The first spade has gone in the ground as Kensington and Chelsea Council’s plans to build 600 new homes in the borough gather pace.

Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Grenfell, Housing and Social Investment, joined staff from Willmott Dixon at Kensal Road in North Kensington to mark the beginning of building work on a development that will deliver 37 homes alongside community and commercial space.

A total of 27 of the homes will be available at social rent, with the remaining ten offered at intermediate rent.

Construction has also begun on a 20-home scheme at nearby Hewer Street, with the developments forming part of phase one of the Council’s New Homes Delivery Programme which aims to deliver 600 properties, at least half at social rent.

Both schemes are being constructed by Willmott Dixon and should be ready to welcome residents during the second half of 2022. All homes built under the scheme will remain in Council ownership and will be delivered without the loss of existing properties.

Cllr Taylor-Smith said:

“Our borough is expensive, and housing is in very short supply. We’ve got 2,100 households in temporary accommodation and the average property costs £2.2 million in our borough, so buying a home outright is an impossible dream for most people.

“We can’t control the price of property, but we are committed to building more affordable housing. Residents can now see that commitment in action at Kensal Road and Hewer Street.

“This is a start, but we can’t solve the housing crisis alone. Local and central government, our communities and industry will need to work together to provide good-quality, affordable homes to current and future generations.”