‘Topping out’ marked at new Hornchurch retirement village

Councillor Williamson lays cement at Solar Serena and Sunrise Court site
L-R: Adrian Fennessy, Hugh Jeffery from Wates Residential, with Councillor Graham Williamson, Cabinet Lead for Regeneration and Development, Paul Walker, Havering Council, Councillor Paul Middleton, Baerbel Schuett, from Wates, and Neil Stubbings, Director of Regeneration, Havering Council
Published: Monday, 26 September 2022

A "topping-out" ceremony was held at the former Solar, Serena and Sunrise site in Hornchurch last week (Wednesday, 21 September 2022).

The ceremony was attended by Councillor Graham Williamson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, along with Councillor Paul Middleton, Cabinet Member for Corporate, Culture and Leisure Services and his St Andrews Ward colleagues Councillors Gerry O’Sullivan and Bryan Vincent.

The topping out ceremony is a time-honoured tradition that means the successful completion of the structural phase of the project in South Hornchurch, marking the moment it reaches its highest point.

The Solar Serena Sunrise scheme will create a high-quality older persons retirement village in the heart of Hornchurch, next to Harrow Lodge Park, and is part of the regeneration project being delivered by the joint venture between Havering Council and Wates Residential that covers 12 sites across our borough

175 new properties will be provided for the over 55’s, including new council rented homes, shared ownership homes and properties for sale, with new homes to be available for local residents from Summer 2023

Councillor Graham Williamson, Cabinet Lead for Regeneration, was presented with an engraved silver trowel by Baerbel Schuett, Development Director for Wates Residential, to mark the occasion.

Councillor Williamson said:

“It is great to be on site today to see the progress being made on the first retirement village for Havering.

“The joint venture between Havering Council and Wates Residential continues to go from strength to strength, and we are committed to working with them to deliver high quality homes, but also, jobs and training opportunities through our social value programme.

“As the new Cabinet Member for Regeneration, I’m keen to develop our ambitious plan to accelerate the wider opportunities linked to the building of these vibrant new homes for local people.”

The Solar, Serena and Sunrise development will be the second to be completed as part of the larger 12 Estates regeneration programme.

The first, at Napier and New Plymouth in Rainham, now known as ‘New Green’ will welcome local people back to the brand new 197 high-quality homes in December.

Since work began on the site, it has also invested more than £36,205,386 in social value in the Havering community, including over £81,097 with local charities and community causes.

Hugh Jeffery, Regional Development Director for Wates Residential, said:

“This important milestone, celebrating progress on site, brings the prospect of these new homes being lived in by local people who are approaching, or have reached, retirement age even closer.

“Here in Hornchurch, Wates is building warm and efficient homes that will soon be enjoyed alongside a residents’ lounge and outdoor spaces that promote and enhance biodiversity.”

The wider £1.5 billion regeneration project will span the next decade, delivering 3,500 new homes across the borough, including Waterloo Estate and Queens Street in Romford and Serena, Solar and Sunrise Courts in Hornchurch.

Read more about Serena Solar and Sunrise