The council’s planning committee green-lit initial plans for up to 1,950 new homes, of which at least 35 per cent will be affordable, as well as up to 3,225 square metres of commercial floor space and enhancements to public open space.
The proposals follow a resident ballot on the future of the neighbourhood which took place in spring 2020 and saw a 65.4 per cent turn out with more than 70 per cent voting in favour of our plans. The new homes will replace the current estate where the buildings suffer from poor energy efficiency and higher maintenance costs.
The proposals represent phases three to seven of our wider masterplan for South Thamesmead and are a key element for the planned growth in the area. The design team was led by architects Maccreanor Lavington with support from architects Gort Scott and landscape architects Farrer Huxley.
We're committed to keeping the community together and the earlier phases of regeneration provide opportunities to rehouse families who want to stay living in the area.
Phase one forms the civic heart of South Thamesmead and is due to complete this month. It includes 534 new homes (of which 55 per cent are affordable) with many fronting on to Southmere Lake, a new public square (Cygnet Square), state-of-the-art library with community facilities (The Nest), commercial space for shops, services and cafes, and outstanding public realm. Some 72 households have already been rehoused into phase one and a further 109 families are expected to move by the end of the year.
Phase two will provide a further 329 new homes next to Southmere Lake of which 42 per cent will be affordable. We submitted a detailed planning application for this phase to Bexley Council earlier in 2022, with a view to breaking ground in 2023 subject to planning approval.
Matthew Foulis, Project Director Thamesmead for Peabody, said: “Bexley Council’s decision takes us yet another step closer to improving the quality of life for residents in South Thamesmead. As well as benefiting from new, high quality, energy-efficient homes close to the Elizabeth line, residents can also look forward to new facilities and more attractive, welcoming and accessible open spaces on their doorstep.
"We know just how important it is to keep the community together. As well as offering residents new homes in South Thamesmead, meaning they can stay close to friends and neighbours, we also continue to offer plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in great local activities and events. In doing so we hope to work with the community to enhance the day-to-day experience of living here so we all feel a sense of pride and belonging in this fantastic town."
Cllr Teresa O'Neill OBE, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, said: "We welcome Peabody's continued investment in the development of south Thamesmead. The area has received a real boost with the start of services on the Elizabeth Line and we feel sure that the prospect of large numbers of new homes, commercial space and community facilities will be welcomed by existing and new residents."
Prisca Thielmann, Associate Director at Maccreanor Lavington, said: “This is a unique opportunity to create a verdant residential neighbourhood, which is embedded into the existing landscape of Thamesmead. Clearly legible routes and characterful public spaces provide a sense of place and encourage incidental meeting, nurturing the community.
“Residents have expressed that they wish to have more access to things to do locally and the masterplan forms a piece in a wider mosaic of renewal aiming to improve the offer, with a new neighbourhood centre already delivered in Southmere. The now open Elizabeth line provides a fast connection into Central London.
“The proposed scale builds on the familiar height of six storeys found in historic cities, which is urban without being overbearing. This is adjusted in response to the site-specific contexts; larger buildings with mixed use ground floors are located on primary routes while the scale steps down to single family terraces where it directly meets existing houses.”