Latest plans to provide more and better homes on Lambeth estates

Lambeth councillors are to discuss plans to redevelop two estates and deliver almost 300 additional homes to help ease the borough’s housing crisis.

The council has presented proposals for a partial redevelopment of the Knight’s Walk estate which would see 15 homes retained and 18 demolished, to be replaced by 82 new homes. A proposed redevelopment of the Westbury estate would provide 232 net additional new homes.

Both schemes would enable 40 per cent of the additional new homes to be at council rent levels.

The preferred options, produced following lengthy testing and consultations with residents on both estates, will be discussed by senior councillors at the Cabinet meeting on Monday, November 9.

The proposals are part of the Council’s wider commitment to build more and better homes in Lambeth as well as deliver 1,000 extra homes at council rent levels. Both Knight’s Walk and Westbury are among six estates included in the borough’s estate regeneration programme.

Council officers came up with six potential development schemes for Knight’s Walk, ranging from building on available land to complete redevelopment.

While the more comprehensive solutions might appear to be more viable in the long run, they also bring with them significantly increased risks. This is due to the high up-front costs of purchasing properties in an area of high property and land values, the presence of a tube line, and the planning constraints on tall buildings on the site. The increased risks are something the council cannot run.

The preferred option would see 82 much-needed additional homes being built at Knight’s Walk and all existing residents given the guarantee of a home that meets their needs. Of the 64 additional new homes, 25 would be at council rent levels.

Where existing residents need to move, then new homes can be bespoke to meet their needs with all homes capable of adaptation as people’s needs change.

The Cabinet will also discuss a proposal to redevelop the Westbury estate, demolishing 86 homes but retaining two towers and providing 318 new homes. The redevelopment would increase the number of homes on the estate to 478 – a rise of 232.

A council spokesman said:

“We are committed to tackling Lambeth’s housing crisis by building 1,000 extra homes for council rent in the borough. We must look at every scrap of land available to us to help provide those much-needed homes.

“However, we are also determined that our efforts to build more and better homes are backed by existing tenants. The preferred options for the redevelopment of Knight’s Walk and Westbury are the result of several months of design work, testing and consultation with residents on the estates.”