Registered social landlords have put forward expressions of interest in 4500-home scheme

Housing associations have signalled their determination to take a lead as developers by putting in Olympic village bids.

A number of London’s leading registered social landlords have put forward expressions of interest in the project, which looks set to become the UK’s highest-profile housing development.

The centrepiece of the Olympic site will be the 4500-home village, which will be used as accommodation for athletes before being converted into housing for sale and rent. About 40% the units will be earmarked for affordable housing when the Games are over.

Interested parties had until last Friday to respond to a tender notice in the Official Journal of the European Union by London and Continental Railways, which owns the Stratford City site where the village will be built.

Shopping centre specialist developer Westfield will build the first, predominantly retail, phase of the 111,000 m² development.

LCR and Westfield are seeking partners to build the remaining phases of the scheme, including the village.

A consortium of Circle Anglia and the Genesis and Affinity Housing Groups has expressed an interest in the project. The East Thames and Southern Housing Groups have also submitted bids.

Steve Coleman, Genesis development director, said:

“RSLs have strong balance sheets. If a large part of the site is affordable housing, there’s no reason why the project should not be led by RSLs, which can bring in commercial developers.”

Alan Cherry, Countryside Properties chairman, said his company has also submitted an expression of interest. He stressed that Countryside had a long-standing interest in the site.

But Hammerson and George Wimpey have ruled out bidding for the project. Graham Dodds, Wimpey business development director, said: “It would be incredibly complex, given the resources and the timetable.”