Greenwich council picks consortium to tackle rundown estate after hesitating for almost six months

Greenwich council has ended months of speculation by awarding a £750m contract to regenerate the rundown Ferrier Estate to a team led by Berkeley Homes and RSL Southern Housing Group.

The council has hesitated for almost six months between the Berkeley bid and a consortium led by Crest Nicholson. Its decision ends rumours that it was planning to ask the two bidders to join forces.

The scheme will create 4398 homes, many of which will be affordable, along with education facilities and up to 2000 jobs and training opportunities.

The council’s cabinet committee made its decision on 23 December after a year-long process of whittling down the shortlist, which originally included teams led by Countryside and London & Quadrant, Crest Nicholson and Hyde, and Bellway, Taylor Woodrow and Gallions Housing Association.

Councillor Peter Kotz, a member of the housing and neighbourhood renewal cabinet, said: “This is a real milestone, not just in the history of the Kidbrooke area but in the history of the borough as a whole.

“This is one of the biggest regeneration projects London has seen, and will lead to big improvements in quality of life for those who live there.”

This is one of London’s biggest regeneration projects

Peter Kotz, Greenwich council

The council praised the Berkeley Homes and Southern Housing Group bid for its “robust financial model that gives added certainty that the scheme can be delivered”.

Dale Meredith, development director for Southern Housing Group, said the firm was looking forward to the challenge of developing the estate.

He said: "We are delighted. We're very keen on it and there's a real drive for regeneration in the area. Between ourselves, the council and Berkeley we can bring long-term benefits to the area."

One innovative element in the scheme is a village for older people, which is intended to promote independent living. It will include a health and fitness centre, library, technology suite as well as self-contained flats and bungalows.

Meanwhile, RSL Hyde Housing is understood to have won a contract to revamp the Packington Estate in Islington, north London. The decision means developer Urban Splash has been thwarted in its attempt to gain its first scheme in the capital.