Anyone travelling north or west from Camberwell cannot fail to miss the scale of development taking place in Elephant and Castle and Vauxhall at the moment. What is not so obvious is the number of projects currently underway or anticipated in Camberwell itself. A plethora of developers, housing associations, and even the Council itself are getting in on the act. Here’s a summary of the main ones just within the Camberwell Green ward.
Camberwell Fields: Notting Hill Housing Association are currently building 279 homes on Edmund Street and Southampton Way, overlooking the south west corner of Burgess Park. The development is a mix of private sale, shared ownership, and social rent, on a site formerly occupied by social housing, knocked down over 10 years ago and immortalised by two paintings on display in the Museum of London. The development recently received a rather snooty write-up from the Evening Standard, although personally I think it could have been a lot worse. Status: completion late 2015
Camberwell Road/Wyndham Road: On the corner of this junction, Parritt Leng are building 82 mixed tenure flats in five blocks, as well retail space, a gallery, and studios to replace those demolished by the development. The stretch of shops along this part of Camberwell Road appears to be really struggling at the moment. The Corrib Bar has been illegally turned into a church, while two other shops appear to have been quietly converted into studio flats by their owners. If the development creates a fillip for area it will be no bad thing, and would compensate for the Victorian buildings knocked down to clear the site. Status: under construction
Crown Street: A few metres away the same developer is also building 69 mixed tenure flats and commercial space on a slither of land between Crown Street and the railway line, formerly used mainly as a car park. Status: under construction
315–7 Camberwell New Road: On the site of the former Jono’s Snooker Hall, IDM Properties have now begun a development of 31 flats as well as a bar and a replacement snooker hall in the basement. This site has had a chequered history with planning permission having originally been granted for a smaller development with a larger proportion of social housing, but which the developer subsequently determined was not viable. Status: under construction
1–6 Camberwell Green/307–11 Camberwell New Road: On the opposite side of Camberwell Passage, Frasers Property have begun work on a development of 101 private and shared ownership apartments with eight commercial units on the ground floor on the site of the old Jobcentre and HSS hire centre. The advertising boards describe “the art of living”, though the current website suggests the development is firmly targeting the buy-to-let market. However, the ground floor commercial space from this and the above development could hopefully further increase the number of eating and drinking choices in Camberwell, currently constrained by Southwark’s planning policy that requires 50% of commercial premises in the town centre to be for retail use. Status: site cleared
272–4 and 286–304 Camberwell Road: Just next door to the previous site, Peabody housing association have had planning permission for 2 years to build 66 mixed tenure homes on land overlooking the north west corner of Camberwell Green. It is not clear when construction will begin on this site, though it appears Peabody are still seeking ancillary permissions to meet the requirements of their planning consent. Status: site cleared
240 and 252 Camberwell Road: A few steps further north, and another developer has recently been given permission for 164 homes on a site currently occupied by a theatre set company next to and behind the Nags Head pub. Ironically, the only objector was the House of Praise, which itself only recently received retrospective planning permission, having illegally converted the former bingo hall into a church (albeit one with nice lights at Christmas). Status: planning permission granted
Elmington estate: As part of the final phase of Southwark’s long-term and oft-delayed plan for the Elmington Estate, the housing association Family Mosaic is working with the developer Bellway to redevelop three sites in the area. One, on Lomond Grove, consists of 82 mixed tenure homes; another on Elmington Road consists of 89 units; and the third, on Benhill Road, includes 54 units. These are the only sites out of those listed which will see the demolition of homes to make way for the new buildings – around 180 council-owned and right-to-buy homes, many of which have fallen into a terrible state of repair in recent years. Hopefully, those people being rehoused will be moved to one of the above sites. Status: planning permission granted.
Lomond Grove: Finally, elsewhere on the Elmington estate, the Council itself has begun work on a site formerly occupied by garages to build 25 homes, the sales from 10 of which will be used to fund the provision of 15 for social rent. Status: under construction
Altogether, the various developments come to 1,042 new homes across the ward. Albeit, not all of these are additional. My estimate is that taking account of the homes that will be demolished, around 860 are additional. To place this in context, the 2011 census estimated that there were 6,179 dwellings in the ward. So if all of these come to fruition over the coming years, it will mean a 14% increase in the ward’s housing stock.