Mayor confirms new homes for long-term private rent in Elephant&Castle

31 October 2014

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, with developers Mace, and Canadian residential and hospitality owner operators Realstar, has confirmed work is to begin on one of the largest long-term rental developments in the capital at Newington Butts in Elephant and Castle, a site owned by the Greater London Authority.


Over the last decade the number of households privately renting has increased to around two million Londoners, but the capital has few purpose built rented schemes in comparison to North America and Europe.


Harnessing the benefits of long term institutional investment, work in Elephant and Castle is set to begin in January with 457 high quality new homes. This includes 278 homes for private rent with a fantastic range of amenities, due to be completed by 2018.


The Mayor has set a number of policies in his housing strategy to encourage institutional investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, in the long-term rented market, to support longer term leases and more stability for tenants as well as top quality, well designed, new developments.


The Newington Butts site, in London’s zone 1, was among 670 hectares of surplus public land taken on by the Mayor in 2012, more than 85 per cent of which has now been moved into the development pipeline. The new development will include 179 low cost homes for rent and shared ownership, being delivered by social housing provider Peabody.


In September the Mayor announced two further Greater London Authority owned sites, Silvertown Way in Canning Town and Pontoon Dock in Newham which are now being brought forward for institutionally backed private rented sector homes.


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “With London's unprecedented population growth, housing supply and affordability is now our biggest challenge and we need to double the number of homes being built. This requires a radical rethink and it is time for new approaches like this, which not only help build more homes in the heart of the city, but also improve choice and quality for Londoners. Capitalising on London’s undeveloped public land I want to entice more institutional investors to come forward and invest in quality homes for Londoners, boosting the economy and creating thousands of new jobs.”


Chief Operating Officer of Mace Investment, David Grover, said, “I am delighted to be partnering with Ryan Prince and his team at Realstar, who have a wealth of experience delivering PRS housing that can be applied here and there is a real synergy in our vision for the development. Since Mace was selected as the GLA’s partner for Newington Butts, we have been working through the options for this complex project to deliver much needed housing for the capital. With our other housing partner, Peabody, we are now able to move forward and deliver an iconic piece of real estate, which will be a strong addition to the London skyline, reinforcing the capital’s position as a major city in the world to live in and work.”


Ryan Prince, Vice Chairman of Realstar Group International, said: "Renting is changing for the better in London and this is the latest example of the development of high quality privately rented accommodation in a landmark, central location. This tower property, which will form part of the wider regeneration of Elephant and Castle, will help to meet the growing demand for this type of accommodation in the capital and become a central part of our growing portfolio of high quality rented property in some of London's most sought-after areas. This agreement also paves the way for the launch of Realstar Living, a residential owner and operator, which will provide Londoners with even greater choice, convenience and flexibility in the rental market.”


Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive of the Peabody Group, said: “This landmark development forms a key part of the regeneration of Elephant and Castle, alongside improvements to transport and the creation of thousands of jobs and homes. Peabody is proud to play a major role in this transformation, and are pleased to be working with our partners to help deliver the Mayor’s vision for future living in London. We have been at the heart of Southwark for almost 150 years and continue to provide high quality, affordable homes for Londoners, which will benefit the community for generations to come.”


The Mayor and Southwark Council are currently overseeing a £3 billion transformation of the Elephant and Castle area, the southern gateway to central London, which will see around 5,000 new homes delivered, 1650 of them affordable. The plans, including an overhaul of the transport interchange and the creation of more open spaces, will also create around 5,000 new jobs. 

Notes to editors

• Since the Mayor took on 670 hectares of public land in 2012, a record 85 per cent of it is now developed or in the process of development. His sites, including Trenchard House in Soho, Cane Hill in Croydon, Lymington Fields in Dagenham, St Clements and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Tower Hamlets, Catford Greyhound Stadium in Lewisham, and Greenwich Square in Greenwich, have already boosted the London economy by £3.2bn.


• The Mayor’s Housing Strategy, launched in November 2013, sets out that where appropriate, Mayoral Land Assets should be used to encourage institutional investment in the private rented sector in a way that accelerates the delivery of and improves the design quality and management of PRS homes. For more information visit:


• The Mayor published his London Rental Standard in July 2013 which aims to achieve a fairer deal for London’s tenants and landlords. The Mayor has achieved industry-wide support for his scheme which sets a benchmark for tenants and landlords alike to measure quality of service in the private rental sector. For more information visit:


• Silvertown Way in Canning Town, Newham is a 2.1 hectare site which was previously vacant land. It will become more than 1,000 homes including 347 private rented. Pontoon Dock is a 0.69 hectare site within the Royal Docks, also in the London Borough of Newham. The site is currently a public car park and coach stand that will be transformed into more than 200 homes to include 137 private rented sector homes. About Mace:


• Mace is an international consultancy and construction company employing over 4,100 people, across 70 countries with a turnover in excess of £1.18bn. Mace’s business is programme and project management, cost consultancy, construction delivery and facilities management and is truly multi-disciplinary with services spanning the entire property and infrastructure lifecycle.


• Newington Butts is a further significant step in Mace’s future growth, with the company initiating and investing in projects both in London and around the UK.


• Mace now has direct investment in over 1100 residential units (mostly in development and already sold) and further development sites around the UK that add significantly to that total providing also wider mixed use urban regeneration.


• Mace has three strategic sectors serving clients in the private, public and infrastructure sectors and five strategic hubs in Europe, Middle East & North Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Sub-Sahara Africa that service over 70 countries. For more information visit: About Realstar:


• Realstar has a 40 year international proven track record in the provision of residential and hospitality developments, and has been active in the UK for the past 12 years. In that time, in addition to its ownership of hotels and healthcare centres, it has built up a portfolio of high quality residential and student accommodation across London. Realstar Living is PRS owner and operator with sites in Hackney Wick, Shoreditch, Stockwell Park, Wandsworth Town and Clapham Common. Its approach to renting is all about convenience and reliability, ensuring the rental experience is made easier, friendlier and more flexible for tenants. About Peabody


• Peabody has been creating opportunities for people in London since 1862, when it was established by the American banker and philanthropist, George Peabody. Our mission is to ensure that as many people as possible have a good home, a real sense of purpose and a strong feeling of belonging. We work solely in London, with a presence in the majority of London boroughs. We own and manage around 27,000 homes, providing affordable housing for over 80,000 people. As well as bricks and mortar, we provide a wide range of community programmes for our residents and neighbourhoods, including help with employment and training, health and wellbeing projects, family support programmes, welfare benefits advice and activities for younger and older people. We are committed to sustained investment in affordable housing, and recently issued a £350m bond to develop new homes, regenerate existing estates and provide more services. From next year, we will deliver over 1,000 new homes a year. The majority of these will be for affordable and social rent, and the rest will be sold on the open market to fund more social and affordable housing and community investment.