St James is marking a major milestone in the regeneration of a long-derelict brownfield site in the heart of Hornsey.
The land had been largely unused for twelve years until 2014. Since then, St James has worked closely with Haringey Council and Sainsbury's to create a scheme that would complement and enhance the locality.
The developer is now in the process of turning the 5.24 acres of brownfield land into 440 new homes, due for completion towards the end of 2017.
A significant proportion of the homes at Smithfield Square will be affordable housing - 168 apartments, representing over 40% of the properties built - alongside 270 private apartments and two 'live/work' units.
Fronting onto Hornsey High Street, Smithfield Square is set to become a central hub for this area of North London with the arrival of a brand new Sainsbury's store and parking for the high street, plus extensive public open spaces.
Scarcity of easily developable land and the widespread unpopularity of building on the Green Belt means that Government policy now focuses hard on developing on brownfield sites - disused land previously utilised for industrial purposes.
RICS recently published research suggesting there is enough brownfield land available in England to build 226,000 houses by 2019, while the Conservatives Party's election
manifesto promised to ensure that 90 per cent of these unused sites that are suitable for housing are granted permission for housebuilding by 2020.
Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James, comments: "This is a very complex project. The gradient of the land means we are having to construct the apartment buildings on different ground levels and divert the River Moselle which currently runs underneath the land in order to make the site construction ready.
"We have designed all the homes to be tenure blind: the private and the affordable both share the same external facade. This is also an excellent example of a real partnership between the developer and the local council's planning team."
Incorporating a blend of traditional materials within contemporary architecture, a strong emphasis has been placed on the landscaping design throughout the entire development, with both private and public areas designed to enhance a strong communal feel. The site has 1.8 acres of public spaces, equipped with seating and children's playgrounds.
In order to retain some of the local heritage, St James will also be renovating Campsbourne Well, a former Victorian pumphouse, restoring this back to its former glory.
With a strong neighbourhood feel orientated around the tree-lined High Street, Hornsey sits at the foot of the magnificent Alexandra Palace. It also benefits from great direct transport links to Old Street, Moorgate and Kings Cross.