George Osbourne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, accompanied by Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow, visited the Aura development by Weston Homes in Edgware as part of their announcement of a major new 5-year Housing Plan for London.
Aura was chosen for the visit because it provides an example of best practice in local level regeneration; how a housing development in the capital can provide employment and skills training for young people; and how a housebuilder can successfully focus on selling homes to ordinary Londoners for end use.
Bob Weston, Chairman and Managing Director of Weston Homes, accompanied the tour of the development, which included a visit to homes under construction. Both the Chancellor and London Mayor tried their hand at plastering skills, and asked questions about construction skills, employment generation, pricing and selling homes to Londoners.
The new Long-Term Economic and Housing Plan for London announced on the day of the Aura visit by George Osbourne and Boris Johnson contains a series of initiatives to boost housing development in London. The new plan sets a target of 400,000 new homes in London by 2025 and half a million new jobs to be created accross the capital by 2020.
Fifty thousand new homes are planned for the first 12 months of the new initiative with Edgware and its surrounding area identified as a key regeneration and development zone, one of 20 being created across the capital. The pair also announced that the Northern Line service to Edgware Underground Station will be opened 24 hours by December 2015.
Built on a derelict brownfield land site which had previously suffering from decay, vandalism and squatters, Aura provides 189 homes of mixed tenure including one, two and three bedroom apartments and three, four and five bedroom townhouses. The development is designed around a central waterfeature and set in beautiful landscaped grounds and is aimed at providing homes for Londoners and local residents.
Since its launch, Aura has proven extremely popular with local Londoners looking for a new home with over 60% of the development now forward sold at prices ranging from £240,000 for a one bedroom apartment up to £495,000 for a three bedroom house. Over half the purchasers at Aura (54%) have been first time buyers: of these 21% have benefitting from the government’s Help to Buy initiative. An additional 35% have been second time mover end users or individual British based buy to let investors. Twelve percent of the development has been provided to a Housing Association to provide homes for people on low-incomes or requiring housing subsidy in order to have a home. Just 11% of the homes have sold to overseas investors.
Bob Weston, Chairman & Managing Director of Weston Homes said: “We were delighted to host George Osbourne, Boris Johnson and Bob Blackman at Aura. Our aim is to deliver quality housing in across London and the Home Counties which contributes to regeneration, job creation and much needed housing for local Londoners and British people of all ages. We also offer Help to Buy at Aura, which has assisted one in five buyers at the development.”
For more information on Aura please contact Weston Homes on Tel: 01279 873 300 or visit www.weston-homes.com/aura.