Heavens open for Mayor Rahman as Tower Hamlets opens new housing

The opening ceremony for the newest housing project in London’s East End had to go ahead in the pouring rain.

The heavens opened as Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman formally declared open the �49 million Suttons Wharf North complex on the site of a former timber yard on the Regent’s Canal yesterday (Thurs).

He had to huddle under an umbrella with the boss of One Housing Group Mick Sweeney as they toured the complex overlooking Mile End Park.

But it didn’t dampen the Mayor’s message about tackling the East End’s chronic social housing crisis facing large families.

“There is a clear shortage of affordable housing,” he told the ceremony. “This project will meet the housing needs and enable young families to move here.”

The complex of 55 family-size homes and 51 other properties only has parking spaces for 34 cars. Council planners have allocated a large security area for storing bikes.

Mick Sweeney, One Housing’s chief executive, said: “Suttons Wharf North is a commitment to meet the housing shortage, despite the economic downturn.

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“We plan to build or acquire 4,500 new homes in London over the next three years to meet the need for affordable homes.”

The development creates a public green space with a footbridge linking Mile End Park and Meath Gardens and a new East-West pedestrian-and-cycle route connecting Bethnal Green and Mile End on either side of the canal.

Suttons Wharf North, partially funded with �16m from the Homes and Communities Agency, provides 136 social rented homes, 62 shared ownership and eight intermediate rented properties. The homes-for-rent scheme includes 19 three-bedroom and 36 four-bedroom units for large families.