FAQs on Friary Park
Find the answers to key questions about the redevelopment of Friary Park.
- About Friary Park
- About the proposals
- What it means for the current community
- Moving out and moving back
- About the new homes
- The vision for the new neighbourhood
- The wider area
- Recent changes to the plans
- The regeneration process
- Involving the local community
- About shared living
About Friary Park
1. Who owns Friary Park?
Who owns Friary Park?
Friary Park is owned and managed by Catalyst. Catalyst is one of the leading housing associations, providing more than 22,000 homes in London and the South East, through a wide range of rental and homeownership opportunities.
In particular, we have a track record of delivering excellent, truly “tenure-blind” regeneration schemes that have been embraced by their existing communities, such as our award-winning Portobello Square development in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
- When was Friary Park developed?
Laing Homes originally built Friary Park for private sale in the late 80s. It was purchased by Catalyst (then Ealing Family Housing Association) in 1988.
About the proposals
- Why redevelop Friary Park?
We have been talking to residents about their homes, and they are unhappy with a number of features. The main causes of residents’ dissatisfaction with their homes are down to poor design, size and layouts. These things cannot be dealt with by maintenance or refurbishment, which is why we are proposing complete redevelopment.
Improvements to the local transport infrastructure offers us the opportunity to redevelop Friary Park to provide high-quality social rented homes and shared ownership homes by building additional homes for sale and shared living homes at below market rent.
- What are the development plans?
We are proposing to completely redevelop the estate and build a mixed tenure neighbourhood of new high quality homes. We will provide social rented housing on the estate as well as new market sale and shared ownership homes. The number of new homes currently proposed is around 470 and 236 shared living apartments, in buildings of between 3 and 17 storeys including shops and community spaces on the ground floor. The proposals also feature enhanced green space.
Due to recent changes to the London Plan, which significantly increase housebuilding targets for local authorities, we’re currently reviewing the proposals with a view to delivering more homes on the site.
Our proposals will dramatically improve the housing conditions on the estate by providing high quality new homes. There will be an increased number of family-sized homes for social rent to meet the needs of the families currently living on the estate.
- What will happen to the money from the houses going for market sale?
The sale of new homes funds the provision of social rented housing. Unlike a private developer we don’t have shareholders or investors that we need to pay. All profit we make is reinvested to provide more affordable housing.
- Are the Catalyst homes on Emanuel Avenue going to be demolished?
No. The homes on Emanuel Avenue are not included in the masterplan, so we are not proposing to demolish them.
- Is Antillies House included in the regeneration proposals?
No. Antillies House is not included in our masterplan. We will keep the residents fully informed of our proposals and our plans seek to minimise disturbance and disruption around them.
What it means for the current community
- What happens to the people who live on Friary Park now?
All existing Catalyst tenants on Friary Park have the option of being re-housed in the new development if they want to (recognising that some residents, particularly in phase 1 will need to move away temporarily).
Most residents will be able to move straight into a brand new home on the redeveloped Friary Park. However, to allow homes to be demolished so that new ones can be built, some residents in the first phase will need to move elsewhere either permanently or, if they want to return to Friary Park, until a suitable new home is available in a later phase of the redevelopment.
- Is my home going to be demolished?
All of existing homes on Friary Park will be demolished and replaced with more efficient, well-designed, modern homes.
After careful investigation of the options for Friary Park, we have found that this is the best way to tackle the problems that residents have identified (not enough bedrooms, small bedrooms, inadequate insulation, poor heating etc.).
Our proposals do not include the town houses on Emanuel Avenue or Antillies House.
- Will I have to move out of Friary Park?
If you live in phase 1a of the development, you will need to move off Friary Park, either temporarily until a suitable new home on Friary Park becomes available or permanently, depending your preference. This will also be the case for some people living in the rest of phase 1.
If continuing to live locally is important to people we will try where possible to offer people a temporary move on Friary Park as and when suitable properties become available. Our ability to do this will depend on housing need and the properties that become vacant.
We anticipate that most residents in other phases of the development will be able to move straight into a brand new home on the redeveloped Friary Park.
- Where adult children are living with their parents, will you rehouse them together?
Yes, as long as they’re registered as part of the household and continue to live there.
- Will I get a new home in the redeveloped neighbourhood?
