£19m funding to build first permanent modular housing in Lewisham

3d computer drawn visualisation of the Home Park and Edward Street developments
Computer visualisation of the Home Park (left) and Edward Street developments

Lewisham Council has been awarded nearly £19m of grant funding from the Mayor of London to fund a series of innovative developments, to be delivered by Lewisham Homes. The programme will deliver much needed social homes, benefitting those most directly impacted by the housing crisis, which has worsened since Covid-19.

The first two projects, totalling 65 homes at two locations, will be built offsite using Precision Manufactured Housing (PMH) methods. This adds to the legacy created by the award-winning temporary PLACE/Ladywell scheme and highlights the borough’s position as one of the front-runners in delivering new, affordable homes with greater speed, efficiency and environmental performance.

Lewisham Homes, as the council’s housing company, has appointed leading offsite construction specialist Caledonian Modular to deliver the two buildings. In addition to the manufacture, Caledonian are also providing a full ‘turnkey’ service including groundworks, installation and finishing.

The funding will come from the GLA via its Accelerated Construction Fund (£13.75m) and the Right to Buy Ringfence Agreement (a further £5m).

The Home Park development in Sydenham will comprise 31 new family homes for social rent. The second site, at Edward Street in Deptford, will deliver 34 family homes for temporary accommodation, with retail units on the ground floor and public space including a small urban square. A third development of 47 homes for social rent on Burnt Ash Hill in Lee is currently in the design phase.

Tom Copley, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, said: ‘I’m delighted to support these cutting-edge new council homes for Lewisham residents.

‘Sadiq Khan has made building new council homes a priority and, across London, more were started last year than in any year since 1983.

‘We will continue to back ambitious councils like Lewisham to build new social housing, and to urge the Government to give London enough funding to build the genuinely affordable homes Londoners need.’

Cllr Paul Bell, Lewisham Cabinet Member for Housing & Planning, said: ‘The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic means that more families are facing homelessness and our commitment to tackling the housing crisis remains as strong as ever. These new modular home schemes, which build on the success of PLACE Ladywell, mean we can offer much needed social homes for families on our housing waiting list.’

Ainsley Forbes, Lewisham Homes’ board chair, said: ‘Lewisham Homes is proud to be the principal delivery agent for the Building for Lewisham programme, and to be playing our part in pioneering modern methods of construction in the borough. I am personally excited by this new venture and eager to see the results. We welcome the addition of 65 new family homes to Lewisham’s social housing stock.’

Paul Lang, chief executive officer at Caledonian Modular, said: ‘By specifying our “turnkey” modular solution, Lewisham Homes will achieve a modern, high quality build that is completed in significantly less time than a traditional approach.

‘We designed the Lewisham Homes’ project, as we do with all our schemes, using building information modelling (BIM), while our precision manufacturing will ensure occupants are provided with a highly efficient and comfortable living environment.

‘Having recently completed an accommodation contract in the South West of England, which was one of the largest modular residential developments in Europe with nearly 1,500 bedrooms, we are confident of delivering this latest sizeable project.’