First look at new homes and library for Aylesbury

Residents and councillors have had their first glimpse of the new library, health centre and homes being built as part of the Aylesbury regeneration.

Members of the over-55s group of residents, who have been actively involved in shaping elements of the new homes, were present for the event last Thursday (10 March), along with councillors from Southwark Council and senior staff from both Notting Hill Genesis and Vistry Partnerships, the contractors on the site.

The event, which took place at the partly constructed new council library on Thurlow Street, was the first opportunity for the residents and other attendees to view an example of the new homes they will be moving to and see the new library space. They had the chance to check out architect images of the completed project and visit one of the over-55s homes to see the layout.

Creation of this state-of-the-art focal point for a thriving new community is testament to the close partnership work of both Notting Hill Genesis and Southwark Council, who listened to existing residents to ensure we created a hub people could be proud of and where they would enjoy congregating.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for council homes and homelessness at Southwark Council, said: “It was fantastic to see the progress being made on this site, particularly the over-55s homes that our residents have helped design and the wonderful new library that will be part of a raft of new community services in the area.

“These state-of-the-art buildings will offer better and essential services to our local residents and the over-55s homes are among the new social rent homes available on the site, built so residents can afford to stay in the area they know and love.”

John Hughes, Group director of development at Notting Hill Genesis, said:

We want to ensure the regeneration of the Aylesbury estate represents the best interests of local residents and businesses.

“This group of residents have been at the forefront of informing the design of the new homes, attending regular meetings throughout the construction process. This has included selecting tiles and colour palettes to be used in their new homes, as well as giving valuable feedback on bathroom fittings that will enable them to live comfortably and safely. The group also led on a project to create an interim community garden next to the site and planted plants for this.”

Jean Bartlett was one of the residents that have been involved with influencing the design of the new homes and had a first look on Thursday. She said: “It was exciting to see the homes, the library with its impressive ceiling and the health centre. It all has such a lovely design.

I’m really looking forward to moving in as soon as possible. It’s so unique, especially to have these homes specifically for over-55s. There should be more of it.

“I’m downsizing so I will miss having a garden, but that makes me so pleased we are having a roof garden with a big shed. We’re all looking forward to standing out there on New Year's Eve.”

Once the work is complete, the new neighbourhood hub will provide 122 homes - 23 offering social rent housing to over-55s, and 99 for rent through Folio London, Notting Hill Genesis’ market rent arm. The buildings are centred around a new public square, which features water fountains as well as new trees and planting.

The Una Marson Library, named after the local poet, playwright, campaigner for equality and the first black woman programme maker at the BBC, will be an impressive space and offer a quiet workspace with 21 ICT workstations and a dedicated children’s story area.

In addition, a new health centre will offer services from Guy’s and St Thomas’ and GP surgeries. There will also be an early years’ facility for young children, well-being activities and classes for the community, a pharmacy next to the health centre, and a new café.