We will only rehouse Catalyst tenants currently living on Friary Park. Households placed in temporary accommodation by the council will be rehoused by the council before their homes are needed for the redevelopment. If you are unsure about what type of tenancy you have please contact Catalyst to discuss your rehousing options.
- If I have a garden now will I get one in my new property?
Not necessarily as there will be fewer homes with individual gardens. All homes will have a private outdoor space (garden, balcony or terrace) and access to a private communal garden.
It is likely that lower floors will be allocated to those with the most limited mobility based on their medical assessment. Once housing need has been met, we will try to meet people’s preferences as far as possible. If you think you should be prioritised for a home with a garden you should raise this with the Rehousing Coordinator.
Moving out and moving back
- If I get re-housed off Friary Park can I move back to Friary Park?
Our aim is for everyone who wants to stay in Friary Park to be able to, and for everyone wants to move away, to feel supported and confident in the process. We’ll work with each existing household to decide on the best option for them. All existing Catalyst tenants on Friary Park have the option of being re-housed in the new development if they want to (recognising that some residents, particularly in phase 1 will need to move away temporarily).
Our Rehousing Coordinator will be meeting with each individual household on the estate to talk about options and preferences. If you tell us you’re interested in returning, we’ll let you know as soon as a suitable new home becomes available.
- What if I want to move away from the area?
If you want to move away from Friary Park we will explore options to enable you to do so. We can help people to bid on LOCATA (the choice based lettings system) and we can also offer people a move into another Catalyst property in the borough of Ealing when suitable properties become vacant.
- Will I get help to move?
Yes. Every resident who has to move will be contacted well in advance and someone from our specialist rehousing team will meet you to discuss your housing needs and preferences. They will also help you plan and organise your move.
All households with assured tenancies who have lived on Friary Park for at least a year will be entitled to ‘home loss’ and ‘disturbance’ payments.
- How will offers of homes be arranged for tenants in Friary Park?
There are two ways of doing this: Catalyst can make you a direct offer of a home, or you can bid on Locata if you want to.
Please note that, when you complete your Catalyst transfer form, you’ll automatically be registered on Locata. This is part of Catalyst’s moves policy, as we use it to keep track of moves that have taken place.
This does not mean that residents have to bid on Locata. Catalyst’s Re-housing team will make direct offers to residents if for any reason they can’t or don’t want to bid on Locata; we anticipate that it will be easiest for most residents to arrange a direct offer. You are welcome to explore a direct offer with us while also looking on Locata.
When empty properties become available we will make direct offers to residents who have the highest priority for a move. Catalyst has homes across Ealing. As we can’t know which will be available during any given phase, we can’t guarantee that a home off the estate will meet your preferences, though we will make sure it meets your needs. We plan to ringfence a certain number of local properties for decant from Friary Park, so you won’t see these on Locata.
For more information on Locata, see our fact sheet.
- If my current home is not in the first phase of the regeneration, can I still choose to move away from Friary Park?
Yes, you can. There are two ways of doing this: Catalyst can make you a direct offer of a home, or you can bid on Locata if you want to.
- If I have to move off Friary Park temporarily, can I choose where my temporary home is?
We know that staying close to Friary Park will be important to many people who move off the estate temporarily. We will look at this on an individual basis. Once we have met housing need, we will try to meet people’s preferences as far as possible.
- Can I move earlier than the time when my current home is demolished?
Yes you can, but you will only have priority (Band A status) when the phase you are in is next in line for demolition – unless you have other housing needs, such as severe overcrowding or a medical need.
- What is Home loss payment?
All tenants who are re-housed will be entitled to a statutory home loss payment, provided they have lived in their property for more than a year. The home loss payment is set by central Government every September, and does not vary from case to case. It is currently £6,100 (as at October 2017). Home loss payments will be made at the point of moving. If tenants are in rent arrears, outstanding rent arrears will be offset against the Home Loss Payment.
- What is Disturbance payment?
When tenants are re-housed they are eligible to claim a disturbance payment to cover the cost of moving home. Claims for disturbance payments must be considered reasonable by Catalyst and agreed in advance. Payments will only be made on production of receipts and can include:Carpet/flooring alterations or replacements where requiredCurtain alterations or replacements where requiredDisconnection and reconnection of telephoneDisconnection and reconnection of cookerDisconnection and reconnection of washing machine and dishwasherRedirection of mail
23. How do we know that you will provide us with a suitable new home on the development?
We are working with the Residents Steering Group to draw up a binding Residents’ Charter of our rehousing commitments.
