The ambitious regeneration of Somerleyton Road is set to take a huge step forward, after councillors gave the green light to plans to build hundreds of new homes at the site.
Lambeth Council’s cabinet last night [14 January] approved a strategy for building over 300 homes – 50% of them affordable – in the Somerleyton Road regeneration area, in Brixton.
The plans, including much-needed new social housing for local families, are a key element of the overall regeneration scheme, which also includes the relocation of the renowned Ovalhouse Theatre and the development of workspaces and community and community facilities.
A report endorsed by cabinet recommended that the council’s wholly-council owned housing company Homes for Lambeth (HfL) should build the new homes, in order to maximise the number of genuinely affordable properties. Directing HfL to take on the work would also enable the land to stay in effective public ownership.
The blueprint also reaffirms the original objectives for involving the whole community in the Somerleyton Road development, set out in November 2013. The report outlines plans to establish a community steering group which will oversee the Somerleyton Road project and create the Community Stewardship Body which will help to supervise the development in the long term.
The landmark proposals to move ahead with the housing come soon after the council appointed contractors to progress the first phase of the regeneration scheme – involving the development of the New Ovalhouse Theatre and the refurbishment of the listed building Carlton Mansions.
Word from the cabinet
Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, said: “The redevelopment of the Somerleyton Road area is a key part of our plans for improving Brixton and Lambeth as a whole.
“We have worked hard with the community and our partners over a number of years to develop an ambitious plan that would be shaped by local residents, be unique to Brixton and provide the best chance of meeting the aspirations of people in the area.
“This decision will be a vital step in pushing the project forward; in the midst of a major housing crisis, it promises genuinely affordable homes for people in the local area and Lambeth as a whole.
“But it will also be faithful to our original vision of achieving this vital regeneration with the active participation of the entire local community. We can now start work on establishing a community steering group to oversee the whole project, and create the Community Stewardship Body to help supervise the development in the long term.”
The council set out its ambitious vision for Somerleyton Road in 2013, following extensive consultation with local residents. Through this positive engagement with Brixton Green and others in the local community, the council identified an outstanding opportunity for local people and local groups to work alongside the council to bring about transformational change to this exciting part of Brixton.
It also identified a major aspiration for the community to take on a long term stewardship role in the new development.
The original objectives of the project, set out in a report to Cabinet in November 2013, included bringing the Ovalhouse Theatre to Brixton, maximising the amount of affordable housing for local people, and securing a long-term stewardship role for the community in the finished project.
The current planning consent for the scheme comprises 6 blocks, with provision for 304 homes – of which 50% are genuinely affordable – Extra Care homes, a nursery, a street gym, commercial space and retail space.