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Balfour Beatty begins work on Southwark housing

Balfour Beatty has started work on a mixed-use housing development in Southwark, South London.The £11.6 million Willow Walk project will involve the construction of 75 new, affordable residential properties, of which 21 are to be built for social rent. It will feature eight one-bedroom homes, eight two-beds and five three-beds including two wheelchair units on the ground floor. They will have private gardens, bicycle storage, balconies and a communal courtyard.The project forms part of Southwark Council's plan to build 11,000 new homes over the next 30 years in order to address short supply and high demand for affordable properties in the borough and London as a whole.Some 54 short-stay accommodation homes will also be constructed, providing high-quality accommodation for those in need of temporary housing.These will feature a centralised communal kitchen/dining area with bedrooms either side of the kitchen, private bathrooms and storage areas.Designed to achieve an excellent BREEAM environmental rating, the buildings will be bespoke, sustainable and minimise running costs.Five jobs for Southwark residents in need of employment will be created by the scheme, while two workers from the area will be trained to a minimum of NVQ Level 1.Councillor Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "This scheme, the first of an immense programme of construction, will not only create excellent, high quality council homes for those most in need, it will boost employment and contribute to reinvigorating London's economy through house building."She added that the project will help fulfil the promises made to the people of Southwark, "to ensure they see the full benefits and opportunities of regeneration with new homes, jobs and a better living environment".Planning permission has now been granted for five schemes across the borough. Three more sites - Masterman House garages, Clifton Estate and Long Lane - will receive a planning decision later this month.In total, 263 homes of different tenures are to be built in phase one of the council's direct delivery programme; of these, 184 will be for social rent.  

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