We will use housing needs information to inform each detailed planning application we make to ensure that we build homes that meet the needs of our existing tenants.
It is always helpful for us to know about your preferences as far as possible in advance so that they can be taken into account during the allocations process. We will match people to properties that meet their preferences as far as possible.
New homes will be offered based on the size of the household and any other factors assessed as affecting the type of property that is suitable, i.e. medical conditions.
- Will my home be maintained while I am waiting to move?
All homes will be repaired and maintained throughout the development process. However, some of the heating and damp problems cannot be addressed by repairs or refurbishment – that’s why we’re fully redeveloping the homes. We will consider repairs on a case by case basis.
- How much choice do I have about which new property I move into?
Some people will express a preference to move into a particular type of property. We will try our best to accommodate preferences, although this won’t always be possible. The phasing programme means that choice about the exact location of your new home will be limited.
Usually new homes are offered based on the size of the household, as well as any other factors assessed as affecting the type of property that is suitable, i.e. medical conditions.
It is always helpful to let us know about your preferences as far in advance as you can, so that where possible they can be taken into account during the allocations process.
- Might I have to live on a high floor of one of the tall buildings?
Some people will live on a higher floor than they do currently. It is likely that lower floors will be allocated to those with the most limited mobility based on their medical assessment. Once housing need has been met, we will try to meet people’s preferences as far as possible.
- Will my tenancy rights change?
The tenancy agreement for your new home will be the same type of tenancy you currently have with all the same rights and responsibilities.
- Will the rent be more expensive in the new homes?
Rents will be the same as other similar Catalyst properties in the area. They will be calculated in the same way that they are for all properties belonging to housing associations – through a government set formula.
We will be discussing service charges with our Residents’ Steering Group to make sure residents are clear about the costs of living in one of the new homes before they move in.
29. Will there be opportunities for existing residents to purchase?
If residents are interested in purchasing properties on the open market we can register their interest and we will get in touch before we market the homes more widely.Eligible adult household members can be considered to be re-housed separately from their parents/guardians off Friary Park Estate – if they want to and can demonstrate that they can afford to. Adult household members who want to be rehoused separately will need to be re-housed before their parents/guardians. Tenants will not receive a financial incentive for giving up a bedroom if it is ‘spare’ as a result of adult household members being re-housed separately and tenants will not be able to keep the extra bedroom.
30. Can adult children get their own flat and the main tenant downsize?
Eligible adult household members can be considered to be re-housed separately from their parents/guardians off Friary Park Estate – if they want to and can demonstrate that they can afford to. Adult household members who want to be rehoused separately will need to be re-housed before their parents/guardians. Tenants will not receive a financial incentive for giving up a bedroom if it is ‘spare’ as a result of adult household members being re-housed separately and tenants will not be able to keep the extra bedroom.
About the new homes
- How many more new homes will there be?
The exact number is still under discussion. The current proposals show approximately 470 new homes plus 236 shared living apartments. Due to recent changes to the London Plan, which significantly increase housebuilding targets for local authorities, we’re currently reviewing the proposals with a view to delivering more homes on the site.
We don’t yet know what the final number of homes will be, but we will present more information on this to residents and the wider community at the next consultation event in September.
- What will the mix of new homes be?
The mix currently proposed is:
- 201 social rent homes
- 86 shared ownership homes
- 189 homes for market sale
- 236 apartments for shared living
Due to recent changes to the London Plan, which significantly increase housebuilding targets for local authorities, we’re currently reviewing the proposals with a view to delivering more homes on the site. We will increase the number of affordable homes as well as homes for private sale. We don’t yet know what the final number of new homes will be, or the mix of tenures. We also don’t know whether the additional affordable homes will be for social rent, affordable rent, shared ownership or London Living Rent; we’ll need to work closely on this with Ealing Council. We will present more information on this to residents and the wider community at the next consultation event in September.
- Will you be replacing each affordable rent home with another affordable rented home?
There are currently 225 social rent homes on our estate. The current proposals show 201 social rented homes and 86 shared ownership homes.
