OakNorth Office

OakNorth provides £4m facility to Pocket Living

OakNorth Bank has provided a £4m loan to innovative housing developer Pocket Living, who are planning to build 153 homes in Croydon.

Pocket has secured an unconditional land deal to develop the homes in central Croydon and aims to submit planning permission for the site at the end of April once it has finished its consultation with the local community.

The housing provider has a future pipeline of 650 units and is working with over half of the boroughs in London to deliver intermediate affordable housing.

“Pocket homes are for the people who make London tick,” said Marc Vlessing and Paul Harbard, co-founders of Pocket Living.

“They're the city makers who contribute so much economically, socially and culturally to the capital, yet are unable to buy their first home.

“We are delighted to have secured finance to help with this deal – the team at OakNorth was incredibly supportive and communicative, ensuring that we knew how things were progressing throughout every stage of the deal.”

Pocket recently invited over 650 local residents, stakeholders, politicians and businesses to attend a public consultation at the Croydon Park Hotel.

The town centre site currently has planning permission for 74 flats of which just 16% would be affordable.

However, Pocket believes it can redevelop the site to provide 153 homes of which 73% will be affordable to local first-time buyers.

The homes at Addiscombe Grove will only be sold to those who already live or work in Croydon, are eligible for affordable housing and are first-time buyers.

The two-bedroom units will be around 686 sq ft in size.

Deepsh Thakrar, debt finance director at OakNorth, said Pocket Living had a proven innovative business model that would continue to grow in importance as the housing crisis deepens.

“Croydon is an area that has been transformed in recent years – its 20-minute proximity to central London and relative affordability compared to the capital makes it a popular choice for first-time buyers looking to take their first step on the property ladder.

“We look forward to working with Pocket in the future.”

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