Pocket Living to submit planning permission for 153 affordable homes in Croydon with the help of loan from OakNorth Bank


  • OakNorth, has completed a £4m loan to innovative housing developer Pocket Living– who deliver well-designed, local and affordable homes for first-time buyers;
  • Pocket has since secured an unconditional land deal to develop over 150 affordable homes in Central Croydon;
  • To date Pocket Living has a future pipeline of 650 units and is working with over half of London Boroughs to deliver intermediate affordable housing.


OakNorth– the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has lent £4m to Pocket Living,London’s fastest-growing affordable housing provider.


Pocket aims to submit planning permission for the site at 28-30 Addiscombe Grove at the end of April after it has finished its consultation with the local community. Pocket recently invited over 650 local residents, stakeholders, politicians and businesses to attend a public consultation exhibition at the Croydon Park Hotel.


The town centre site, just a minutes’ walk from East Croydon station, currently has planning permission for 74 flats of which just 16 per cent would be affordable. Pocket always seek to maximise the amount of affordable housing on each site and believe they can redevelop this site to provide 153 homes of which 73 per cent will be affordable homes for local first time buyers.


Pocket create compact homes for sale at a discount of at least 20 per cent to the open market and available for 100 per cent home ownership. The Pocket homes on Addiscombe Grove will only be sold to people who:

  • already live or work in Croydon;
  • are eligible for affordable housing;
  • are first time buyers.


The two-bedroom units will be around 64 sq. metres (686 sq. feet). The building, which will also have storage for 196 bicycles, is situated just 200m from East Croydon Station which provides direct transport links to London Victoria, London Bridge, St Pancras International, Brighton and Gatwick Airport.


As a region, Croydon is currently experiencing significant regeneration, including a comprehensive expansion and regeneration of the Whitgift Shopping Centre. House prices in the area have increased significantly in the last two years, growing at a faster rate in 2015 and 2016 than many other London boroughs.


Commenting on thedeal, Pocket Living co-founders Marc Vlessing and Paul Harbard, said: “Pocket homes are for the people who make London tick. 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’re changing things so they can.


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


Deepesh Thakrar, Debt Finance Director at OakNorth Bank, commented: “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.


“Pocket Living has a proven innovative business model that will continue to grow in importance as the housing crisis deepens. We look forward to working with them in the future.”

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