The 201 new social rented homes have been designed to meet the demand for family-sized units from current residents. As a result the homes we are building actually have more habitable rooms in social rented homes than there are currently.
Due to recent changes to the London Plan, which significantly increase housebuilding targets for local authorities, we’re currently reviewing the proposals with a view to delivering more homes on the site. This may mean that the number of homes for social rent increases from the current proposals. Any additional homes for social rent in the new development will be offered to current Catalyst tenants on Friary Park with high priority before being offered more widely.
34. Will all the new homes be sold to overseas investors?
Catalyst’s approach to marketing new homes meets and exceeds the Mayor of London’s voluntary guidelines to sell to Londoners first.
All initial phases of marketing are locally focussed through the site-based sales centre and on site advertising. Once local demand has been met the campaign can be expanded to cover London.
Like all other London developers, we source buyers from both London and overseas. Any properties will only be marketed overseas once we have extensively marketed within London.
35. Will the residents’ new homes be protected from high pollution levels in the area?
Comprehensive noise and air quality assessments will accompany the planning application, which will recommend any mitigation measures that may be required in order to comply with relevant standards and regulations and make the new homes an attractive place to live.
36. Will the first new homes be for new residents or for existing tenants?
We have deliberately phased the regeneration of Friary Park so that most of the new socially rented homes are built early in the redevelopment. This supports our aim for most residents to be able to move straight into a brand new home on the redeveloped Friary Park.
37. What will the space standards be like in the new homes?
The new homes will be bigger than the ones you currently live in on Friary Park. All social rented homes will meet the London Housing Design Guide which sets out minimum sizes for rooms.
38. How big will second bedrooms be?
We have designed some ‘2-bed, 3-person’ homes, and some ‘2-bed, 4-person’ homes, in line with housing need at Friary Park. ‘2-bed, 4-person’homes will be prioritised for people with a need for this specific size.
The second bedroom in the ‘2-bed, 3-person’ homes is designed for a single bed, and will be at least 1.5 square metres larger than existing single second bedrooms.
The second bedroom in the ‘2-bed, 4-person’homes can accommodate a double bed, and is considerably bigger than the second bedroom in the existing homes.
39. How environmentally friendly will the new homes be?
All new developments are built to meet high environmental and energy efficiency standards. Catalyst has a record of meeting and exceeding these standards. This will help reduce the running costs of your new property.
40. Will the homes have double-glazing?
41. Will there be water meters in the new homes?
Yes, it is a government requirement to fit all newly built properties with water meters. For the vast majority of people this will lead to a reduction in water bills, especially considering the appliances fitted into the new homes will be more water efficient.
42. Will we have gas in our flats?
It is likely that the new homes will be part of a communal heating system, so it’s unlikely that flats will have a direct gas connection.
43. Will the new homes have separate kitchens?
We are developing various designs. We anticipate that some of the larger homes will have open plan living/dining/kitchen areas and some will have the option for separation of the kitchen.
44. Will the kitchens and bathrooms in the new homes have windows?
We will look to incorporate windows in bathrooms and kitchens where possible. If the bathrooms or kitchens do not have a window, they will be mechanically ventilated.
The vision for the new neighbourhood
45. Will the increase in the number of homes mean less green space?
We are proposing to provide more open space than is currently on the estate. We’ve included a new green space as well as a play spaces for young children.
All new homes will have a private outdoor space (garden, balcony or terrace) and access to private communal gardens
46. How high is the tallest part of the proposed development?
In the current proposals, heights of the buildings range from 3 to 17 storeys. The buildings backing onto Emanuel Avenue would be the lowest, with the height of buildings being stepped up and the tallest next to the railway and the station.
A landmark tall building allows us to build a greater number of homes while maximising the green space available on the estate. We can pay for the provision of new high quality social rented homes by building additional homes for sale and shared ownership, and new shared living homes at below market rent.
By building taller buildings we are able to ensure that we can get the number of homes needed in the development to house current residents and fund the project by building homes for sale. Having some tall buildings allows us to have a mix of heights across the development. The buildings backing onto Emanuel Avenue would be the lowest, with the height of buildings being stepped up and the tallest next to the railway and the station.
47. Will a tall building create shadows and strong winds around it?
As part of the application our consultants have been carrying out extensive modelling of the conditions around the buildings so that we can minimise any negative effects before the application is submitted.
