Former newspaper offices to provide low cost homes for shared ownership

Release Date: 15/03/2017

Twenty two new shared ownership homes prioritised for first time buyers together with updated employment space will be created on the site of an office block in Teddington, thanks to partnership working between RHP and Richmond Council.

Last week, planning permission was granted for the re-development of Informer House, 2 High Street in Teddington. The office block was built in the early 1980s and was once occupied by the former local newspaper – The Informer. RHP managed to acquire the building prior to receiving planning permission for affordable housing.

The development, which is being designed by local architects Wimshurst Pelleriti, will provide 22 one and two bed homes for shared ownership prioritised for local residents and workers who cannot afford to buy a property on the open market. The development will also provide commercial space on the ground floor with associated access, parking and landscaping.

Shared ownership is a part-buy, part-rent scheme that gives first time buyers the opportunity to own a share of a property. The home buyer typically uses a mortgage to fund the share they have bought and pays a discounted rent on the remaining share to the housing provider, with the opportunity to purchase additional shares at a later date.

Richmond Council has secured a commitment from RHP to ensure that a proportion of the homes will be affordable to those with a household income not exceeding £45,000.

Richmond Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Lisa Blakemore, said:

“This is very good news for local people trying to get on the housing ladder and the type of scheme that we wish to see more of. Shared ownership is a great option for our residents and workers who can’t afford full market prices and we are ensuring that Richmond residents get first priority for the homes built within our borough.

“We are expecting over 30 more shared ownership homes to be completed over the next 12 months.

“Richmond upon Thames is a challenging borough when it comes to delivering affordable housing. High land values, protected open space and Government policy which allows offices to be converted into residential homes without the benefit of any affordable housing is limiting opportunities.

“However, this development is an example of the Council, working with RHP to create home ownership opportunities for our local residents on what has been an under-used site for several years.”

Robin Oliver, Head of Development at RHP Group, added:

“Investing in good design has enabled us to create far more homes on this site than might otherwise have been possible. We’re due to deliver 69 affordable homes this financial year alone in Richmond upon Thames and we continue to look for new sites in the borough to provide even more. This scheme demonstrates RHP’s continuing commitment to good design as a key component of our strategy to address the housing crisis in London.”

Updated: 21 June 2017