Westminster development will offer ‘compact’ homes at 50% market rent

Pocket will be launching its first affordable rental scheme in the borough of Westminster

Pocket will be launching its first affordable rental scheme in the borough of Westminster - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Westminster City Council will deliver a new-build affordable rental scheme in conjunction with compact home developer Pocket Living.

The development will have 38 units and will be built on the site of a former BT Repeater station on Ashbridge Street, NW8.

Westminster bought the site from previous owner Telereal Trillium with money from section 106 agreements, also known as developer contributions, which are often paid by developers as a way around meeting affordable housing quotas in high end blocks.

The council said that the scheme will be offered as an intermediate housing service for “working households on low to moderate incomes.”

Pocket specialises in building small one-bedroom flats, sometimes known as microhomes, and selling them at a 20 per cent discount on market rate to first-time buyers earning less than £71,000.

This is the developer’s first foray into build-to-rent development and will also feature their first two-bedroom properties, designed for two people, whether sharers or single-parent families.

Nick Williams, operations director at Pocket, said: “Creating an affordable rental product is a natural progression for Pocket. We enable young, hardworking Londoners, we call them ‘city makers’, to live near where they work.

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“City makers are eager to save up and get on the housing ladder but costs and prices are just rising year on year and wages aren’t keeping pace.

“Pocket provides a great solution; our homes are relatively central, close to transport links and are sold with at least a 20 per cent discount to the market.

“An affordable rental product could be a stepping stone to residents owning their own Pocket home.”

Exact details are yet to be decided but Westminster anticipates that rents will be set at around 50 to 60 per cent of market levels and may be linked to household incomes of those registered for intermediate housing within the borough.

To be eligible, applicants must live or work in Westminster and priority will be given to social housing tenants wishing to move to intermediate housing, MOD staff and other priority households on Westminster’s housing waiting list.

Further sites in Westminster are being considered for similar Pocket rental schemes and the developer is in discussion with other London boroughs who require intermediate housing.