A brand new innovative emergency accommodation development was officially opened in Ealing, London, on Thursday 6 April 2017.
The first of its kind, Marston Court, has been created in partnership with Ealing Council and is an innovative response to housing supply problems in the borough. It is a 34-apartment development created using a kit of moveable and re-usable parts, based around re- purposed shipping containers, offering a sustainable, robust, affordable and flexible solution to short-term accommodation.
The need for immediate accommodation across England is growing with nearly 15,000 households in the last quarter of 2016 considered homeless and more than 75,000 households last year in temporary accommodation, up 10% from the previous year.1
In London, the situation is particularly acute with 53,370 households homeless and 2293 in Ealing alone.2
Emergency accommodation in Ealing has become critical, with a steady decline in the availability of suitable options, Ealing Council has found it increasingly difficult to provide in- borough temporary accommodation. The opening of Marston Court will improve this.
Marston Court is a joint development by QED Sustainable Urban Developments and social housing repairs and maintenance provider Mears Group. CargoTek, a specialist supplier of sustainable and flexible spaces, provided the modular accommodation.
The Marston Court development on Bordars Walk, Ealing, is located on a previously disused brownfield site that attracted fly tipping and anti-social activity. The development, which brings vacant land back into productivity through interim use, will help those in immediate need of emergency accommodation, including young families and low-income individuals.
The development, which will home up to 72 individuals, comprises four pavilions with 34 secure, ready to move in fully furnished apartments, a management office, laundry and refuse storage. The site is built to secured by design principles and landscaped with open outside spaces and a play area.
Ross Gilbert, Managing Director, QED Sustainable Urban Developments, said: “The homelessness crisis in the UK is at a tipping point and at QED Sustainable Urban Developments we are committed to delivering development solutions for local authorities in response to immediate accommodation needs.
“In London the problem is particularly acute and many of the available development spaces are complex brownfield sites which are difficult to access and develop.
“For Marston Court we were able to work with Ealing Council to bring vacant brownfield land back into productivity to deliver ready to live in accommodation, providing a sustainable, robust, affordable and flexible solution, which is particularly suited to this kind of urban, difficult to access infill site.”
Bob Blackman MP, Sponsor of the Homelessness Reduction Bill, said: “There is an acute shortage of suitable housing and far too many people ending up in situations which can lead to them becoming homeless. That is why I have been working to significantly reform England’s homelessness legislation through the Homelessness Reduction Bill.
“This Government is committed to helping families and the most vulnerable when they become homeless and with temporary emergency accommodation in such short supply interim schemes such as Marston Court in Ealing are providing a much needed lifeline for many.
“QED’s Marston Court is a ground-breaking development to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people.”
Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for housing at Ealing Council, said: "Like all London boroughs, Ealing is facing a massive housing crisis and we believe that some radical thinking is needed. The Marston Court development is just one of a number of projects that we are undertaking to repurpose underused brownfield sites and transform them into assets that benefit our local community in as cost-effective way as possible.
“As a council, we are also lobbying the Government to support councils by addressing the rules that stops us from building more social housing. We want to provide more quality housing for our residents, but the current restrictions around funding these kinds of developments need an urgent rethink.”
1 Data from the ‘Statutory homelessness and prevention and relief, England: October to December
2016’ release (Department for Communities and Local Government, published on 23 March 2017).
2 Data from Ealing Council, December 2016.
Notes to editors
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About Marston Court
The Marston Court project is a scheme to provide emergency hostel accommodation for local people, assessed as being in immediate accommodation need in the London borough of Ealing.
The scheme uses an innovative approach to development and land use and features a kit of moveable and re-usable parts based on re-purposed shipping containers. These offer a sustainable, robust, affordable and flexible solution particularly suited to this urban, difficult to access infill site.
Located on Bordars Walk and within the Cuckoo Housing estate conservation area, the site was previously occupied by largely disused 1970s garage blocks, which attracted fly tipping and anti-social activity.
The site consists of four pavilions – comprising two and three storeys which will provide 34 apartments; 10 studios, 16 one bed and 8 two bed apartments. There is also a site management office and laundry, with refuse storage.
The site is built to secured by design principles and landscaped with open outside spaces and a play area. Marston Court is a joint development for Ealing Council, delivered by QED Sustainable Urban Developments and housing and social care provider Mears Group. CargoTek, a specialist supplier of sustainable and flexible spaces, provided the modular accommodation.
About QED Sustainable Urban Developments
QED Sustainable Urban Developments is focused on the transformation of brownfield sites through traditional urban regeneration and interim time-based projects.
We deliver strategies that respond to immediate needs, while retaining the flexibility and opportunity to deliver future ambitions – transforming redundant urban sites into valuable, viable and vibrant communities.
We want to make the built environment work better for everyone.
About Mears Group
Mears is the leading social housing repairs and maintenance provider in the UK and a major presence in the homecare and support market.
Mears Housing Management operates across the UK in partnership with central and local government, registered providers, landlords and investors, to provide affordable housing and management services, primarily in the following four areas: