FAQs on Friary Park

Find the answers to key questions about the redevelopment of Friary Park.

About Friary Park

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. The estate is only 30 years old, why is it in such poor condition?

The main causes of residents’ dissatisfaction with their homes are down to poor design and layouts, especially around insulation and size of the rooms. These things cannot be dealt with by maintenance or refurbishment, which is why we are proposing complete redevelopment.
Back to top

About the proposals

4. Why redevelop Friary Park?

We have been talking to residents about their homes, and they are unhappy with a number of features, which cannot be addressed by simply refurbishing the existing buildings. 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 market rent.

5. 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 rent, market sale and shared ownership homes. The total number of new homes will be around 470 and 236 shared living apartments. The new buildings will be a mix of heights between 3 and 17 storeys including shops and community spaces on the ground floor.

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.

6. What will happen to the money from the houses going for market sale?

The sale of new homes funds the provision of affordable 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.

7. 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.

8. Is Antillies House included in the regeneration proposals?

No. Antillies House is not included in our masterplan. We are keeping the residents fully informed of our proposals and our plans seek to minimise disturbance and disruption around them.
Back to top

What it means for the current community

9. Does this mean that you are forcing people to move away from the area?

Most residents will be able to move straight into a brand new home on the redeveloped Friary Park. However to allow existing buildings 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.

We anticipate that all current Catalyst tenants who want to, will be able to move into a new social rented home in the redeveloped Friary Park.

10. What happens to the people who live on Friary Park now?

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.

We anticipate that all current Catalyst tenants who want to, will be able to move into a new social rented home in the redeveloped Friary Park.

11. Is my home going to be demolished?

Friary Park currently contains 225 homes. To tackle the problems that residents have identified (not enough bedrooms, small bedrooms, inadequate insulation, poor heating etc.) we need to demolish the current estate and replace it with more efficient, well-designed, modern homes.

Our proposals do not include the town houses on Emanuel Avenue.

12. Will I have to move out of Friary Park?

The construction process will be phased so most residents will be able to move straight into a brand new home on the redeveloped Friary Park. Those whose homes are in the first phase of the development will be offered alternative homes elsewhere, either temporarily until a suitable new home on Friary Park becomes available or permanently, based on their preferences.

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.

13. 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.

14. 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. If you think you should be prioritised for a home with a garden you should raise this with the regeneration officer managing your re-housing. All homes will have a private outdoor space (garden, balcony or terrace) and access to a private communal garden.
Back to top

Moving out and moving back

15. 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. From experience, we anticipate that most people who want to come back will be able to. Our Regeneration Officer will be meeting with each individual household on the estate to talk about options and preferences.

16. 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.

17. 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 a ‘home loss’ and ‘disturbance’ payments.

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 currently £5,800 (as at January 2017). Home loss payments are set by central Government and the amount to be paid to tenants is reviewed every September. 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.

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 required
  • Curtain alterations or replacements where required
  • Disconnection and reconnection of telephone
  • Disconnection and reconnection of cooker
  • Disconnection and reconnection of washing machine and dishwasher
  • Redirection of mail

If tenants are unsure about eligibility for disturbance payments they should speak to Catalyst before making a contractual commitment or a payment to a company.

18. 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.

19. Why did I need to complete a Housing Needs Survey?

We asked residents on Friary Park to let us know the number of people in their homes and their ages so that we can build an accurate picture of the housing need. Some residents have health issues and limited mobility that will need to be taken into account. The survey results have guided the mix of home sizes and tenures that we’re proposing.

20. Will my home be maintained while I am waiting to move?

All homes will be repaired and maintained throughout the development process. However, heating and damp problems cannot be addressed by repairs or refurbishment – that’s why we’re redeveloping the homes.

21. How will you decide what sort of new home I will be offered?

The size and location of your new home will depend on the information you gave us in the Housing Needs Survey.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. Can I choose where my flat is?

We strive to meet residents’ preferences for their new home. However, the phasing programme means that choice about exact location of your new home will be limited.

25. Will there be opportunities for existing residents to purchase?

Friary Park residents will be eligible to apply for the new shared ownership homes providing they’re able to get a mortgage for their share of the property. We can provide more information on this process if you’re interested.

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.

26. If my home is in phase one, when can I move back to Friary Park?

If you tell us you’re interested in returning, we’ll let you know as soon as a suitable new home becomes available.

27. How many people will need to move off the estate in Phase 1?

The first phase includes the demolition of approximately 68 properties. Residents of these properties will need to move off the estate. They will have the choice to make a permanent move elsewhere or to move back once suitable property becomes available in a later phase.

28. Can adult children get their own flat and the main tenant downsize?

This can be reviewed on an individual basis – you’ll be able to discuss this with the regeneration officer managing your re-housing.
Back to top

About the new homes

29. How many more new homes will there be?

The exact number is still under discussion but we are aiming for approximately 470 new homes plus 236 shared living apartments.

