Council Leader lays ceremonial brick at landmark Hornchurch development

Published: Monday, 7 March 2022

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, has laid the ‘golden brick’ at a landmark Bellway development which has transformed a former hospital site in Hornchurch.

Councillor Damian White was given the honour of laying the golden brick on the homes being built for the Council at St George’s Park.

Cllr White performed the symbolic duty on Friday 4 March at the development on the former St George’s Hospital site off Suttons Lane, which Bellway bought for more than £40 million in 2018 in what was at the time the biggest land sale in NHS history.

Bellway is delivering 356 new homes at the development, with 280 homes for private sale and 76 affordable homes being built within the development, including 36 for Havering Council, which will be provided for local people through rent or shared ownership.

The Council’s wholly owned development company, Mercury Land Holdings, is project managing the delivery of the new homes in partnership with Bellway.

Other guests at the event included the council’s Director of Housing Patrick Odling-Smee as well as Garry Green and Christopher Hobbs from Mercury Land Holdings.

Cllr White said: “It has been great to visit the site and see first-hand the progress that’s being made.

"Whilst our regeneration projects are going to deliver new homes and communities in the future, we have to address the current shortage.

“Purchasing the new properties at the St George’s Park development, just like those we acquired in July 2020 as part of the Crow Lane development in Romford, will ensure we continue to grow our strong stock of good-quality homes for local families across Havering.

“I am very much looking forward to welcoming Havering families to these new homes soon.’’

Tom Sherriff, Managing Director for Bellway London, said:

“It was a pleasure to welcome Councillor White and his colleagues to St George’s Park for the brick laying ceremony.

"With construction work now well underway, the event was a fitting way to mark another milestone in a project which is delivering hundreds of much-needed homes to the area.

“Bellway is proud to have worked with Havering Council and Mercury Land Holdings to provide 36 affordable homes at the development, giving more local people the opportunity to find a new home while staying close to family and friends in the area.”

Before being turned into a hospital, the site on which the St George’s Park development sits was used as airfield during the Second World War.

Suttons House, a Grade II-listed building on the site, was donated by Bellway to Hornchurch Aerodrome Historical Trust so it could be converted into a museum celebrating the area’s aviation past.

The RAF Hornchurch Heritage Centre opened last year.

Tom continued: “This site is steeped in history and we were keen to respect that by naming the development after the hospital that served the area so well.

"Streets have also been named to celebrate the site’s RAF links

"St George’s Park has proved to be a very popular development, particularly with first-time buyers, and it is wonderful to see a vibrant new neighbourhood taking shape on this historic site.”

More information about St George’s Park