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Demolition starts on new Family Welcome Centre site

Group of people in safety clothing in front of the remains of abercrombie house
Councillor McGeary (centre), Councillor Williamson (to his left) and Councillor Brown (fourth from right), joined by Council colleagues and M&M Demolition staff
Published: Thursday, 22 June 2023

Demolition has begun at the former site of Abercrombie House in Harold Hill, which is set to become Havering’s new Family Welcome Centre and Health Centre.

Councillor Paul McGeary, Councillor Graham Williamson and Councillor Patricia Brown visited the site with council officers on Thursday 22 June 2023 to see the start of this first phase of improvements under the Harold Hill Town Centre Masterplan vision, which also includes the redevelopment of the Farnham and Hilldene Estate and Chippenham Road.

Under the plans, the welcome centre will consist of 74 self-contained dwellings in a variety of sizes, with the largest size accommodating up to eight family members and is set to replace Havering’s existing hostels.

Designed as a U-shaped building, a landscaped central courtyard will sit at the heart of the centre, creating an attractive and secure space for families including a play area for children.

Internally, the centre will include several shared spaces, such as recreational spaces for residents and families, as well as support facilities and private areas.

A Health Centre on the ground and first floors, positioned along Hilldene Avenue, will also deliver accessible health services to the wider local community.

Councillor McGeary, Cabinet Lead for Housing said: 

“It’s great to mark this exciting milestone for the Family Welcome Centre.

“We put our residents at the heart of everything we do and the centre will help us ensure we are able to look after families that find themselves homeless, providing them with a safe, high-quality, and comfortable place to stay while they find permanent homes.”

Councillor Williamson, Cabinet Lead for Development and Regeneration said:

“It’s really exciting to see our continued regeneration of Harold Hill and our commitment to provide affordable housing and supporting infrastructure across Havering”

As part of the wider regeneration for Harold Hill, further details will be shared at a public consultation scheduled to take place later in July 2023.

This will focus on the next phase of works to transform Harold Hill town centre, specifically for Chippenham Road.

Find out more about the Harold Hill regeneration