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Quality social housing

In 2012, the London Borough of Southwark set an ambitious target to build 1000 new council houses within eight years. They’re the first new council homes in the borough to be funded and built by the local authority in more than 10 years.

Project Southwark – 1000 new homes, London, England

Client London Borough of Southwark

Expertise Employer’s agent, project and cost management, construction design management co-ordinator, architecture, multidisciplinary engineering

We worked on the first tranche, helping to deliver 300 homes as well as ancillary community centres across 11 under-used or vacant sites across the south-east London borough. The 21 new homes with a shared courtyard at 169 Long Lane were built on the site of a former council housing office, for example.

Many of the new homes are specialist housing, which includes accessible or wheelchair adapted houses and facilities for the elderly and those in need of care. Homes had to meet high energy efficiency standards, while each development included improvements to the surrounding public realm. Extensive and early and ongoing consultation with tenant organisations, key government agencies, and local businesses and communities was key to getting support for the schemes.

Most homes were completed in 2015-2016 with the final two schemes ready for residents in 2018. Southwark has since set itself a more ambitious target: 10,000 units of social rented accommodation by 2043. Phase one, particularly our integrated approach to design, provides a benchmark for these future developments.

London is a relatively expensive place to live. About 19% of Southwark residents are in low paid jobs and the poverty rate is 31%, slightly above the London average (27%). The private housing market is unaffordable for many, and demand for affordable housing outstrips supply. The new Southwark homes are genuinely affordable to people on a range of incomes.


new build council homes for rent


under-used and vacant plots redeveloped

Core architectural and placemaking, landscape, structural, civil and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services were integrated with the energy and sustainability teams at the start of the project to ensure the new homes are sustainable and at least meet prevailing energy standards. Designs incorporated both BREEAM and Code for Sustainable homes criteria.

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