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East Thames appointed to £200m Ocean regeneration

The East Thames Consortium has been formally selected as development partner for the £200 million Ocean Estate regeneration in east London.

The team – made up of East Thames Group, Wates, Bellway Homes, First Base and Spitafields Housing Association – will work on the huge project in Mile End for Tower Hamlets Council.

It will involve demolishing 342 homes to make way for more than 800 new ones, about half of which will be for affordable rent and shared ownership.

There will also be external refurbishments to the blocks on the estate, while the 780 remaining council flats will be brought up to the Decent Homes standard. A new town centre, retail spaces and community facilities will be provided.

Tower Hamlets Council lead member for housing and development, councillor Marc Francis, said: “We are pleased to announce East Thames Consortium as our partner for the Ocean. We are determined to see this scheme go ahead and this decision is a significant step forward for Ocean’s regeneration plans.

“There will be a series of key milestones that need to be achieved over the next few months, and every one of them takes us one step closer to construction starting on site so we can deliver the new homes.”

The outline planning application will be submitted to council in the next few weeks, with further consultations taking place early next year and a decision expected in March 2010.

Funding arrangements are also due to be finalised in March.

A statutory consultation process with affected leaseholders will start this month.

The refurbishment programme got underway in November and a pilot group of 170 homes will be the first to receive the internal improvements. The next phase is due to start in 2010. The programme will continue in phases until 2014.

Ocean’s regeneration scheme will be funded by Tower Hamlets Council, the New Deal for Communities grant and other government grants.