Despite giving the £450 million scheme in Lambeth a cautious thumbs-up, the architectural watchdog stressed its long-term success depended on 'lasting commitment from stakeholders'.
Andrew Wright Associates is proposing a mix of new and refurbished schools and homes, improved access, safe play areas and a new public space.
CABE's design review panel praised the project's overall vision of the masterplan. It also welcomed the emphasis on courtyard blocks, which, it suggested, could provide 'opportunities for good architecture'.
However, it stressed that the masterplan may have to be reviewed a number of times and changed accordingly.
It added: 'Issues of neighbourhood-wide infrastructure, such as combined heat and power, central refuse, maintenance of the open spaces and rainwater collection, will all need to be coordinated strategically, particularly as the development will be phased over many years.'
But the watchdog aired stronger concerns over the architect's plan for a central open space.
Calling the plan undefined, the design review report went on: 'It does not appear to have a strong sense of enclosure or active edges which so much of the rest of the proposal is seeking to deliver. We are nervous that parallels with the recent past can be drawn and we are anxious that the same mistakes are not repeated.'