Dolphin Living and the Leader of Westminster City Council marked the final construction stages of the Westbourne Park Baptist Church development, at a Topping Out ceremony held on Monday 18 September.
On completion, the Westbourne Park Baptist Church development will provide a mixed-use scheme comprising of a new church, children’s library, community hall and 32 new rented homes, in a range of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. 100% of the homes are for residents living or working within Westminster and eligible for intermediate housing in Westminster. 22 of the homes will be made available through the innovative Westminster Home Ownership Accelerator Scheme developed in partnership between the City Council and Dolphin Living.
The development, designed by Allies and Morrison and located on the corner of Westbourne Park Villas and Porchester Road, will not only provide much needed affordable housing, but will also enable Westbourne Park Baptist Church, a constant presence in the Bayswater area for nearly 150 years, to continue to provide community facilities for the local area. The scheme will also include a new children’s library, located on the quietest part of the site and provided to the City Council on a peppercorn rent for 99 years, which will have an independent entrance to the church.
The design approach has focused on developing a unique vision for the site and presents an ecclesiastical image that creates a greater public presence than the previous building on the site, as well as reconciling the residential accommodation within the new building envelope. The elevation design and massing seek to display both the distinct church and civic functions of the building.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Leader of Westminster City Council said:
Our priority is to ensure that Westminster remains home to vibrant mixed communities that comprise people of all ages and incomes.
To help residents get on the property ladder, we have developed what we call a Westminster Home Ownership Accelerator scheme. In partnership with Dolphin Living, the Council is offering properties at a 65 per cent discount against market rent for a period of three years.
This innovative scheme forms part of our drive to help more working Londoners become home owners- today’s topping out ceremony marks another step in that direction
Olivia Harris, Chief Executive of Dolphin Living said:
We are delighted to mark the topping out of Westbourne Park Baptist Church, which will bring 32 much needed affordable rental homes for working Londoners within the City of Westminster. 22 of these homes will be made available through the Westminster Home Ownership Accelerator, which has already achieved significant success in the nearby Lanhill Road development and homes we purchased and refurbished at Dibdin House.
The Accelerator scheme offers successful applicants the chance to take a three year lease of Dolphin Living’s rental property at 65% of the market rent. This will enable someone to save significantly more towards a deposit during this period and this deposit will then be topped up by Dolphin at the end of their tenancy and when they move into home ownership. Depending on the growth of the London housing market the top up provided by Dolphin Living could be between £21,000 and £54,000 and this will be used towards the purchase of a property within Greater London, either through full or shared ownership.
All properties run by Dolphin for this scheme will continue to be used for the same purpose for 15 years, so the next tenants can benefit from the Accelerator in the same way.
Visit the Westminster Home Ownership Accelerator website for more information