Interview: Gill Steward from Bexley Council
Fri 28th October 2016, 10:45 am
Bexley Council chief executive Gill Steward answers questions for Sitematch about key development opportunities in the borough.
What are the current key development opportunities in Bexley?
We have a number of very attractive opportunities located across the borough. One of our key areas is Thames City, which will be a new neighbourhood stretching along the Thames riverfront from Abbey Wood to Erith. This new neighbourhood will offer 55 hectares of land for commercial and industrial space and new homes for 1,500 people. Our ambition for this area includes Europe’s largest co-working campus – modelled after Industry City in Brooklyn, New York – and a brand new outlet shopping village.
Sidcup another major opportunity, where we are looking to take advantage of the local arts and culture scene to further develop high-quality leisure and retail activities.
What makes Bexley an attractive place to invest in?
The area will benefit greatly when Crossrail arrives at Abbey Wood. We already have great connections to both central London and Kent, but with Crossrail travelling into London will be even quicker. House prices in Bexley are not as high as central London, making our borough an attractive place for low to medium income households and young families to purchase a property. Furthermore, Bexley is a forward-thinking council, looking to work with innovative and progressive partners to build more homes and increase the quality of life for our residents.
Housebuilding is a key challenge for London. What will Bexley do to increase the number of affordable homes?
We are currently working on our draft growth strategy, which will outline our strategy to increase the number of homes in Bexley. According to the London Plan, we are required to build 500 homes per year. However, our new growth strategy projects we will be building up to 1,500 homes per year. Overall, we aim for 50% of these as affordable.
What are the qualities the council looks for in its private sector partners?
I believe an important quality of a private sector partner is the willingness to commit to a long term partnership, in which lines of communications are always open, and both parties work towards a shared goal. We are looking for those companies that have the experience and know-how to realise innovative mixed-use schemes we propose.
To find out more about opportunities in Bexley, book your meeting with this council at the next Sitematch London event on 8 February 2017 at The Shard. Contact Josie Brewer for more details.