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Mayor backs Metropolitan Workshop's prefab Croydon tower for Pocket homes

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London mayor Sadiq Khan has rubberstamped plans by Metropolitan Workshop to build a 21-storey modular apartment block in Croydon for compact homes specialist Pocket Living

The 153-home project at Addiscombe Grove – billed as providing ‘100 per cent affordable housing’ – is expected to become one of the tallest prefab towers in the country. It will be close to Richard Seifert’s 1970s NLA tower, known as the 50p Building.

Khan said the decision to approve the development was a ‘boost for off-site construction’ and the speedier delivery of his housing programme.

He added: ‘Tackling London’s housing crisis requires bold new approaches. We know turning things round will take time, but offsite construction is an innovative way to speed up building the affordable homes our city needs.

‘I invested in Pocket Living to help them build genuinely affordable homes that are sold to local people first.’

According to the mayor, more than 70 per cent of the homes will be available to first-time buyers ‘at a discount below the market price’, with the remainder earmarked for shared ownership.

The discounted market sale homes will be offered at a 5 per cent deposit and can only be sold to residents and workers in the south London borough.

In 2017, Pocket signed a deal with Khan for £25 million of City Hall funding to support 1,059 new compact homes, a third of which are due to be built offsite in a factory. 

Pocket Living chief executive Marc Vlessing said: ‘Once again, the mayor has shown his commitment to tackling the housing crisis through backing innovative solutions that deliver significant levels of affordable homes. We are proud to share City Hall’s vision for housing in the capital.’

Metropolitan Workshop associate Jonathan Drage said: “This offsite modular project involves a series of high-quality shared internal amenity spaces and various themed roof gardens for the community to enjoy. Its slender form responds to Richard Seifert’s nearby NLA tower.

’Horizontal concrete bands are woven into deeply recessed angled piers of blue-grey ceramic glazed tiles, which are brushed in different directions to create a variety of textures. Special corner piers and interesting stacks of recessed balconies complete the composition.’

Work is expected to start on site in March and complete next year.

Addiscombe Grove tower by Metropolitan workshop for Pocket Living - full floor plan

Addiscombe Grove tower by Metropolitan workshop for Pocket Living - full floor plan

Addiscombe Grove tower by Metropolitan workshop for Pocket Living - full floor plan

Project data

Location London Borough of Croydon
Type of project Modular built, affordable housing
Client Pocket Living
Architect Metropolitan Workshop
Landscape architect Land Use
Planning consultant DP9
Structural engineer Parmarbrook / Tellett
M&E consultant Tuv Sud
Quantity surveyor Tower Eight
Main contractor Under negotiation
Funding Part of the 1,059 homes starts agreed between the GLA and Pocket last year
Start on site date March 2018
Completion date 2019
Form of contract and/or procurement JCT 2011 D&B

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