Leading provider Circle Housing plans to build up to 500 much-needed new homes in Havering.

The provider has this month (March) completed a deal worth around £17m to purchase the former Somerfield depot on New Road from the administrators.

The site, which is located within the borough’s newly designated Housing Zone, has planning permission for 497 homes, a community centre, commercial premises and an energy centre. It is also positioned next to the new train station at Beam Park, which will transport local residents to central London in 20 minutes when it opens in 2020.

Philip Browne, Director of Development for Circle Housing said: “Havering is set to undergo a major transformation over the coming years and we are excited to be part of that.

“We believe this site provides a real opportunity to create a vibrant mixed tenure development in an area that will benefit from significant infrastructure improvements.

“We are looking forward to working with the local community to deliver more much-needed homes in the borough.”

Circle Housing already has a strong track record of housebuilding in the area and is now in the final stages of its £80m regeneration project at Orchard Village.

The provider will over the coming months talk to local partners and stakeholders to seek their views and discuss the future use of the site. It will also launch a competition to recruit an architect to help to develop the designs for the scheme.

Rainham and Beam Park Housing Zone aims to stimulate and accelerate housing development along the A1306. It forms part of the Mayor’s London Riverside Opportunity Area which could create 26,500 new homes and up to 16,000 jobs across the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering.