

The management approach for this building will be decided in consultation with residents and service providers. 

Q: Currently there is a lot of outside/ play space in the central area, how is that being re-provided?

A: In order to build the new homes there is an unavoidable loss of outside space. We have designed the open spaces to work hard for both people and nature and new high-quality spaces for play, activities, and planting have been provided in a way that makes them more accessible to the community. 

 

As well as dedicated spaces for play, by creating a playable landscape and new north-south routes through courtyards the design will see an increase publicly accessible outside space. 

 

Q: How will we address the lack of play provision during construction and before new youth spaces like Ed City are finished?

A: We are working on the plans to enhance three smaller playgrounds on the estate which we expect will be used more while we are building the new public adventure playground. These playgrounds are located near Havelock Close, Mackenzie Close and Mackay House. 

 

We are consulting residents on what enhancements they want in these playgrounds. Based on feedback received from the community, our landscape architects are developing plans which incorporate natural materials, sensory plants that are beneficial to wildlife and accessible play equipment.

Q: Will you be retaining the trees on the site?

A: There are currently 117 trees on site. Surveys have been carried out on these trees and based on their quality, life expectancy and the impact of construction we hope to be able to retain 27 of these. The exact number of retained trees is subject to further ground surveys

 

We know how important trees are to local people and will be planting 212 new trees on site, including larger, more mature trees. In line with Hammersmith & Fulham commitments we will be planting a further 253 trees in the local area.

Q: How will the Council continue to maintain the estate with the addition of extra homes?

A: If the development goes ahead, refuse collection and estate management services will be increased to meet the additional demand.

The majority of maintenance will be done by the Council’s Housing department and our landscaping contractor, as well as the Council’s Parking team. Randolph Beresford will also maintain their spaces.

 

There will be opportunities for community involvement in community planting projects and Phoenix Farm/Soup for Lunch have been consulted about future involvement.

For any current concerns, you can find more information about rubbish collection or report problems on the council website here: Recycling and rubbish | London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (lbhf.gov.uk)

 

For information about estate management such as cleaning and gardening you can visit our website here: Looking after your estate and green areas | LBHF

Q: What about the issue of anti-social behaviour in the area? What have you done to ensure this development doesn’t make it worse?

​​A: With residents help, input from local law enforcement and secure-by-design officers we have been able to design the scheme to address the issue of anti-social behaviour; examples of this include:

 

  • Having an open plan estate entrance and straight pathways with low level planting to prevent there being any blind spots

  • Good, consistent and well-designed lighting throughout the development to enhance natural surveillance at night

  • Large window spaces with ‘active frontages’ overlooking outside areas to create further natural surveillance

  • Landscaping to prevent 'rat runs' by scooters

  • New outdoor spaces with play and exercise elements to provide a range of activities for all 

 

The scheme will be built to achieve the Secure By Design silver standard. 

 

Q: How will the scheme contribute to the council’s carbon reduction target?

A: We are aiming for the scheme to be operationally net zero. Most of which will be achieved on site, the rest will be via the carbon offset fund which finances carbon reduction initiatives in the borough.

 

We cannot totally eliminate embodied-carbon from the building process. However the new homes will be energy efficient which will help eliminate fuel poverty by reducing fuel bills.

Q:How much will the project cost and how is it paid for? 

A: If planning permission is granted, the council will invest more than £140million to develop and deliver the White City Central project. Some of this will come from a grant from the Mayor of London to pay for genuinely affordable housing. Some funding will come from right-to-buy sale of other homes in the borough which can be re-invested in new affordable homes. Some will come from the sale of the new homes which are available to buy. 

By including some homes for sale in the scheme, we can deliver new council housing and community facilities without any impact on rents, service charges, or council tax rates in the borough. For-sale and affordable homes will look the same and will be mixed across the site.

The council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) reserve could not cover the cost of the development. The council’s approach to development is that all schemes must be self-funding to avoid putting pressure on other council budgets. If developments aren’t self-funding they could lead to rent rises or put our ability to invest in our existing housing stock at risk.

 

The remaining costs will be repaid by rent from the newly constructed homes.

 

Q: Has the council applied to the Mayor of London’s Office for the funding?

A: The council has successfully applied for grant funding from the Greater London Authority to help subsidise the cost of building affordable homes. The funding only covers part of the cost and not the whole cost of building affordable housing.

Q: Will estate charges for leaseholders increase as a result of the development?

A: Estate charges for leaseholders should not be impacted as a result of the development.

 

Q: Why doesn’t the council only build on the site of empty or unused buildings?

A: Different options for the site boundary (such as Three Sites/ Without the Nursery/ Whole Site) were explored during workshops with local residents.

 

To arrive at the current proposal the workshops considered the number of current White City residents on the housing register, and how to build this number of council homes at an acceptable density level while also providing new high quality community facilities. The final scheme also had to be financially viable.

 

Recordings of the workshops are available on the website: Resources | White City Central

Q: Why haven’t loft spaces been considered for development?

A: This type of potential improvement will be reviewed as part of the stock condition review.

Q: What is the stock condition review?

A: The Council is aiming to carry out a condition survey of all its housing so we can work out the investment requirements and effective schedule for major works across the borough.

Q: How will construction traffic move through the site?

A: If planning permission is granted, the council will appoint a construction contractor to build the homes and community facilities. They will be required to be a member of the Considerate Constructors scheme and meet the Council’s Construction Code of Practice. When bidding to do this work, the contractor will have to produce a Construction Traffic Management Plan which will include details of how they will minimise the impact of construction traffic on neighbours.

Q: How will noise pollution be mitigated for local residents?

A: Any contractor appointed to build the homes and community facilities will be required to be a member of the Considerate Constructors scheme and meet the Council’s Construction Code of Practice.  Before any work begins, the construction contractor will produce a Construction Management Plan, which will carefully consider the reduction of the impact of noise and dust on neighbours. If planning permission is granted it will also include a condition requiring the contractor to put in place measures to minimise noise pollution during the construction. 

 

Residents are participating in the selection of the contractor. Once the contractor is appointed, we will organise an event so that residents can meet them, and they can explain how they will minimise disruption.

Q: How will the demolition be managed to minimise the impacts of dust and poor air quality?

A: Any contractor involved in demolition will be required to be a member of the Considerate Constructors scheme and meet the Council’s Construction Code of Practice. Before any work begins, the construction contractor will produce a Construction Management Plan, which will carefully consider the reduction of the impact of noise and dust on neighbours.

Q: How long will the building take?

A: Subject to planning permission, construction work will happen in 2 phases over approximately four years. We are aiming to start in Autumn 2025 and complete in Winter 2029. 

Ask us a question:

If you would like to get in touch, please email us at WhiteCityCentral@lbhf.gov.uk 

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