30. What will the mix of new homes be?

We are proposing to build:

  • 201 social rent homes, including:
    – 58 x 1-bed
    – 86 x 2-bed
    – 38 x 3-bed
    – 15 x 4-bed
  • 86 shared ownership homes, including
    – 19 x 1-bed
    – 66 x 2-bed
    – 1 x 3-bed
  • 189 homes for market sale including:
    – 51 x 1-bed
    – 125 x 2-bed
    – 11 x 3-bed
    – 2 x 5-bed
  • 236 apartments for shared living.

 

31. What mix of flat sizes are you proposing?

The proposed new mix is a balance between the housing needs of the current community and Ealing’s planning policy. The result will be more bedrooms and bed spaces for social rent than currently exist on the estate.

32. Why can’t you say how many build-to-rent apartments there will be?

We are currently negotiating with the GLA and Ealing Council about the size and type of build-to-rent homes on Friary Park. When we conclude these negotiations in advance of the planning application we will be able to provide more details.

33. Will you be replacing each affordable rent home with another affordable rented home?

There are currently 225 social rent homes on our estate. We are proposing to build 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.

34. Why are you cutting the number of homes at social rents?

Our aim is to improve the living condition of our existing tenants, provide more high quality affordable housing for local people and create a sustainable balanced community on Friary Park.

The 201 new social rented homes have more bedrooms to meet the demand for family-sized units from current residents. As a result there will be more bedspaces in social rented housing when the redevelopment is complete, which will better meet the needs of our current and future tenants.

We are also providing more affordable housing by creating 86 new homes available for shared ownership.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. But some of the homes are for sale – 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 lessens the impact on our tenants – meaning that fewer of them will have to move off Friary Park.

38. 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.

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?

Yes.

41. Will the roofs be flat or pitched?

The development will feature a mix of both styles and refer to existing buildings in the area, the history of the site and the character of the surrounding neighbourhood. With this in mind, some roofs will be pitched and others flat.

42. 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.

 43. 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.

44. Will the new homes have separate kitchens?

We are developing various designs. We anticipate that some homes will have open plan living/dining/kitchen areas and some will have the option for separation of the kitchen.

45. 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.
Back to top

The vision for the new neighbourhood

46. 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.

47. How high is the tallest part of the proposed development?

In the 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.

48. Why so high?

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, market rent and shared ownership. Our proposals are in line with both Mayoral and Council planning policies, which indicate that they will look favourably on future applications for taller buildings in the area to respond to the opportunities created by Crossrail and other local developments.

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.

49. Will a tall building create shadows and strong winds around it?

Shadows from the tallest building will fall over the railway line and not neighbouring homes owing to its location within the development. 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.

50. Do tall buildings cause social problems?

The difference between our proposals and some other tall buildings, is that residents in our buildings will have chosen to live there as the homes are for sale and market rent. This means they will literally buy into the idea of living in a tall building.

We appreciate that tall buildings do require a considered approach to management to ensure that they are successful. We have strategies to make sure the management of all buildings runs smoothly.

51. 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. Parking spaces will be provided for residents who currently have one. The development is next to the station so we do not have to provide parking for all of the new homes.

52. What security will be in place?

We have worked with the Police and Ealing Council’s Community Safety Team as well as residents during the design of the new neighbourhood to ensure that opportunities for crime and anti-social behaviour are minimised.

53. 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.

54. How many shops will there be in the development?

At the ground floor of the development we have a number of non-residential spaces. We are taking a flexible approach as to what the spaces could be used for.

55. What shops will be 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.

56. When will we get a new community centre?

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.

 57. How much parking will be provided?

The current number of parking spaces proposed is approximately 195. We anticipate that all social tenants will have the option to rent a parking space on the new development, as not everybody will want one. There will not be dedicated parking spaces for residents of the shared living accommodation. To ensure that surrounding streets are not overwhelmed with additional parked cars, it is usual for the Council to prohibit residents of developments from applying for parking in surrounding Controlled Parking Zones. A limited number of parking spaces will be available for residents living in the shared ownership and private sale accommodation to buy. A management plan will be put in place to ensure parking within the estate does not cause disruption.
Back to top

The wider area

58. 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.

59. 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 Build-to-Rent properties will not be suitable for families and therefore will put little additional pressure on schools and local health services.

60. 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.

61. 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.
Back to top

Recent changes to the plans

62. What are the changes to the plans?

In the time since the last consultation we have confirmed that the properties on The Drive will be included in our submission. The foot print and materials for the majority of buildings remain largely the same. The main changes to our proposals are;

  • Footprint of the block facing the new station is slightly smaller leaving a wider entrance to Emmanuel Avenue.
  • An additional floor on the tallest building bringing it up to it 17 storeys.
  • An additional floor has also been added to two of the other buildings bringing them up to 15 floors.
  • Internal spaces have been altered to re-balance liveable space and communal space. Less communal space equals lower service charge.
  • 24 units are changing tenure from social rent to shared ownership homes. As a result there are 24 fewer social rented homes than the 225 we previously said we would re-provide. The 201 social rented homes we are building will include family size units so there are actually more habitable rooms in social rented homes than there are currently.
  • The new plans will see us able to have 5 phases to the redevelopment instead of 3. This arrangement reduces the number of people who have to move off the estate and provides more socially rented housing for families earlier in the redevelopment.
  • The community facilities will now be in a different part of the redevelopment.

