New shelter and social space for Melville Road Allotment
Melville Road Allotment in Rainham is getting a total upgrade of its outdoor shelter, thanks to a project being delivered by Havering Council and Wates Residential.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, was joined by Charlie Wates, Director at Wates Group, to visit the allotment and see first-hand the progress being made on site at an event on 21 March 2022.
Councillor Joshua Chapman, Cabinet Member for Housing, was also in attendance.
The construction of the new shelter, which will be used as a safe space for social gatherings, as well as a range of environmental education projects in the community, is being led by Wates in collaboration with local sub-contractor Proplant.
It forms part of a wider social value programme that is being delivered by the joint venture and that will see total community benefits for the first phase of the scheme at around £6.8 million.
Wates recently delivered a kitchen fit-out for the Havering Association for People with Disabilities (HAD) to support wellbeing and social inclusion for those living with disabilities in the area.
The Napier and New Plymouth site in Rainham will be the first to be completed by the joint venture, with a traditional topping out ceremony held this morning to celebrate the completion of the building’s highest point.
The site will provide 197 high-quality homes for local people, including 126 affordable homes that will be ready to move in this winter.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“I am so pleased to see yet another example of how our joint venture partnership can deliver more than high-quality homes for local people.
“Social value helps to make sure every pound we spend goes further and maximizes the gains through our communities across Havering.
"I hope that visitors to the allotments have years of enjoyment from the new shelter.”
Hugh Jeffery, Regional Development Director at Wates Group said:
“Allotments are proven to provide numerous benefits, be that fresh local produce, boosting wellbeing or encouraging people to get outdoors and stay connected with nature.
"We are committed to delivering a lasting legacy for local residents through this regeneration, with the open spaces and places to meet that the people of Havering have told us they want.
"We hope that this new shelter provides the safe, practical space needed to kickstart a timetable of activities for the community.”
The Melville Road Allotment is run by Hornchurch and District Allotment and Gardening Society, the largest in Havering with almost 40 acres of ground and over 1,000 members.
The plots are affordable and were established over 70 years ago to promote good gardening and the growth of local produce in the borough.
The society donates excess produce to local organisations to ensure that the whole community benefits.
The Society has also been awarded a £5,000 grant from the Wates Family Enterprise Trust to prepare a piece of land for a community project that will support young adults with autism, as well as children from a local play group.
Both groups will be taught how to sow and tend to seeds, then how to harvest, prepare and cook what they have grown.