Portobello Square – the regeneration of Wornington Green

Our Portobello Square regeneration project at the Wornington Green estate in Kensington will deliver approximately 1000 mixed tenure new homes for social rent, private sale, and shared ownership.


Wornington Green Estate is owned and managed by Catalyst. The estate originally comprised 538 flats and houses (accommodating approximately 1,700 residents) which were constructed between 1964 and 1985 in predominantly large deck-blocks, typical of public housing of the period.

The estate in its original form had, over several decades, undergone exponential changes in an attempt to address problems arising from both its design and construction methodology; but these had failed to resolve inherent problems with access, security, poor design and layout of homes. The 2006 options appraisal concluded that the complete redevelopment of the estate was the only realistic option to ensure the delivery of better housing for residents.

Our video tells the story of how we recreated the original street pattern for Bonchurch Road as part of the project.

Our plans

Portobello Rd_in page imageOver 10 years Catalyst is regenerating and remodelling the estate creating a sustainable, mixed tenure community. Portobello Square will be built in three phases delivering approximately 1,000 new homes.

  • No loss of social housing. All current tenants will be offered new homes in the development
  • New homes for private sale and shared ownership
  • Social housing is seamlessly integrated with the private to create a truly tenure blind development
  • Creation of shops and community facilities and improved public realm
  • Reintegrating the new neighbourhood into the surrounding street pattern
  • Re-providing the existing council-owned park in the heart of the new neighbourhood

Phase One includes the building of 324 new homes, a mix of 174 for affordable rent and 150 homes for private sale. Work on Phase One started in 2012 and is scheduled for completion in May 2016.

Phase Two was granted planning permission in July 2014 and is due to start on site in early 2017.

You can find out more about the Portobello Square project at the Here and Now website.

Paul House provides space for community projects

Catalyst will be using the premises at Paul House, Ladbroke Grove, as the base for a range of projects that support and empower the local community until the time comes to demolish it.

This will provide more services and opportunities for local residents delivered by our Catalyst Gateway Team. Support for children, young people and families and access to financial inclusion services and help to find employment can now be provided from this refurbished space at Wornington Green. It may also be used as a meeting place for residents once the current residents’ room is demolished.

Projects update

During July

  • Goodbye Friendship Centre – Hello Portobello Hall: Since purchasing the former Open Door Friendship Centre last month we have had the decorators in. The new name, Portobello Hall, is shown on new sign above the door. The Hall will be used for a range of activities including residents meetings, events and activities (currently held in the residents’ room) and a space for the Community Health Champions project.
  • Re/Making the street re/made in Portobello Hall: Part of the Re/Making the Street exhibition has been moved from the Building Centre where is has been on display for the last month and will be displayed in Portobello Hall.
  • Demolition of Edward Kennedy House and 65-96 Pepler House: Erith, the specialist demolition contractors, have been appointed to carry out this complicated job. They will be liaising with Network Rail and developing a timetable of pavement and road closures. Once this is agreed we will start communicating to everyone likely to be impacted.

In August

  • Planning for carnival: On 28 July, residents’ representatives went on an estate walkabout with Catalyst’s Area Manager to plan security for the Carnival. We will be writing to all residents explaining the measures we will be putting in place to minimise any potentially negative effects. We wish everyone a happy and safe Carnival.
  • Another year of the Homework Club: Catalyst will be funding the homework club at the Venture Centre for another year. Weekly term-time support sessions will commence in September. Over the last year 35 local children have gained over 100 hours of extra tuition.
  • Here & Now: The Summer 2016 edition of Here & Now will be distributed to homes and businesses in the area this week.