Dozens of local families will soon be moving into new affordable homes in the heart of Lambeth as the properties near completion.
Lambeth will soon have 89 new homes in Kennington on land transformed from an underused council-owned site around a former underground car park into a priceless asset for the local community.
The Lollard Street development, which includes 70 new homes at council-level rent, plus a further 19 homes for sale, a new nursery and children’s centre, and communal gardens, will make a huge contribution to Lambeth Council’s efforts to tackle the housing crisis.
The council-level rent homes will be managed by Homes for Lambeth, the council’s own housebuilder, while proceeds from the sale of the 19 additional homes will help pay for more council-level rent homes in Lambeth.
The development was delivered under an innovative agreement with developers Braeburn Estates, as one of the conditions imposed on them by the council as a part of the planning permission to redevelop the Shell Centre at Waterloo. The keys to the new development were officially handed over at an event at Lollard Street on January 18.
Chair of Homes for Lambeth, Richard Reynolds, said:
“These 70 council-level rent homes are our first. I am delighted that Homes for Lambeth is able to make this contribution to the borough by looking after these homes on behalf of the council. But this is only the start. Working for the council, Homes for Lambeth is putting together an ambitious development programme with a potential total investment value of over £1.5bn, which would see 3,500 new homes built in the borough. This will make a major contribution to providing the more and better homes which Lambeth desperately needs.”
Lambeth Council leader Cllr Lib Peck said:
“When we’re facing such enormous spending cuts, we have to use all the powers available to us to find the money to spend on priority services like social housing.
“The Lollard Street development is a fantastic example of us working with developers, through the planning system, to provide the council-level rent homes we need to help tackle our housing crisis. By agreeing to allow the developer to build off-site from the Shell development in Waterloo, we managed to revive this neglected site and secure many more family-sized social rented homes than the 17 proposed on-site units which would not have met local family needs.
“The result is the fantastic, modern development of high-quality new homes that we see today; these properties, which will soon provide homes for scores of families, will be the new benchmark for affordable homes in our borough.”
Cllr Matthew Bennett, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment & New Homes, said:
“It’s a difficult time for councils to be building their own houses, as the financial and legal rules often seem to be stacked against us.
“But we have a housing crisis in Lambeth, like the rest of London – with over 2,000 families going to bed homeless every night. We have to do everything we can to tackle it, by building the homes they need.
“We’ve shown through the estate regeneration programme, and the Somerleyton Road plans endorsed this week, that we are working hard to provide more and better homes for the people of Lambeth wherever we can. This new development will be another vital addition to our attempts to tackle the housing crisis.”
The land around Elkington Point, Brittany Point, Ward Point and the old Ethelred Nursery was identified for regeneration under the Shell agreement. Braeburn Estates, a joint venture between Qatari Diar and the Canary Wharf Group, not only paid for the development but also carried out the building work for Homes for Lambeth – ensuring that the project could take full advantage of their experience and expertise.