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.

Latest news


In the past month:


  • We have revised the programme for the construction of Phase 2. This will allow us to deliver more homes earlier. We expect our contractors, United Living, to deliver the 91 homes in May 2019. This includes the demolition of Wells and Murchison Houses, enabling the realignment of the road to facilitate the building of Block 6 North.


  • The revised timetable anticipates rehousing all residents of Katherine, Macaulay, Chesterton, Chiltern Houses and Breakwell Court by May 2019; and all residents of Watts House by December 2021.


  • We have written to the residents who will be directly affected by the change in timescale, and will be arranging to meet each household separately to discuss what the changes mean for them.


  • The new timescale takes construction traffic access into detailed consideration. The temporary haul road between Watts House and the Venture Centre will remain in place until the completion of Bond Mansions in 2019. At that point, we can dismantle the haul road and prepare the land for handover to RBKC for the next phase of the park.


  • Under the revised timetable we anticipate that the new community facility will be completed by 2025 at the earliest and 2027 at the latest. We have met with the Director and Board of the Venture Centre to discuss this, and are working closely with RBKC officers and the Venture Centre Team to ensure they can stay open until the new building is ready.


  • The footpath from Portobello Road to Chiltern House, Watts House and Breakwell Court has closed to allow the existing green space to be joined with the new one. Until a new footpath is opened later this month, residents of Chiltern, Watts and Breakwell will enter and leave via Wornington Road.


  • There are 16 tenants still to move into Hardy Mansions. We hope that some of these will be able to  move into their new homes within the next month, and we will be updating each household on timescales.


  • Demolition of 65-96 Pepler House, Edward Kennedy House and 192/194 Wornington Road is complete. Erith are levelling off the ground and installing a temporary boundary with the railway and will have left the site by the middle of this month.


In the next month:

  • We are offering briefings to local ward councillors and council officers about the new timescale for the construction of Phase 2.


  • We will be arranging to meet soon with those residents who will need to be rehoused within the next two years, to discuss housing needs, preferences and re-housing options.


  • Bonchurch Road and Faraday Road will be adopted by RBKC and opened to the public following the inspection with the Council’s highways department in May. This will open up additional parking for residents.


  • The additional green space next to Portobello Road will be handed back to the Council in May subject to a final inspection with the Parks Department.


  • The next regeneration drop in is to be held at Portobello Hall on the 29th May.


  • The next RSG meeting is to be held on 25 May.