Developers have submitted a formal planning application for 51 new homes and a new office block off Lansdowne Hill to replace the derelict ex-laundry building. The plans show the housing block as 6-7 storeys high and the office block as 4 storeys. There are 5 parking spaces. And two new stepped footpaths into York Hill estate. The new scheme includes 20% affordable housing: five 3-bedroom homes at social rent and four 1or2-bedroom homes at intermediate rent.
Developers want to build a new car-free “urban village” of over 500 homes to rent in West Norwood on a site with only one entrance – from Knollys Road.
They have already submitted a planning application to tunnel under the railway line at Knollys Road by Cameron Place. The developers are now talking about a foot bridge 10 metres high at the Leigham Vale end of the site.
Constructing tunnels & bridges is very costly and means the new high density “village” is unlikely to meet Lambeth council’s target of 40% affordable homes.. The developers want to include some business space and make the whole site vehicle free.
Developers sketch of 9 storey housing
The private sector developers have employed a PR company which is claiming that a waste or recycling facility, industrial estate or haulage depot could be opened at Knollys Yard. Lambeth Council has no plans to do this.
The Network Rail owned site, located between three raised railway tracks, is currently used by scaffolding companies. The council is reviewing its planning policies, known as the Lambeth Local Plan and is considering whether to extend its policy of protecting existing employment sites (known as Key Industrial & Business Areas – KIBAs). Contrary to the claims on the PR company campaign, a KIBA does not mean that the site would be occupied by heavy industries. Of course any proposal for significant new business or industrial development at Knollys Goods Yard would require planning permission, full public consultation, and detailed analysis of the impact on traffic and neighbours.
London’s social mix has always been a key part of London and is under threat more than ever before. The Government’s new ‘Vacant Building Credit’ waives the need for developers to include affordable housing when redeveloping vacant buildings. These payments are vitally important to ensure a supply of affordable homes for families, and to ensure that our neighbourhoods remain mixed communities – not just luxury enclaves for the rich.