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Residents celebrate building milestone on new council homes site in Chaucer, Southwark

22 June 2021

Residents, Southwark councillors and Board Directors from the Leathermarket Community Benefit Society (CBS) celebrated a topping out ceremony at the Joseph Lancaster site in the Chaucer ward in Southwark on Tuesday 8 June 2021.

Buxton Building Contractors, who are delivering the development, led a site visit and gave two residents a tour of the house they will move into when works are completed in spring 2022. Southwark’s Cabinet Member for Council Homes and Homelessness, Councillor Stephanie Cryan, and the Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development, Councillor Helen Dennis, laid a ceremonial coping stone on the roof of the development to celebrate building works reaching the roof level.

The Joseph Lancaster development will provide 40 new council homes for Southwark residents. Of these, 34 will be flats and six will be mews houses to cater for larger families in housing need. There will also be a new communal garden for new and existing residents on the site of the former Joseph Lancaster nursery building. The development is being delivered by Leathermarket (CBS) in partnership with Southwark Council.

The plans for the site were developed through a community-led design process with the Lawson Tenants and Residents Association (T&RA) and Bell Phillips Architects. The Lawson T&RA worked to refine the plans for the Joseph Lancaster nursery site from the earliest stages of the design and the new homes and landscaping plans are designed to meet the needs of existing residents on the estate and in the Leathermarket JMB area.

Katie Farrant, resident director of Leathermarket CBS, said, “It’s so good to see these council homes going up for local residents that need them. I lived on the Lawson Estate from the age of ten, and seeing so many new council homes going up here in central London brings a lot of hope for local council tenants who want to stay in the neighbourhood that feels like home for them. It’s great that the council is supporting community-led social housing in our local area.”

John Paul Lynch, resident director of Leathermarket CBS, said, “It was wonderful to witness the great progress with construction of the 40 high quality homes at Joseph Lancaster Court. The chronic housing shortage nationally and in Southwark is a huge challenge, with over 15,000 families on Southwark’s waiting list for a home and over 3,000 residents in temporary accommodation, these new homes are desperately needed.

All of the homes will be let at council rent levels, which enables local residents in housing need to move within their neighbourhood. The Bermondsey and Borough area is a great place to live – we have such a strong community within the JMB area which I’ve been part of all my life. I feel proud to be a CBS director knowing we are making a difference to residents’ quality of life.”

Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Council Homes and Homelessness, Councillor Stephanie Cryan, said, “I was delighted to visit the Joseph Lancaster site and to see how well this building is progressing. This new development will create 40 new homes for social rent and a communal garden for the residents here, providing much-needed new homes that I know our residents will be excited and proud to move into.

“I’m thrilled that the partnership between Southwark Council and Leathermarket CBS continues to be so successful in serving our residents and tackling the housing crisis locally. This community-led housing partnership is building new homes in the heart of London at council rent levels, and forms a key part of Southwark Council’s overall New Homes programme, which is building 11,000 new council homes across the borough by 2043.”

Southwark Council is committed to the most ambitious council house building programme in London, aiming to deliver 11,000 new council homes by 2043 and 2,500 of these by 2022. We work with our residents to shape the way we deliver new council homes, from site identification through to consultation, design, planning, and delivery.

The Leathermarket CBS is owned and managed by local people and was set up in 2013 to take forward the development of new homes managed by the Leathermarket Joint Management Board (JMB) in Southwark. The Leathemarket JMB is Southwark’s largest resident-managed housing organisation, managing 1,500 homes in Borough and Bermondsey between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Page last updated: 23 June 2021

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