DEVELOPER Lovell will redevelop three rundown Woolwich housing estates in a £269m deal, it has been announced.

The project will see 1,064 homes in the Connaught, Morris Walk and Maryon Road and Grove estates demolished and replaced with 1,500 new properties.

Construction work is due to take 13 years and is expected to begin next May once planning applications are submitted and approved.

Lovell, owned by property giant Morgan Sindall, has vowed to provide 90 local apprenticeships during the scheme, along with a £150,000 trust for community groups.

Greenwich Council cabinet member for housing Councillor Steve Offord said: "The redevelopment of the three Woolwich estates represents a key part of our ongoing plans to transform Woolwich and the wider Royal Borough after decades of economic decline."

He said the council's job agency Greenwich Local Labour and Business would help people from the estates gain new jobs and apprenticeships.

Cllr Offord said: "In recognising the significance of this important milestone being met, I want to record special thanks to all the residents of the three estates for their support and patience as plans have developed over a number of years.

"We will ensure that they continue to receive all the practical support, advice and information they need as the project progresses over the coming months and years ahead."

Of the new homes, 375 will be at affordable rent and run by the Asra housing association, 150 will be shared ownership and 975 made available for private sale.

Asra chief executive Matt Cooney said: "This development will breathe new life into the area and we are certain it will become a thriving community who will be living in high-quality sustainable homes at affordable prices."

Lettings on the Connaught - due to be demolished in the first phase - ceased in 2010 and a rehousing programme has already begun.

In echoes of Kidbrooke's £1bn Ferrier redevelopment, the council is able to resort to legal action where necessary to vacate the properties.