Construction approved for two housing projects in London

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Pocket, a builder of micro-homes aimed at first-time buyers, has received permission for two housing projects in London with over 500 units. The approvals include the city’s first rental scheme, a 457-home build-to-rent project on Atlas Road from the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation.

The Atlas Wharf scheme was designed by Grid Architects. It will consist of three buildings connected by a ground-floor podium. Consequently, it will provide studio, one-, two-, and three-bed flats, 35% of which will be rented at reduced rates. The Grand Union Canal-adjacent project was also forwarded for planning in December of last year. It will include resident amenity spaces, cycle storage, and ground floor commercial and retail uses,

The second permission, from Barnet council, is for a 60-home scheme with up to five storeys in Finchley. 56 of them will be intermediate affordable homes priced 20% below the local market. The homes will remain affordable in perpetuity due to lease conditions. Tony Fretton Architects designed the project.

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The housing projects in London

The approvals will be welcome news for Pocket, which blamed building and planning issues for its £18.9 million loss for the 2021 calendar year on a summer turnover of £17.6 million. Pocket co-founder Marc Vlessing stated at the time that the company had suffered from the industry’s rampant cost inflation. He however stated that the company had faced broader “political, administrative, and financial” challenges. This led to planning in particular taking “too long” given recent changes to the London plan.

“These homes will be thoughtfully designed and based on the Pocket ethos of good quality at an affordable price,” said Pocket Living development director Thomasin Renshaw. The amenity space and its ability to foster a sense of community are central to BtR developments. We’ve been providing these kinds of stylish spaces for the last 15 years. This was long before the UK BtR sector was established.”

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