• Kevin Murphy

South London: New Build Homes For Greenwich

What was once labeled a 'hellhole' in the south-east of London has been demolished over the years and is now having a renewal for a £1 billion new village. The 270-acre Ferrier Estate in Kidbrooke, Greenwich built between 1968 and 1972 once was the location of 2000 homes but the neighbourhood eventually became a symbol for urban decay. Since 2013, 850 homes have been built with two thirds having been designated as affordable housing and others for private sale reports the Evening Standard (ES). Original costs for a one-bedroom flat started at £200,000.

Greenwich, London

Other estates that surrounded Kidbrooke have been re-developed as well including the Heygate in Southwark and the Aylesbury in Walworth.

In 2013 describing the new build regeneration of Kidbrooke Karl Whiteman, managing director of urban renaissance at developer Berkeley told the ES:

“It was a very complicated spaghetti junction of pipes. They went through a labyrinth of tunnels that were literally a massive rat run.”

“People were concerned about whether the demolition was ever going to be completed. We came up with a plan to accelerate it and bring forward a park, a temporary village centre and other amenities. We were then able to convince people Kidbrooke Village had been born.”

Kidbrooke Village Today

The site of the of Ferrier estate was wiped clean of its original two-storey to 13-floor concrete tower blocks to create what has been described a a 'new garden suburb' featuring shops and health providers with GP surgery, dentistry and pharmacy.

New apartment blocks feature newly built 1,500 homes already built and when finished will have a total of 4,800 residential units. The latest new build phase is the Birch House luxury high-rise tower.

Kidbrooke Village, Greenwich, London

Christophe Egret of architects Studio Egret West in the ES:

“With tree-lined paths radiating out from newly created Cator Park, we decided to extend the park up the building,”

Also described as:

"The tower is a series of interlocking blocks with private open-air terraces and acommunal sky lounge. Two-bedroom flats start at £567,000, rising to £1,045,000 for a three-bedroom duplex with balcony and terrace. One-bedroom flats at Agora Court, an earlier phase, cost from £355,000."

Whilst these developments have been constructed problems of housing affordability and availability still continue in the London Borough of Greenwich.

New Plans

Recently the Greenwich Council approved the borrowing of £142 million to construct hundreds of new homes. The office of London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also contributed £32 million for the new plans. Currently there are 984 families living in temporary shelter the highest number for Greenwich in a decade.

On February 21 Cllr Chris Kirby the Cabinet member for housing said:

“We haven’t been in the business of building this many council houses in my lifetime. This is a radical change in what we are looking to deliver."

“We have not been set up to do that – to pull this together in such a short amount of time is testament to us wanting to deliver the homes we need and to the hard work of officers.”

The London Plan for Greenwich housing proposes a new build target of 2,685 homes with an increase to 3,204. By 2022 the plans call for 770 new council homes to be built. The new sites for development will be Well Hall Road, The Under Wood, Simba House in Artillery Place, Southspringsand Sam Manners House.

News Shopper reports that there are currently 17,000 people in the borough waiting for a home.

The Greenwich district of Charlton is going to be receiving new homes developed by Meridian Home Start which was created and is funded by the Greenwich Council. The Woodpecker Gardens plan is for 32 new Homes to be rented at discounted rates as part of a total of 230 new homes throughout the borough.

Council leader Cllr Danny Thorpe tells the South London Press:

“Through our partnership with Meridian Home Start we can increase the supply of genuinely affordable homes for residents in the borough. The council takes seriously its commitment to increasing the supply of affordable homes and this is a great way of helping deliver on that promise.”

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