Redbridge Council enters into partnership with developer over Ilford regeneration

Redbridge Council is entering a 50:50 partnership with developer Countryside for a regeneration project to build “up to 1,000” new homes in Ilford.

The partnership, formally announced yesterday, will transform the gyratory system near Ilford Station, also revising its traffic system, and is a project the council has discussed for several years.

While at a cabinet meeting on September 6, council leader Jas Athwal said  860 new homes could “potentially” be delivered through the scheme, yesterday’s statement described “approximately 1,000” new homes.

A council spokesperson has clarified that these figures only indicate the “range of possibilities” at this point in time.

They added: “As the scheme is delivered over a 10-year period it is likely that there will be changes in number to react to changes in demand and market conditions.”

Bird\’s eye view of the masterplan

Countryside also confirmed that any figures provided at this stage are “approximate” as the final designs will be subject to the planning process.

The council’s report on the selection process approved in early September said Countryside was the only bidder to submit a final tender after two of the three shortlisted firms dropped out.

Outline plans show at least eight residential buildings up to sixteen stories tall that would be built in three phases, starting with land at the corner of Ilford Hill and Cranbrook Road, followed by Ilford Chambers on Chapel Road and finishing with the gyratory island.

Alongside the new homes and commercial space, the council plans to redesign the two-way system to direct most traffic around the south of the gyratory island, adding more pedestrian crossings that lead to a landscaped public space at the centre.

Countryside and the council have promised to carry out a “detailed consultation programme” with the public and to hand decision-making responsibilities to a youth council and legacy committee before work begins in spring 2024.

Mark Baigent, the council’s corporate director of regeneration, said Countryside’s selection marks a “significant step forward” in the council’s ambitious vision for Ilford, which is “rapidly fulfilling its potential” following the opening-up of the Elizabeth Line station.

Mike Woolliscroft, group co-chief executive at Countryside, added: “We are thrilled to have been selected as the preferred bidder by the London borough of Redbridge to deliver the regeneration of Ilford Western Gateway.

“As a partnerships-based business, our commitment to delivering high quality, sustainable mixed-tenure communities is unwavering.

“We look forward to delivering much needed homes, alongside creating extensive community facilities in order to help support the council’s wider transformation of Ilford town centre.”

In January this year, Countryside ousted its chief executive Iain McPherson after its year on year operating profits halved to £16.5million.

A day before Redbridge selected Countryside as its joint-venture partner on September 6, the developer agreed a £1.3billion merger with larger housebuilding rival Vistry Group.

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter