UK development – new homes in East London; social investment at Stone Yard

14 September 2020 | Investment

The doors have been opened to the first phase of a flagship East London development, with canal-side rental homes now on offer at Sugar House Island.

Vastint UK has launched Botanical Mews, the first phase of residential units available to rent at the award-winning East London scheme, which sits south of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

Set against the backdrop of the Three Mills Wall River, Botanical Mews hosts a ‘healthy mix’ of homes, from studios to four-bedroom mews houses. Many include large balconies and terraces, with the development sitting at the heart of a ‘new close-knit community’ established by the creative quarter of Dane’s Yard.

UK development – new homes in East London; social investment at Stone Yard

New residents can expect to enjoy views of the surrounding waterways as well as communal parks and yards with semi-private gardens. The homes are described as well-connected, with eight train stations within walking distance, five bus routes and two dedicated cycle routes linking Sugar House Island to the city.

As a result, Botanical Mews residents will be able to reach Canary Wharf in 15 minutes, Liverpool Street in 20 minutes and City Airport within 24 minutes.

Sugar House Island – delivered by long-term investor Vastint UK, a mixed-use developer active in the UK since 2010 – is being hailed as a ‘thoughtfully designed new corner of the capital’, with a ‘distinctive sense of place’.

This distinctive, urban environment is made up of ‘diverse architecture and rich character’, with almost a thousand years’ history to call upon. It is set to be home to independent retailers, bars, coffee shops, dry cleaners, local grocers and a gym, with further plans for a local dance and music collective. The resident Print House Bar & Kitchen is open to the public serving fresh baked sourdough pizzas.

“Botanical Mews gives residents a new sense of space which isn’t often experienced when living in London,” Andrew Cobden, managing director at Vastint UK, said. “As we see more people wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of central London, looking for greenery, access to the outdoors, yet with shorter commutes, Botanical Mews offers the ideal balance.”

He added: “Sugar House Island is carefully curated to benefit households of different ages and sizes and to create an integrated and animated local neighbourhood. With construction underway on the new primary school, to be operated by Big Education Trust, there are many perks for people looking to start or relocate a family in east London.”

UK development – new homes in East London; social investment at Stone Yard

What are its main selling points?  

Vastint UK defines the main qualities of Botanical Mews as such:

  • Location – Sugar House Island is just a short walk from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the forthcoming UCL campus, and benefits from its own on-island community hub, complete with shops, restaurants, offices, amenities and a school.

  • Internal space – over half of the units (52%) have three or more bedrooms and are generously proportioned with internal floor-to-ceiling heights set at a minimum of 2.7m.

  • Family appeal – a new primary school, operated by the Big Education Trust (School 21), will be ready for its first pupils in September 2021. The school will be an integral part of the community as its facilities will be available for use on a regular basis.

  • Fully furnished – homes come furnished or unfurnished, depending on residents’ preference, and most will have private outdoor space along with, and access to, shared courtyards or roof terraces

  • Waterside living – homes are set along the river’s edge on both east and west sides of the island. Some boast views over the canal, whilst others on the west side will overlook landscaped courtyards.

  • Resident benefits – those living at Botanical Mews will have access to a concierge service, a parcel room, and a dedicated app which will allow them to easily book handyman repairs, local services and deliveries, and fitness classes.

  • Underground parking and generous secure storage; making streets safer and providing more space for children to play

Botanical Mews will offer the first of 1,200 homes that Vastint UK is set to deliver at Sugar House Island, as well as 624,000 sq ft of office space, shops and amenities. Studio, one, two and three-bed apartments and four-bed mews houses are now available to rent from £1,500 pcm.

Specialist developer pledges £5m social investment as part of new scheme 

A Birmingham-based specialist residential developer has completed a Section 106 agreement related to its recently approved Stone Yard scheme.

The signing of the s106 means another key step has been taken towards the delivery of 995 brand new apartments in Digbeth, with 10% of the Build to Rent homes now being offered as affordable housing, an additional community benefit to the value of £5 million.

UK development – new homes in East London; social investment at Stone Yard

The Stone Yard scheme, being delivered by Court Collaboration, will see the regeneration of the former Bull Ring Trading Estate site on High Street Deritend, delivering an ‘impressive’ complex of seven separate buildings, with a mix of one and two-bedroom properties.

Additionally, the development is set to include around 30,000 sq ft of commercial space for uses such as a gym and cinema, co-working space designed to support the city’s abundance of entrepreneurs and SMEs, and a facility for the Irish community following the closure of the iconic Irish Centre earlier this year.

Designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects, the scheme will boast two landscaped courtyards offering extra space for homeowners to enjoy the open air and take in the hustle and bustle of city centre living. There will also be a new pedestrian boulevard flanked by the commercial space.

Anthony McCourt, chief executive of Court Collaboration, commented: “People and communities have always been at the core of our ethos at Court Collaboration, so we remain committed to delivering schemes which are much more than just bricks and mortar.”

He added: “Stone Yard will be just that and will encourage the best of ‘work, live and play’ with a range of potential leisure and retail opportunities. Therefore, we’re delighted to have completed the Section 106 agreement and committed to the affordable housing in the scheme. We look forward to starting work on site in Q1 2021.”

UK development – new homes in East London; social investment at Stone Yard

Under controversial planning changes recently announced by the government, it revealed that it wanted to scrap Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy planning agreements and replace them with an over-arching Infrastructure Levy as part of a move towards a zonal planning system.

However, concerns have been raised that this could have a devastating impact on social and affordable housing, with some suggesting the proposed reforms could cut the number of affordable homes on offer by up to a fifth.

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–> This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.