48. What about the increased traffic from the additional households?
We do not anticipate great increases in traffic levels locally due to the redevelopment of Friary Park. We will work out how much parking to provide using surveys of how many spaces are used currently. Residents living in the shared living accommodation will not be permitted to park either within the estate or the surrounding area. A limited number of parking spaces will be available for residents living in the shared ownership and private accommodation to buy. Residents of the redeveloped Friary Park will not be able to park in the surrounding streets.
49. Will the community centre have a space in the redevelopment?
We have included new community facilities in our proposed redevelopment. The new facilities will be built before the existing Friary Park community centre is demolished so that there is a space available throughout the redevelopment process.
50. What will you do with the non-residential space on the ground floor?
We don’t yet know exactly who will take these commercial units. However, we’ll be applying for permission for a range of uses that would allow a variety of businesses such as shops, cafes, restaurants, or gyms. We envisage that cafes and shops selling a range of goods and foods will be particularly keen to take space facing the new Crossrail station.
We’re also looking to use the non-residential space for community uses, with residents’ suggestions including community activity space, and art and cinema spaces.
51. How much parking will be provided?
We will work out how much parking to provide using surveys of how many spaces are used currently. Residents living in the shared living accommodation will not be permitted to park either within the estate or the surrounding area. A limited number of parking spaces will be available for residents living in the shared ownership and private accommodation to buy. Residents of the redeveloped Friary Park will not be able to park in the surrounding streets.
The wider area
52. Will this development have a negative effect on house prices in the area?
We envisage the opposite – the new development will deliver high quality public realm, new open spaces and an enhanced retail offer in the neighbourhood.
53. Will the increase in the number of homes mean more pressure on local services such as schools and doctors surgeries?
Catalyst is legally required to make a Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy payment to the council, which they will use to improve local services to accommodate the increased population. The shared living properties will not be suitable for families, and therefore will put no additional pressure on schools and add minimally to the demand on local health services.
54. Will your proposals have a damaging effect on the local area?
We believe the regeneration will have a positive effect on the local area by providing high quality housing, improved public realm and new shops and cafes.
Catalyst has a long-term interest in Friary Park. Unlike most developers, we will be managing the new neighbourhood that we build. Our architects have evolved the designs in response to comments from neighbours, with the aim of reducing any negative impacts on the surrounding neighbourhood as far as possible.
55. What’s happening to Friary Green
Friary Green is not included in our development. We have, however, put aside some open space in our development, just opposite Friary Green. This is designed to compliment Friary Green. We aim to close the road between Friary Green and the green space to create a bigger, more usable green space.
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Recent changes to the plans
56. Why has there been a delay in the process?
In summer/autumn 2017, we reviewed our plans and identified options to improve the programme.
This resulted in a change to the placement of the basement car parking and the energy centre. The changes allow us to deliver the phases containing the most new homes more quickly, and help us ensure we are only building the parking that is needed.
Towards the end of 2017, we reviewed the business model for the regeneration, to ensure that our plans were deliverable. We completed this review in December 2017.
In summer 2018, changes to the London Plan significantly increased housebuilding targets for local authorities. For this reason, we’re currently reviewing the proposals with a view to delivering more homes on the site. This has delayed our planning application from summer 2018; we’re now planning to submit the application in November 2018.
57. What’s the timescale for the development?
We plan to submit a planning application in late 2018. If we are granted planning permission we would aim to start onsite in late 2019/early 2020. If this is the case the first new homes would be ready in 2021. The whole development would take six to eight years.
58. Has the appearance and materials of the scheme changed?
The materials have not changed. The architecture is still mainly brick with three different brick colours chosen for the new buildings.
The regeneration process
59. When are you going to submit the planning application?
We plan to submit a planning application in Autumn 2018
60. This is a big construction project, will you build it all out at once?
No. We will be regenerating the estate in three phases (the fifth phase being what is currently the locked compound site). We have planned it this way to maximise the number of current residents who can move straight from their current home into a new home.
61. What are you doing about the potential disruption caused by construction traffic?
As part of the planning process we will submit a detailed Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) with our contractor, which will be tailored to the delivery of each phase and will include details of traffic movement plans. The plan will take into consideration minimisation of disruption to local residents as well as health and safety issues.
