Berkeley Homes are reported to be looking at cutting 200 staff – or 10 per cent of their workforce.
In a sign of future housing supply problems and an expected 16 per cent fall in prices by the Bank of England, other construction companies are also shedding jobs. This could have a major impact on future housebuilding across Greenwich borough given their role at Woolwich and Kidbrooke – and a planned development alongside Peabody in Thamesmead.
Berkeley Homes are currently on site at two of five planned towers in Woolwich. Other projects in the town in coming years are building on part of the existing Maribor Park alongside Beresford Street.
In Kidbrooke a number of towers are rising near Kidbrooke station. The company have regularly revised up the total number of homes across Kidbrooke Village. Whether future stages enter hiatus will be one to watch.
Thamesmead plans include nearly 1,500 homes on a site between Belmarsh prison and Plumstead bus garage named West Thamesmead Gateway.
This could be a further setback and delay to Peabody plans to build homes in the town given glacial progress since they arrived in town through a takeover of Gallions Housing Association. Less than 100 homes have been built more than five years after a Housing Zone was announced. I wrote about plans for West Thamesmead Gateway two and a half years ago and little has happened.
With transport cuts in London throwing any Thamesmead DLR extension even further back, any real progress will be limited unless government changes tack and invests directly in housing and infrastructure. Given political games being played over TfL funding, that seems a long shot even if government can currently borrow money with negative interest rates on bonds i.e they are being paid to borrow money. That would be rather a good time to invest for long term returns (and lower vast housing benefit bills paid to private landlords) but will that overcome ideology stating the private sector rules?