London Borough of Lambeth has benefited from over £800k from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Land Release Fund (LRF), which is managed by the One Public Estate (OPE) programme, to support delivery of affordable housing and regeneration on council owned land.
Providing more and better homes for Lambeth residents is one of Lambeth’s key priorities. The lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing its residents - according to the Land Registry, Lambeth’s average house price in 2016 was £518,088 – 15 times London’s average annual wage. Lambeth has ambitious plans to address this, planning 1,000 new homes at council level rent. These will be the first new council homes for a generation, with a target of ensuring that at least 40 per cent of the homes on all housing developments are affordable.
Lambeth launched the estate regeneration programme to build better homes for current residents, and more homes to help tackle the housing crisis in the borough. The Fenwick South sites form an important element of the wider regeneration of the Fenwick Estate. Enabling the sites for construction resulted in key infrastructure costs having to be incurred which impacted the project’s financial viability.
In 2014 Transport for London (TfL) acquired land at Nine Elms to deliver the Northern Line Extension (NLE) from Kennington to Battersea, with an intermediate station at Nine Elms (Wandsworth Road/Pascal Street). Part of the land for the station was owned by Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited (SSL) and had outline planning permission for 92 affordable housing units.
TfL took over the responsibility for delivering the affordable housing and LB Lambeth subsequently agreed that 55 of the affordable homes could be delivered off-site on land in their ownership (0.44ha). This was in part to help accelerate delivery as the original scheme was situated above the new Nines Elms station and not programmed until 2025.
The development provides the opportunity to decant residents from the wider Fenwick regeneration scheme into high quality affordable new homes, therefore helping to accelerate wider delivery (est. 800 homes).
Enabling the sites for construction resulted in additional infrastructure costs having to be incurred, over and above that allowed for by the original S106, impacting on the viability of the scheme ie may have meant the delivery of fewer units. LRF funding of £825,000 helped to address:
- Site preparation and remediation, including demolition of existing council buildings (asbestos risk)
- Risk of buried asbestos
- Network Rail – strengthening the existing retaining wall which runs the full length of the southern boundary, associated engagement, legal agreements and works
- Requirement for a new / upgraded sub-station and connections to a future CHP
- Identification of a Thames Water storm relief sewer and associated works to build over.
The scheme also required a Thames Water “Build Over Agreement” and a Network Rail’s “Basic Asset Protection Agreement”.
The funding from LRF has enabled the scheme to provide the opportunity to be used as decant properties for residents on the estate and assist in the phasing of the wider estate regeneration, on what is a constrained urban site. This has allowed the council and the council owned company Homes for Lambeth to look at ways to deliver additional homes.
Following receipt of LRF funding, the necessary land remediation and infrastructure works were completed, land was released in October 2018 and construction work restarted on site in May 2021. The first phase of 46 homes are due to be completed in early 2023.