There’s no doubt the no.1 issue in London is housing – basically there’s just not enough of it. This year’s mayoral election will no doubt see a raft of promises including stepping up the building programme. Meanwhile we take a look at what’s actually happening on the ground in South London’s biggest housing programmes.
The biggest regeneration scheme in Britain will deliver over 20,000 new homes when complete. We went there two years ago when plans were still on the drawing board and you can look back at our reports about Nine Elms, along with neighbouring Vauxhall. Obviously things have moved on a lot since then with a new skyline appearing along the stretch of the Thames between Battersea and Vauxhall bridges. Much of the site is prime riverside so prices are sky-high in most of the development. However, check the Nine Elms and Wandsworth Council websites along with developers such as Barratt for affordable homes.
With the O2 Dome at its apex the Greenwich Peninsula is a huge redevelopment of an area of former industrial use. 13,000 new homes are planned with 4,000 (30%) in the affordable category along with other development such as retail, leisure and community facilities. For housing information check the developer’s website – Knight Dragon – along with the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Located next to Kidbrooke Station and also in Greenwich, this development by Berkeley Homes is on the site of the now demolished Ferrier Estate. The plan will see the completion of 4,800 homes with around 38% affordable, along with many community facilities such as schools, shops and the like.
The former Heygate Estate at Elephant & Castle/Walworth in the Borough of Southwark has been completely demolished and developers Lend Lease have already released some new housing on to the market. About 17% of the housing to be built will be classed as affordable to be run by housing associations, though the vast majority of this is earmarked for former residents of the estate, who have the right to return. In total, 3,000 new homes will be completed at Elephant Park.
Royal Arsenal Riverside
The third development in the Borough of Greenwich, this large site between Woolwich town centre and the river was formerly used to produce weapons and ammunition for the army since the 17th century. Some of the historic buildings have been incorporated into the development by Berkeley Homes, who will build a total of 2,517 homes on the site, about half of which have been completed. About 25% of the homes built so far are in the affordable category. The new Crossrail station, due to open in 2018 and part-funded by the developer, will make this development very accessible and no doubt increase the value of housing considerably.
We’ve referred to ‘affordable’ housing in this article – this covers a variety of schemes, including housing association, shared ownership, help to buy and key worker – we plan to run a future article on how these schemes work across south London.