ASH’s latest proposals for Knights Walk, in collaboration with If-Untitled, were presented at a public consultation meeting in the Cinema museum off Renfrew Road on 22 September, 2015. The audience included residents, neighbours, Matthew Bennett, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Housing, and Neil Volkes, Lambeth council’s Head of Regeneration, as well as Leslie Johnson and Joanne Simpson from Lambeth council, Doug from MAE Architects, and Naomi from Soundings.
Following MAE’s presentation of their proposals, which ranged from partial infill to full demolition, we presented our two latest infill and roof-extension proposals, both of which retain all the existing homes, with the addition of an extra 39 x 3-bedroom homes (30 of which sit on top of the existing bungalows), and a further 35-45 new homes in two buildings on Renfrew Road and Kennington Lane respectively (options A and B). This makes a total of around 80 new homes.
Not having to rebuild the existing 33 homes, which are in perfectly good condition and of excellent design, at approximately £150,000 each, comes to a saving of around £5 million. If Lambeth are obliged to buy out the current freeholders, this could add a further £3-4 million, resulting in a saving of a huge £8-9 million, which could be used to fund the construction of over 50 council homes elsewhere, or enable the construction of a much greater percentage of council-rent homes on this site, or pay for the refurbishment of the whole of the Cressingham Gardens estate.
Lambeth council are currently exploring these options alongside those proposed by MAE. Their investigation over the next few weeks will include costs and structural estimations that will enable the proposals to be evaluated by the Cabinet in November. We are hoping to obtain our own structural advice over the next week, because we are determined to get a really clever and simple structural solution. It is a slightly more complex condition, and potentially more expensive in some places; but it’s certainly achievable and, due to the savings through non-demolition, potentially genuinely viable.
If anyone is in the Kennington area on Thursday, the exhibition will be up in the community hall at Cotton Gardens Estate, and any comments on the various schemes will be much appreciated.
There will be a final presentation on 13th October by Lambeth council of the outcomes of their investigations, followed by the council’s recommendation to Cabinet in November.
Architects for Social Housing