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23 March 2007
The first stage of the regeneration of Canning Town and Custom House in Newham has been celebrated in a ceremony to mark the demolition of the unoccupied tower blocks on Fife Road.
Countryside Properties is undertaking the demolition works for the London Borough of Newham in the first stage of the £110m regeneration scheme designed by award winning Maccreanor Lavington Architects.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said : "An enormous amount of work is going into transforming this area and this is the first major step towards achieving the regeneration that we have planned. The regeneration project is not just about transforming the physical landscape. It is also about boosting the local economy and providing services and facilities that meet the needs of local people.
Second best is not good enough for the people of Newham - we want the very best environment and opportunities for young people and residents already living in the area, and it is great to be able to work with Countryside Properties to achieve this."
Alan Cherry, Chairman of Countryside Properties, said : "Our aim is to radically improve the social, economic and education prospects for the people of Newham. This scheme offers extremely high standards of planning and design and will set the standard for the area. We are looking forward to making Canning Town and Custom House a place where people will really enjoy living and working.
Councillor Conor McAuley, Executive Advisor on Regeneration and Chair of the Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Project Board, hosted the event. He said: "This demolition is a significant occasion as it marks the first phase of the regeneration project. Partnership working is very important in regeneration. It is a pleasure to work with Countryside Properties on this scheme and thank you to the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation for financing the demolition work.
It is an exciting time, with the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming in 2012. As some of the sports events will be taking place in nearby ExCeL, it is vital that the Canning Town and Custom House area benefits from the legacy that the Games will bring, especially in terms of access to jobs, sports facilities and health awareness."
Once completed, this exciting project will provide around 600 new mixed tenure homes together with new school buildings and playground for Keir Hardie Primary School, community facilities and high quality open space. It is the first phase of the regeneration of Canning Town and Custom House which will see around 8,000 new homes and community facilities built over the next 15 years.
The different tenures will be 'pepper potted' throughout the development creating a truly mixed, sustainable community. The dwellings will consist of medium and low rise apartments, maisonettes and houses, with a strong emphasis on family homes. The affordable new homes will be managed by William Sutton Housing Association.
Once all the demolition is complete, work on the first new homes is due to begin in 2008.
Children from Keir Hardie Primary School also attended the event and spoke about how they researched the history of the local area and came up with some suggestions for names for the new scheme, the favourites being 'Old Ferdinand' after the West Ham football brothers, and 'Cherry Point' after 'Cherry Island', which was the area's name in the 1800s.
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Information correct as at 23/03/2007