Plans to redevelop Ham Close are moving forward, following approval of a formal development ‘Collaboration Agreement’ between the Council and Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP).

At a cabinet meeting earlier this week, members agreed proposals for the Council to sell land and enter into an agreement with RHP to enable a proposal for redevelopment to come forward. This decision follows a review of the scheme over the summer where it became clear that to be financially viable the scheme would require circa 450 units.

The proposal is to replace the 192 existing homes on Ham Close with new homes for the current RHP tenants and leaseholders as well as provide additional properties, including new affordable homes for both rent and Shared Ownership.

Members agreed the terms of which the Council will sell the land to enable the development to happen, the receipts of which will be recycled into the scheme. The Council will also be providing grant funding to support the provision of affordable housing.

The Collaboration Agreement will set out a series of Development Principles that both organisations commit to delivering. This includes a minimum number of affordable homes, the provision of new community facilities, to include health facilities and services for children and young people, a commitment for full, open and meaningful engagement with residents on the estate and the wider community.

Further financial feasibility work will now be carried out, alongside the selection of a Development Partner for RHP. It is hoped that consultation on detailed designs will be carried out in the Summer 2019.

Cllr Liz Jaeger, Cabinet Member for Housing at Richmond Council, said: “Over the past few years extensive engagement has been carried out with residents of Ham Close and the local community on a future vision for Ham Close.

"We all want to create new and better homes for all those who currently live in Ham Close. But there is also a huge demand for additional affordable units for other residents in the borough that need a home. To make this happen, the Council is prepared to financially invest. We have committed to continue our conversation with those who live on Ham Close, as well as the wider community, to ensure that we continue on this journey together.”

David Done, Chief Executive for RHP, said: "Providing sustainable and high-quality housing to our existing customers at Ham Close and prospective new customers is something that’s very important to us. We’ve hugely appreciated the feedback and input from our Ham Close customers and the wider community and as our vision for the regeneration progresses we look forward to continue to work closely with them on an ongoing basis.”