A team of expert lawyers at Bevan Brittan has advised a London council on an £83m investment partnership that will deliver 161 affordable homes to the borough.

The multi-disciplinary team from the law firm supported Newham Council in its partnership with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) which will fund the regeneration of a brownfield site near London City Airport.

The deal has enabled the council and its partner to acquire the Silvertown site via a regeneration lease and develop it into a range of homes, including London Affordable Rent, Discounted Market Rent and private rental properties.

The site, on which the council has a 50-year lease, will be operated by the Populo Group, which is the London borough’s own housebuilder, affordable housing provider and property management service, when development work is completed in 2024.

A ten-strong Bevan Brittan team worked alongside their counterparts at Newham, advising on a range of legal matters including property and construction, social housing, planning and environment and intellectual property, as well as on strategies for potential litigation and dispute resolution.

Steven Smith, Partner and head of the local authority team at Bevan Brittan in London, said: “This is an important development in the council’s housing strategy which will build 161 homes, half of which will be affordable housing.

“We are delighted to have played our part in helping this move forward. It has been a complex transaction but one which drew on the skills we have across our team, not just in London but across our office network in the UK.

“This partnership will allow families to be re-homed when completed and help to address housing shortages in the borough. We’re now looking forward to working with the council and its partners in progressing the next stages, including enabling work which is about to start.”

Councillor Shaban Mohammed, Lead Member for Housing Services at Newham Council, said: “This arrangement with PIC allows us to build these much-needed houses now. This is a sensible and effective use of scarce public funds to provide real assets for Newham residents by building housing, and it also stimulates jobs and opportunity in our local economy.

“We are delighted to have PIC working with us on this project as they have the expertise and the focus to make the project a success over the coming decades.

“The strategy will not only provide secure and good quality housing for residents currently in temporary accommodation, but also provide the Council with a rental income and a stock of well-maintained, environmentally friendly properties for decades to come, which the Council has the option to purchase for £1 at the end of the 50-year lease.

“Projects funded using the Regeneration Lease model offer benefits to all stakeholders throughout their lifecycle, for example through increased employment and significant spend in the local economy in the short-term during construction.”

Alongside Steven, the Bevan Brittan team consisted of Property Partner David Wardle, Planning Partner Kathryn Lawrance, Construction Partner Pippa Beesley and Housing and Property Management Partner Neil Brand. Associates Matthew Tucker and Marius Ciuca, solicitor Derin Taylor and trainee legal executive James Moore completed the firm’s team.


Image courtesy of London Borough of Newham/Reef Group


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