London Community Land Trust (London CLT) has submitted plans for 11 permanently affordable homes in Lewisham, at Brasted Close. A disused garage site in Sydenham, the development will be the group’s first solo housing project since its formation in 2007.
The homes at Brasted Close will be priced according to community earnings, ensuring that local people can genuinely afford to purchase one of the homes.
On this basis, a one-bedroom home will be priced at £192,000, while a two-bedroom home will be £244,000, roughly half the standard market rate for similar homes in the neighbourhood.
Following months of campaigning from London CLT and local advice bureau Lewisham Citizens, the Mayor of Lewisham, Damian Egan, declared the Brasted Close estate surplus to the Council’s requirements, rendering it free for development.
The new homes will form part of Egan’s commitment to delivering 200 CLT-built properties to Lewisham over the next four years.
Council officers will work with London CLT and Lewisham Citizens over the next year to bring the housing scheme to fruition.
Prior to submitting its plans to Lewisham Council, the CLT took an innovative approach to choosing a project architect, allowing the local community to vote for the designer they believed would best represent the needs of the neighbourhood.
Following a three-stage “Pick an Architect” selection process, Archio was chosen as the winning practice. The competition allowed locals to have a lead role in the design process, airing their opinions about the build, allocation and management of the homes.
At the workshops, residents were also able to engage directly with the architects to discuss different designs possibilities.
Archio’s winning proposal was for a three-to-four storey building overlooking a communal landscaped courtyard. The design takes into account the height difference between the new homes and the surrounding developments, and was designed to fit into the existing layout of the estate, minimising the impact on neighbouring properties.
Following their selection, Archio has run a series of community engagement events to finalise the site’s design with the community.
Buyer applications are scheduled to open in early 2019. In order to qualify for a homes, applicants must fit within a certain income bracket and have strong connections to the local area.
Thanks to the CLT’s innovative approach, if the future homeowners wish to sell, they are required to do so to someone who meets this same criteria, locking in affordability in perpetuity. This ensures that the price of each home will increase in line with average incomes across the borough, rather than in line with the national housing market, ensuring permanent affordability for locals.
Ann Frankel, Housing and Development Director for London CLT commented on the news: “London CLT homes provide a way for all Londoners, regardless of background, to have a place in this city. We want to build lots more genuinely affordable homes; we believe that Londoners will stay in these homes, that they will build strong inclusive communities together.”
Mellis Haward, Director at Archio, also commented: “We were delighted to be picked by the community to be their architects for this extremely important project. These London CLT homes demonstrate the incredible opportunity to create genuinely affordable homes on the kind of forgotten garage sites which we see all over London.
“Our architectural proposals have emerged from a collaborative design process with the residents and the council, and we are hopeful of receiving strong local support for this planning application.”
London CLT was created to provide genuinely and permanently affordable homes, addressing the growing gap in the housing market between people who qualify for social housing and those who can afford to buy on the open market.
Words: Jen Grimble Images: londonclt.org