Council picks its preferred developer for Robin Hood Gardens housing estate

A REGENERATION project which will build around 1,600 homes in east London has moved a step closer as Tower Hamlets council has picked its preferred development partner.

It was announced today that Swan & Countryside Properties have won out in a protracted bidding process which will see Poplar’s Robin Hood Gardens housing estate and its 214 flats demolished and rebuilt.

Campaigners previously fought to have the estate, designed by architects Alison and Peter Smithson, listed to save it from the bulldozers.

The Swan developers won out over L&Q Housing with Telford Homes and will now work with the council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

A council spokeswoman said the three parties would work with residents to develop their proposals and that a planning application would be submitted in “a few months time.”

Woolmore Street, Mackrow Walk and Anderson House will also be redeveloped as part of a wider regeneration of Blackwall Reach and the council said construction work would be phased to allow residents to move into their new homes at the earliest opportunity.

Swan Housing are reported to be working on designs including a 42-storey building at the northern end of the site with architects Aedas, Jestico & Whiles and Glenn Howells.

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The council was expected to announce a preferred bidder last November but mayor Lutfur Rahman asked for more time.

He said: “Blackwall Reach is one of the most exciting regeneration projects taking place in the borough.

“It’s a big project that will bring lasting improvements to the lives of hundreds of local residents.

“To make sure that we get the best deal for local people, I have asked our potential partners to maximise the number of social rented homes.”

The selection cannot be finalised until the HCA completes its own approval process which is expected to happen by the end of the month.