Architects for Social Housing: Review of proposals

The Council has now had the chance to review the detailed Architects for Social Housing proposal. The below sets out the process of evaluation and the conclusions from the Councils findings.

Following a meeting with the Resident Engagement Panel in February 2016 the Council sought to establish a constructive dialogue with Architects for Social Housing (ASH), surrounding their alternative proposals for Central Hill Estate.

ASH have publicly presented option(s) which included the retention of all residential properties on Central Hill and created new homes, community and office facilities and workshops on in-fill land on the estate, on top of existing flat and maisonette blocks or where there are currently non-residential buildings.

The proposals have now been reviewed by the Council twice (April & June 2016) and an independent review has also been conducted by PPCR (October 2016) the Independent Resident Advisers for Central Hill. The process of evaluation and the conclusions can be seen below. The three full reports can downloaded below.

Process of evaluation

The evaluation carried out by the Council was based on three key considerations:

  1. The deliverability of the proposed design when assessed against basic design, structural and planning principles
  2. The feasibility of delivering the proposals within the financial constraints the council finds itself in, and;
  3. The ability of Lambeth to fund the refurbishment costs for the 456 tenanted and leasehold homes on Central Hill and the value for money of this investment.

Conclusions

Lambeth’s key priority is to build  ‘More and Better Homes’ and so any proposal has to look at how many additional homes can be delivered – specifically affordable homes, and also how it can deliver investment to the Lambeth Homes Standard for the retained Lambeth stock.

The proposal by ASH would be challenging to deliver in light of the constraints identified by architects, planners and building control officers, in particular in building above existing homes. The Council considers a more realistic and achievable figure would be 123 new homes.

The financial assessment of the costs given by ASH and income for the development of 250 homes shows a negative net present value of - £6.6 million.  This means that in today’s prices the building costs would not be covered by the income received. As such the proposal is not feasible to be developed.

There would still be no money for Lambeth to refurbish the existing homes and so residents will see no benefit other than the development of 250 new homes on their estate.

Following the councils initial review in April 2016 it was agreed with the REP that a further review would be undertaken. Following this a further review was conducted by Lambeth in June 2016 followed by an independent review carried out by PPCR. The councils position remains the same, in that the Council cannot recommend the ASH proposal as a deliverable option and it will not be considered as part of the consultation with Lambeth tenants, leaseholders and freeholders on Central Hill.

 

The full reports for each review can be downloaded in pdf below:

Review 1 - April 2016 - London Borough of Lambeth Review 1 of ASH proposals

Review 2 - June 2016 - London Borough of Lambeth Review 2 of ASH proposals

Review 3 - October 2016 - PPCR Independent Review of ASH proposals

 

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