Families are celebrating the opening of Bexley’s first ‘home zone’ as part of the £120m regeneration of Erith Park.
The home zone, which is a street designed to meet the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children and residents and where the speeds and access of cars is reduced, provides residents with a social space where people can meet and where children can play safely.
Orbit South and Wates Living Space, who have developed Erith Park in partnership with London Borough of Bexley and architects Broadway Malyan, designed the home zone which is a first for the borough and the partners involved.
Orbit is encouraging customers, who have been moving into the new homes since December, to use the area for playing, socialising and community activities by holding a series of ‘playing out’ days for people to meet each other and get to know about the space.
Caroline Field, regeneration project manager for Orbit, explained: “The home zone is an innovative way to encourage all residents to integrate, whether they are on foot, in a car or children playing. This is a first for Bexley, and shows how best-use of space can help bring more benefits to a community.”
Audrey Kadema, who has recently moved into Downton Mews at Erith Park, said: “The home zone is a great, quiet area and looks very nice so far. It’s a good and safe place for my children to play.”
Allan Cox, Director of Landscape Architecture at Broadway Malyan, said: “We are delighted with the implementation of this innovative design, which Orbit and Wates have supported all along, and which we hope will be the centrepiece of the new community.”
The transformation of Erith Park is being delivered by Orbit Group, in partnership with Wates Living Space, London Borough of Bexley and the local community. It has been given £23million affordable housing funding by the Greater London Authority (GLA). The site was formerly known as the Larner Road estate, which had a large number of single occupancy flats and suffered from high crime levels, making it undesirable for many local families.
The first part of the major regeneration project will deliver 343 new homes, including three and four-bedroom family homes with gardens. Erith Park will provide a mix of homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale, and will include 60 of the original households who have chosen to remain in the area.
Phase 2 of the scheme will include 244 homes and Orbit anticipates starting on site this summer.