Essential Living plans UK’s first family-focused rental project

Plans to deliver the UK’s first private rental scheme designed specifically for families have been submitted by Essential Living to the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The developer and manager of private rented homes has unveiled its 1.2-acre, 249-home Greenwich Creekside development following extensive community engagement.

The Assael Architects scheme – between Copperas Street and Deptford Creek – includes a wealth of new public realm, with more than two-thirds of the site covered by high quality landscaped spaces and child’s play areas.

A block 60 two and three-bedroom homes, offering additional storage, extra acoustic insulation and large child friendly balconies, will be marketed solely for family use – a first in the UK property market. It will include an on-site nursery, rooftop grow gardens and exercise equipment together with bike storage and repair.

The affordable housing proposals offer 25 percent of the scheme for discount market rent. This fully integrated solution means the affordable homes will be distributed throughout the development, with all tenants having access to the same specification of flats, amenities and crucially, sharing the same entrances, in order to create a balanced and sustainable community.

By providing a wealth of genuinely useful facilities and amenity spaces across its projects, the company hopes to encourage renters to stay for the long term, raising consumer expectations across the rented sector.

As well as long-term tenancies, renters will have certainty around any rent changes during the lifetime of their tenancy.

Since the homes will not be sold off, the company has an incentive to maximize the amount of time tenants stay. It plans to accomplish this by offering high quality service and direct, onsite management, with incentives for tenants signing up to longer leases.

Creekside East is set to be one of the company’s signature schemes, featuring a new creekside promenade, a pocket park and amenity space, much of which will be accessible to the wider community.

Essential Living recently agreed a major £52m funding deal with the Homes & Communities Agency, as part of government plans to speed up the delivery of homes for rent. The funding will support Essential Living’s pipeline of 5,000 rented homes across London and the South East.

Quentin Keeble, development director at Essential Living, said:

“Greenwich as a place has a very unique demographic and that’s why it’s the perfect place to showcase a new type of rental product created around family living. We want to create something that will resonate with the existing community but raise the bar of expectation across the rental market.”

“Our focus is on the long term success of the places we create, since we’re not just selling them on, we’re managing them. A critical part of this is how we connect with the neighbouring community. For us, success is ensuring tenants stay for as long as possible, which is more likely if they have friends upstairs, next door and across the road.”