Second staircase rule halts Wates estate revamp

Wates Residential is working on a joint venture with Havering Council on a £1.5bn programme to revamp 12 estates across the borough.

But work has now been paused on the Waterloo and Queens Street site where 380 new homes are under construction.

A statement by the joint venture said: “Due to the current uncertainty regarding future building safety standards, Havering and Wates have taken the difficult decision to pause the construction at Waterloo and Queen Street, part of the 12 estates programme through our joint venture.

“The Government has yet to reach a decision about new building safety legislation regarding taller buildings.

“The current design for the Waterloo and Queen Street site is safe and meets current building safety laws.

“However, regulations are likely to change to require two staircases in buildings over 30 metres, so we have taken the decision to pause the development at this early point in the construction process until we have a better understanding of what the new regulations will mean.

“Both the Council and Wates remain committed to the Waterloo development and delivering these new homes as part of our partnership.

“Both parties will continue to work together to establish the best way forward.

“We will continue to keep residents with the right to return to the development, neighbours, local businesses and the wider community informed.”

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