The South Shall Rise Again: Kidbrooke and Elephant & Castle

In this series, we're documenting some of the biggest and most exciting changes taking place across South East London. From huge new housing projects to investment in the area’s heritage sites, this part of London is subject to many of the capital’s most ambitious plans.

Two of South East London's most inhumane housing developments are being razed to the ground and swapped for something much nicer.

In Kidbrooke, the Ferrier Estate's grey concrete giants have been demolished and are being replaced with a mixture of Housing Design Award-winning, park-view blocks [above] and brilliant pitched roof houses built on more traditional street patterns. The scheme will eventually deliver around 4,000 new homes and a 100 acre park.

Meanwhile, in Elephant & Castle, the canyons of the brutalist Heygate Estate are finally being torn down as part of an ambitious £1.5 billion regeneration scheme that at one point was nearly scuppered by the failure to remodel one of the area's roundabouts. The roundabout is now being sorted and the cash is flowing. There's a lesson there for Lewisham's planners somewhere...

Both projects are likely to take at least another 15 years to be completed and despite the progress, there are fears that both later phases of both of these developments may stall as a result of government changes to housing policy. The Kidbrooke Kite quotes

"Housebuilders and the [Chartered Institute of Housing] have expressed concerns about the ability of large estate regeneration projects, such as Elephant & Castle in Southwark, Kidbrooke in Greenwich and Park Hill in Sheffield, to proceed. Previous tenants had been promised new homes at the same rent, but lower government subsidy may make this unviable."

Also in the series:


Anonymous said...

While that maybe relevant for Kidbrooke, its not for Parkhill, Sheffield. Park Hill a challenging concrete deck access estate in Sheffield and had been abandoned for years and its current failure as a regeneration scheme in Sheffield is down to Urban Splashes inability to shift several hundred apartments, with more to come, in the teeth of a big recession.

Looking at the other schemes, they both rely on a large increase in units for sale for private buyers to pay for the new social housing units. So previous assumptions about how these schemes were going to paid for will need to change.

Decline in housing benefit could reduce the demand of buy to let investors for these new private units and thereby require a lower sale price. On the other hand plans for new social housing to charge higher rents means that housing associations can raise more finance themselves to build more social rented units.

I suspect that the amount of renting in London won't change over the long term, just that social housing might grow a bit and private renting decline.

Tamsin said...

Sorry - "raised from the dust", "razed to the ground".

But interesting, used to travel up from Eltham Park Station (when it was Eltham Park before the relief road) and Kidbrooke always seemed a particularly grim place.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin, oh yes, sorry.

patrick1971 said...

It's good that these horrific estates are being razed, but will the replacements be any better in 20 years' time? Those pictures look good, but I'm sure mock-ups of the Ferrier back in the late 60s looked great too. Sorry to be cynical...I just really worry that these huge redevelopments, rather than small-scale change, are just remaking the mistakes of the past.

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