62. What will you do to minimise noise and vibrations during construction?
While demolition and construction can be inconvenient, we do everything we can to make sure residents and neighbours can live comfortably alongside the regeneration. These are examples of some of the things we will do to help with noise and vibration:
- All the machinery and demolition methods will be chosen to cause the least possible dust and vibration. Machinery and vehicles will be switched off when not in use.
- To help reduce noise, buildings being demolished will be fully enclosed with scaffold and sheeting. Acoustic screens will be also be used around any activities that could be especially noisy.
- Very noisy procedures will also be done in stages so that residents and neighbours can have a break between periods of noise.
- Special equipment will be used to reduce the vibration going into the surrounding area.
- All our contractors will be required to sign up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Involving the local community
63. How have residents been involved?
We have undertaken extensive consultation since November 2014 with the Residents’ Steering Group and the wider Friary Park community.
The Friary Park Residents’ Steering Group formed to represent residents’ needs and preferences around the regeneration and we meet with them regularly.
We have also been holding workshops and exhibitions for all residents and local stakeholders, to get their input on our proposals. These have included sessions for older people, young people, mothers with young children and non-English speakers.
64. How are residents of the surrounding streets being informed?
Neighbouring residents were included in the consultation we carried out on our proposals in 2015 and we are continuing to keep them informed and up to date.
Residents from the wider area have also been invited to the exhibition to see the revised plans.
About shared living
65. What is shared living?
Shared living is a new type of housing model that is aimed at single people seeking to rent a home at a price they can afford whilst enjoying the benefits of large community areas and high quality kitchens. Residents rent a small private apartment consisting of an open-plan living/sleeping area, a kitchenette and a bathroom. While the apartments themselves are small, the buildings feature a wide selection of communal spaces for residents to share, such as larger kitchens, dining rooms, gym, games rooms, storage facilities and even cinemas or libraries. This allows people to enjoy far higher quality facilities than they could otherwise afford, and to live with other people while still having their own private space.
66. Why are shared living apartments part of the plans?
We know that there’s a demand for this kind of accommodation locally. With the arrival of Crossrail, Acton will increasingly become a desirable area for single professionals, and a shared living model allows us to help meet this demand while also ensuring a welcoming social fabric for new arrivals to be a part of. Shared living also helps to reduce pressures on local housing stock as fewer family properties need to be converted to shared housing or small flats. Furthermore, the model helps us raise funds to build and manage more social housing, while minimising extra strain on local infrastructure, as the single people opting for shared living will not have families and are less likely to use cars.
67. Who is shared living aimed at?
Shared living is designed for single people with no dependants, who want to rent a home affordably and enjoy high-quality amenities and a social environment as well as private space. This includes key workers such as nurses and teachers. There is also much demand from young adults currently living at home, who want to move out on their own.
68. Will the shared living block cause social problems?
All our shared living homes will be for private rent, occupied by people who have chosen Friary Park as their home and shared living as their way of life. They’ll therefore be ready to do their bit to look after the neighbourhood, and to live co-operatively in the community. Many will be moving from shared houses or family homes, so they’ll be used to living closely with others and know how to make it work.
We appreciate that the large amount of communal space and the high density of homes in the shared living block will require a considered management approach to ensure that they are successful. We’ll prepare a strategy to make sure the management of all buildings runs smoothly.
69. I’m a Catalyst tenant on Friary Park. Might I have to live in one of the shared living flats?
No. Our shared living properties are not part of our social housing offer. Shared living is a very new concept, so we want to make sure that everyone who moves into our scheme has chosen that lifestyle and is keen to get involved in the shared living community.
70. Will shared living put extra pressure on local infrastructure?
The single people who live in these apartments are less likely than the average household to use a car, and we won’t be providing parking spaces for them. They also won’t have families, so they won’t increase demand for local schools or have a major impact on GPs. In fact, as shared living is particularly suited to keyworkers, it could actually help increase the capacity of services in the area by adding to the local workforce.
Although the size of the shared living apartments lets us fit more of them into the building, the concept is designed to put minimal pressure on local services and infrastructure. It’s especially suited to places that are well served by transport links, like Friary Park – indeed many of our shared living customers will be attracted to the neighbourhood because it’s close to Crossrail.
71. What’s the difference between the shared living properties and the existing bedsits and one-bed flats on Friary Park?
