latest news 

As a community construction charity, PHASES needs to keep abreast of any changes in policy which might impact our affordable housing projects. As a training organisation, we’re conscious that our courses need to reflect industry needs, so that our trainees have reelvant skills. As a social enterprise, we’re busy finding ways to share best practice and to be more effective.  Here’s what we’ve been doing lately to keep up to date in the fast-paced construction sector.

May 2018 – Visit from GLA Area Manager

One of the GLA’s area managers, responsible for partnerships to support regeneration, homes and jobs, visited our completed empty homes projects in Brockley and saw the site of our proposed new build project there. He also met one of our former trainees. The visit was arranged through one of our major funders – The Big Issue Invest. The visit went very well and we understand it will help to cement the relationship between the GLA and Big Issue Invest for future investment opportunities. 

March 2018 – Builder Identified for Brockley Road New Build

As preparations continue for the new build project at Brockley Road, Phases are excited to confirm that they have provisionally identified David Sheard Ltd as building contractor partner. David has a wealth of experience on new build, as well as high quality refurbishment work. Moreover, he is very interested in the social side of Phases’ operations and we look forward to developing a strong working relationship with David over the coming years.

February 2018 – Transport for London Small Sites Pilot

The first ten sites under the TFL/GLA’s ‘Small sites Small builders’ Programme were released for bidding. Phases put in a bid on one of these sites, in Edmonton, with the help of David Corley Architects. That bid was unsuccessful but this is only the start of a Programme which will see many sites released over the next few years and Phases hopes to be successful in future rounds.

November 2017 – National Housing Federation Conference

Phases were invited, as a community housing organization, to the National Housing Federation conference in London. The conference is mainly for housing associations but Phases took part in sessions on community-led housing and on modern methods of construction.

October 2017 – Attending the Offsite Construction Show

This show at London’s Excel Arena featured many of the main players in the rapidly emerging world of offsite construction. We were able to speak to a number of companies (Caledonian, Extraspace Solutions and Premier Modular) about proposals for one of our new build projects in Bexley and they took away drawings and specifications to consider There were also interesting presentations by the Offsite Management School on the future direction of the industry’.

July 2017 – Preparation for Brockley Road New Build Continues

We met with the planners in Lewisham as part of a ‘pre-application’ process to discuss our plans for a new build project on Brockley Road (See June 2016). The planners were helpful and have provided pointers in the preparation of our full planning application. Meanwhile, negotiations have continued with Network Rail about the site and we have had considerable help in this from Structural Engineers Tim Barnard & Associates. A great deal of information has also been collated in a feasibility report. We will hope to go to full planning before the end of the year.

May 2017 – Transport for London Small Sites

Transport for London has many small sites around London that it wishes to sell off for housing development. In May, PHASES, along with a small number of other community housing groups, were invited to City Hall for a briefing on these sites and to elicit views from the community groups on how the sites might be sold. This whole project is likely to go live from the end of the year and PHASES will be keeping a very close eye on events as this may throw up many exciting opportunities.

November 2016 – The Cooperative Councils Innovation Network – Croydon

This is a network of local authorities, across the country, which promotes cooperative principles and innovation in local government. The network has established a ‘Housing Commission’ to look at how cooperative and community based organisations might provide solutions to the housing crisis. The Commission is being led by the London Borough of Croydon. This evidence-gathering session in Croydon was attended by many officers from different London boroughs, as well as organisations promoting community housing solutions in London and beyond. PHASES were invited as one of a small number of organisations actually generating community housing in London. The network will report in September 2017 but in the meantime Croydon are hosting a good practice website and blog which will feature PHASES, amongst other organisations.

September 2016 – Social Investment Presentation – Camden

Our Chief Executive, Glenn Heaton, appeared alongside Danny Wilson-Dodd, Head of Lending at Big Issue Invest, at this conference examining the growing world of social investment. The event was organised by Homeless Link and showcased ways in which different types of social lending had supported projects relieving homelessness. Glenn and Danny focussed on PHASES’ two major renovation projects in Brockley, where two large properties, both empty for over 20 years, had been renovated and brought back into use. The properties now provide five flats for families who had formerly been in overcrowded and substandard accommodation. These projects had been supported by lending of £210k from the Big Issue Invest and generated a number of interested questions from the audience and afterwards.

June 2016 – Architect’s Plans for New Build in Brockley

With the agreement of the Trustees, PHASES has made a strategic decision to consider a new build project. An opportunity presents itself on a site which is vacant next to the project at 340 Brockley Road which we completed during 2015. We have now obtained architect’s sketches for up to six flats on the site. As the site is next to a railway embankment, we have also opened discussions with Network Rail.

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