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Innovative Southwark housing - bruised but certainly not beaten

[UPDATE] Southwark Council is pressing on with 11 of its 15 innovative Heygate Estate housing relocation schemes, despite the recession

The high-profile project, which originally saw 16 up-and-coming practices vie to design replacement homes for the 1960s Heygate council estate in south London, has moved slowly since it was unveiled in 2006.

The economic downturn has already scotched four developments including KMK Architects’ Pocock Street development, Featherstone Associates’ Leroy Street project (pictured below), Loates Taylor Shannon’s Welsford Street development and Haworth Tompkins Architects’ Harper Road site.

UNLIKELY TO PROCEED: Featherstone Associates' Pocock Street scheme - part of the Heygate Estate housing relocation programm

UNLIKELY TO PROCEED: Featherstone Associates’ Pocock Street scheme - part of the Heygate Estate housing relocation programme

A spokeswoman for Southwark Council admitted the dire economic conditions had been a factor in slowing the programme down but maintained the majority of the schemes were moving forward and that constuction work was already well underway on some schemes.

‘We have proceeded with 11, two of which are nearly completed or will be in the near future.’

‘[However] the recession has had an impact on the speed of planning applications being received and work commencing on site,’ the spokeswoman added.

The St George’s Road site by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and the New Kent Road site by S333 Architecture started last August [2009] and are set to be completed in September and November of this year respectively.

Work started on the Newington South site, by Cartwright Pickard, last November and is scheduled to finish in spring 2011.

Construction is expected to start imminently on Metaphorm’s schemes at Library Street and Brandon Street and is pencilled to be completed by the end of 2011.

March 2010 is also pencilled in for the start of work on Loates Taylor Shannon’s Townsend Street site.

Panter Hudspith’s Royal Road project recently went for planning (January 19), while drMM’s Harper Road site and Panter Hudspith/Haworth Tompkins Stead Street 1,2 and 3 sites will go before planners in April. Work on these sites is due to start in late 2010.

Southwark Council successfully secured Homes and Communities Agency funding to support the development of the sites which are spread across the Elephant and Castle.

Elephant and Castle project director Jon Abbott said: ‘As a consequence [of this cash] the council and its partner RSL’s are able to develop more affordable homes for rent using less sites than were originally envisaged,’.

‘This has allowed the council to review the package of sites and some will now be disposed off through the open market to generate capital receipts.’

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