63. How have the numbers changed?

We are now delivering 201 social rent homes, 86 shared ownership and 189 for sale homes. The change in numbers from our previous proposal is shown below:

  • 24 fewer social rented homes
  • 39 more shared ownership homes
  • 9 more for sale homes

In addition, we are proposing to include 236 shared living apartments. Shared living is a new type of housing model that is aimed at single people seeking to rent a property at a price they can afford whilst enjoying the benefits of large community areas and high quality kitchens. We know that there’s a demand for this kind of accommodation locally. Many people choose to share communal and kitchen spaces for social and budgetary reasons. 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.

64. How have the internal layouts changed?

We have reduced the internal communal areas – like stairwells, corridors and bin stores – to increase the size of the living areas in the new homes. Reducing the size of the communal areas will help to keep service charges down.

65. Why have you changed the plans?

Firstly, the outline of the plans has changed very little since the previous consultation. The foot print and materials for the majority of buildings all remain the same. The main changes are;

  • Footprints of the block facing the station which is now slightly smaller leaving a wider entrance to Emmanuel Avenue.
  • An additional floor on the tallest building bringing it up to it 17 storeys.
  • An additional floor has also been added to two other buildings bringing them up to 15 floors.
  • Internal spaces have been altered to balance liveable space and communal space. Less communal space helps to keep service charge lower.
  • 24 units are changing tenure from social rent to shared ownership homes. As a result there are 24 fewer social rented homes than the 225 we previously said we would re-provide. The 201 social rented homes we are building will include family size units so there are actually more habitable rooms in social rented homes than there are currently.

The plans have been changed to meet the needs of existing residents and provide more social rented homes earlier in the development so that fewer people have to move off the estate before their new home is ready.

66. Why has there been a delay in the process?

Following our previous round of consultation in 2015 we have negotiating with the owners of the properties on The Drive. Having reached agreement with them we have spent some time revising our proposals to make best use of the available land.

67. How much did you pay residents of The Drive?

The agreement is a standard options agreement. We will not be disclosing the agreed sum because it is a private business agreement between Catalyst and the owners.

68. Will the designs change any more between the February 2017 event and the planning submission?

We do not anticipate any major changes between now and submitting our planning application. Any refinement of the plans or changes required by planning committee will be communicated in future newsletters.

69. What’s happening to the properties on The Drive?

The properties on The Drive have now been incorporated into the proposed masterplan. If we are granted planning permission they will be demolished and new homes built on the site.

70. What about the ground floor uses, have they changed?

No, we still aim to have active uses on the ground floor. These uses will be flexible and will include a community facility as well as other uses which could include shops, cafes and a gym.

71. 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.
Back to top

The regeneration process

73. When are you going to submit the planning application?

We’ve postponed the submission of our planning application. This is due to the additional time we’ve spent working on our final submission. This also took us into the pre general election period, when councils weren’t meeting and we were unable to have some of the necessary discussions.

We anticipate being able to pick up where we left off after the election and submit by the end of July 2017.

Our Rehousing team will continue to work with Phase 1 residents on their options, but the delay means we may extend the deadline for rehousing.

74. How many new homes will be in Phase 1A?

We plan to create 31 new homes in Phase 1A.

75. This is a big construction project, will you build it all out at once?

No. We will be regenerating the estate in five phases. We have planned it this way to maximise the number of the number of current residents who can move straight from their current home into a new home.

76. Will you be demolishing the existing buildings in phases too?

Yes, the existing estate will be demolished in phases to make way for each phase of new homes.

77. 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.
Back to top

Involving the local community

78. How have residents been involved?

We have undertaken extensive consultation since November 2014 and have been holding workshops and exhibitions to get residents’ input on our proposals. We have also run sessions for older people, young people, mothers with young children and non-English speakers.

The Friary Park Residents’ Steering Group formed to represent residents’ needs and preferences around the regeneration and we meet with them regularly.

Now we have reached agreement with the owners of the properties on The Drive, and have revised our plans we are holding an information session to update you on the changes before we submit our planning application.

We’ll be sending a newsletter to every home and will keep our website up to date with the latest news on our proposals.

79. 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.
Back to top

About shared living

80. 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.

81. Why are shared living apartments now 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.

82.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.

82. 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.

83. 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 built for market rent, and 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.

84. 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 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.

85. 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 chosen to do so, and will have ample communal space to balance out the size of their private space.

86. 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.

87. 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.

88. 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. 

89. What will the rent be for shared living apartments?

Rents for shared living apartments will be set at 80% of 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.

Back to top