David Cameron, Prime Minister, accompanied by Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, visited the Aura development by Weston Homes in Edgware as part of David Cameron’s election pledge to support the new homes market in 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.
Dave Walker, Regional Sales Director at Weston Homes; Jim Wood, Construction Director at Weston Homes; and Derek Cook, Project Manager at Aura, accompanied the Prime Minister on his tour of the development, which included a visit to homes under construction. The Prime Minister visited the parts of the development currently under construction and spoke to bricklayers, scaffolders and other construction staff about the development and asked them questions about construction skills and training, employment generation and selling homes to Londoners.
The Conservative Party’s Housing Plan for London 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.
David Cameron also spoke to the Weston Homes directors about the Government’s Help to Buy initiative, tax relief for first time buyers and the regeneration of brownfield land sites across London.
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 the Prime Minister David Cameron and Bob Blackman at Aura. Weston Homes believe that the Conservative Party understands and supports the London and wider UK housing market and industry. The Conservative Party’s policies on the Help to Buy initiative, Right to Buy and Tax Relief for first time buyers are all things that will help to increase home ownership across the country and maintain the health of the housing market.”
Bob Weston continues: “The Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ initiative has been a highly welcome measure which has helped to kick-start the housing market and now over 30% of our sales are to ‘Help to Buy’ purchasers. Weston Homes is highly supportive of the ‘Help to buy’ initiative and we believe that sales evidence from across the country demonstrates that it is helping first time buyers and people on lower incomes purchase their own home, ensuring that younger purchasers get a foot on the housing ladder.”
Bob Weston says: “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.