Our shared living flats offer a wide choice of excellent communal areas, so that while the apartments themselves are small, residents have far more space to cook, have friends over, meet people and enjoy leisure activities than they would in a bedsit or one-bed flat. They are also not part of the social housing offer on Friary Park. Everyone who lives in a small home in the new neighbourhood will have actively chosen to do so, and will have ample communal space to balance out the size of their private space.
72. Do the shared living flats meet national space standards?
While the private apartments themselves are smaller than national space standards, this is balanced out by the range of communal spaces and amenities on offer, which offer residents a much greater choice and quality of places to be and things to do than many people in an expensive private rent or sale home could enjoy. In the flats, intelligent design features include hidden storage and folding or loft beds, meaning residents have far more space than they would in studio conversion with the same floorspace.
73. What’s the difference between the shared living apartments and student accommodation?
Student accommodation only houses students, often studying at the same institution, so they tend to form their own community and not integrate with the rest of the neighbourhood. By contrast, all kinds of people will live in the shared living block at Friary Park, from keyworkers to young professionals to people moving out of home for the first time. They’ll all have different perspectives, skills and lifestyles to bring to the community. Also, students tend to be assigned to their accommodation and have little choice in where they live. Our shared living customers will all have chosen to live on Friary Park and be committed to making a life here. They’ll also create a more stable community – students typically only stay in student accommodation for a year, whereas shared living customers on Friary Park will stay as long as that way of life suits them.
74. What will shared living bring to the community at Friary Park?
Shared living customers on Friary Park will have chosen a communal way of life, sharing resources and living co-operatively with others. They’ll bring the same commitment to the communal and social spaces in the rest of the neighbourhood, bringing activity to local cafes, cinemas and public spaces. Shared living schemes tend to fill up very quickly after they’re built, so ours, in one of the earlier phases of the scheme, will help keep Friary Park thriving while later phases are yet to be built.
Shared living residents will boost economic activity in the new commercial spaces on Friary Park, and help them to thrive. Many will be keyworkers, helping to build a local workforce for essential services in the area. We’ll also examine the possibility of opening some of the shared living block’s communal spaces up to the wider community, supplementing the separate community facility and giving greater variety.
75. What will the rent be for shared living apartments?
Rents for shared living apartments will be set at approximately 75% of local market rent. While they’re designed to be affordable for middle-income earners, they won’t form part of the affordable housing quota for the development. The intention of shared living on Friary Park is to provide a quality rented home at a competitive price for people who cannot afford to buy and do not qualify for social housing.
76. Why do Catalyst need to do more work on the proposals?
Since we last wrote to you, the Greater London Authority have released their new Draft London Plan, which significantly increases housebuilding targets for all local authorities. Therefore we and Ealing Council have been discussing how we can deliver more homes at Friary Park, including more affordable homes, and make it an even better scheme. This fits well with our mission as a developing housing association: to provide more homes, including affordable homes, while delivering higher-quality homes for our existing residents.
We’re now reviewing the proposals for Friary Park, with a view to increasing the number of homes proposed.
77. What effects will the review have on the scheme?
We will be seeking to increase the number of homes in the proposals for Friary Park. We don’t yet know what the reviewed scheme will look like, or what the final number of homes will be. We also don’t know whether the additional affordable homes will be for social rent, affordable rent, shared ownership or London Living Rent; we’ll need to work closely on this with Ealing Council. However, we can make some key commitments to you now:
- The number of social rented homes will not be reduced from that in the current proposals.
- There won’t be any change to the designs for social rented homes for current residents.
- The review of the scheme will be informed by feedback from residents and neighbours.
- We will not seek to increase the number of homes at the expense of any of the amenities currently proposed.
- Any additional homes for social rent in the new development will be offered to current Catalyst tenants on Friary Park with high priority before being offered more widely.
78. What input will the local community have on the review?
Before submitting a planning application, we’ll hold engagement events in September and October. The events in September will give residents and the local community a chance to comment on the reviewed proposals. The ones in October will show the finalised proposals and how residents’ comments have been taken into account.
Throughout the review, we’ll take into account past and ongoing input from the local community and consultants. When we exhibit the final designs, we’ll show clearly where we’ve responded to feedback and, where we couldn’t, give you reasons why.