The Rt. Hon Vince Cable MP and the Mayor of Richmond-upon-Thames yesterday opened Queen’s House, a development of 45 affordable homes in the heart of Twickenham.

Supported by grants from Richmond Borough Council and the Greater London Authority, the £14.7m project has been created by Thames Valley Housing and developed with Thomas Sinden Limited and Welling Partnerships.

The existing nine storey 1960s under-used office block with two storey extension wing and gatehouse has been refurbished and converted into high quality 100% affordable accommodation in an area of London which struggles to provide affordable homes due to high property values.

The Holly Road-site provides 16 affordable rented properties and 29 shared ownership homes, set in communal gardens, a stone’s throw from Twickenham train station, bus station and high street. The development also includes cycle storage with green roofs, car parking and a roof top garden.

The Rt. Hon Vince Cable MP said: “We are delighted that Thames Valley Housing has been able to achieve these high quality, affordable homes right in the heart of the borough. These new homes will help to address the housing need in the borough and I hope that the residents will be happy here for years to come. ”

Des Thomas,  Director of Thomas Sinden comments, “Queen’s House is a significant scheme for Thomas Sinden and we are delighted to have worked with Thames Valley Housing, Richmond Borough Council and the GLA to bring much needed affordable homes to the area.”

The project was also designed to provide a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions from the use of on-site renewable energy and 35% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, achieving a rating of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ for the tower block and Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 for the new infill building.

Cllr Liz Jaeger, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, also attended the launch. She said: “This is very good news for local people trying to get on the housing ladder and those in need of affordable rented housing. We are committed to supporting and working as closely as we can with our partner Housing Associations to deliver more excellent schemes of this nature.

“Together we are always looking at new approaches to increase supply and extend existing stock. This development is an example of the Council, working with TVHA, to identify a use for what has been a very underused building for a number of years.”

Chatinder Bal, Residential Development Director at Thames Valley Housing added: “We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with Richmond Borough Council, the Greater London Authority and Thomas Sinden to transform this under-used office block into some 29 high quality affordable homes for families while being able to offer social housing to 16 more households.”

Staff from Thames Valley Housing and Thomas Sinden also took part in a sponsored relay abseil down the 9-storey building throughout the event to raise funds for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Transverse Myelitis Society.