Social housing opposite Lord's named after cricket legend W.G. Grace

Competition winner Barry Mitchell and W.G. Grace (inset)

Competition winner Barry Mitchell and W.G. Grace (inset) - Credit: Beth Crockett Photography/PA

A social housing development for over-55s in St John’s Wood, opposite Lord's Cricket Ground, will be named after one of the game's greatest players.

In a nod to cricket legend W.G. Grace, 170 homes – 90% of them affordable – will fall under the banner of Grace House, following a competition of local residents.

The redevelopment of Dora House, as it was previously known, in Lodge Road is expected to open by the end of 2022.

Barry Mitchell, 71, who lived at Dora House for five years, provided the winning entry in the renaming contest.  

He said the new title brings together the site’s cricketing heritage, being virtually opposite the Grace Gates at Lord's, and also Central and Cecil’s (C&C) use of female names for some of its sheltered housing schemes.

Designs for Grace House

Designs for Grace House - Credit: C&C

The housing association’s chief executive Julia Ashley said: “Grace House is the perfect name for a new development that we are proud to be associated with.   

“The building has ample grace and style about it and will play a strong part in creatively reimagining what affordable housing can look like for over-55s in London.” 

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The site will have 170 homes, 153 of them (90%) being affordable under the government’s definition. The remaining units will be rented out on the private market.

The building will include a video security system, an underground car park, and charging points for electric vehicles and mobility scooters. 

Solar panels to help provide renewable energy will be installed on the roof and there will be Wi-Fi throughout.  

There will also be a communal lounge, several gardens including one on the roof, a dedicated “activity zone”, a café, a salon, and three "respite and rehabilitation units".

Competition winner Barry Mitchell, flanked by Tony Bacon and Julia Ashley from C&C

Beth Crockett Photography - Credit: Beth Crockett Photography

The former Dora House was a 205-home 1960s sheltered housing scheme. Plans for its redevelopment were approved by Westminster Council. 

Residents from the old building have the right to return to the new development when it opens. Others have to apply to Westminster Council through the housing department. 

The homes are only available to over-55s who are eligible for affordable housing. When the building is nearer completion C&C will release further details on how people can apply to live there.

William Gilbert Grace (1848-1915) was one of cricket's greatest ever players. He played first-class cricket for a record-equalling 44 seasons during which he captained England, Gloucestershire and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

The development at Grace House is aiming to open in 2022

The development at Grace House is aiming to open in 2022 - Credit: Beth Crockett Photography