Lambeth Council unveils three proposals for new town hall campus in Brixton today

Written by on October 1, 2013 in Business, Community, Council, Housing, News, Uncategorized - 18 Comments
Plans include at least two new blocks of flats, as well as an 'enterprise centre' on Brixton Hill

Plans include at least two new blocks of flats, as well as an ‘enterprise centre’ on Brixton Hill

A “leading housing specialist” has unveiled their plans for a new enterprise centre at the heart a new Lambeth Town Hall complex.

It is one of three potential plans for the regenerated Town Hall area being considered by Lambeth council.

A large new enterprise centre, next to the existing town hall on Brixton Hill, would “celebrate the energising vibe of Lambeth”, according to developers United House, who hope to construct the scheme together with Lambeth council.

A rather slick slideshow was shown to a meeting at the Ritzy Cinema today, showing artists impressions of the plans, and giving hints at how the historic town hall itself might change under the development.

The other two proposals at the event came from developers Kajima and Muse.

It appears that Olive Morris House would be demolished and rebuilt as housing under the wider plans (see below). Another large block of flats looks destined for the site currently occupied by Hambrook House.

Olive Morris House could be redeveloped as housing under the plans

Olive Morris House could be redeveloped as housing under the plans

United House describes itself on its website as a “leading housing specialist, constantly delivering innovative projects across London and the south.” It goes on: “What really sets us apart is our ability to provide unique products and services as a contractor, developer and investor.”

Lambeth council say they want as many people as possible to comment on the various proposals, and all three schemes have been published on the Future Brixton wesbite here.

For now, you can see the slick United House promotional slideshow below. Watch out for rather tiresome phrases like “creating community space and feel good vibes”.  What do you make of the plans? Leave a comment below, Tweet us or email newsdesk@brixtonblog.com with your views.

<iframe src=”//player.vimeo.com/video/75407690″ width=”610″ height=”343″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/75407690″>United House – Enterprise Centre</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/bionicgroup”>The Bionic Group</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

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Tim Dickens is co-founder of Brixton Blog

18 Comments on "Lambeth Council unveils three proposals for new town hall campus in Brixton today"

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  5. David October 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm · Reply

    Totally agree for the need for more social housing. However, before knocking down OM House, the first clear up should be amongst the council staff who are wroughting the system by subletting their own personal stock of council dwellings. Lambeth Town Hall is rife with corruption

  6. Iain H October 2, 2013 at 11:47 am · Reply

    Unfortunately, I can’t see the slideshow. However, social housing would be welcome. I just hope that the council does more to encourage local enterprise rather than more new Tesco Metros and Sainsbury’s Local stores which are now a blight on the area.

  7. Peter F October 2, 2013 at 11:26 am · Reply

    This is a great idea. Brixton does look tired. Hambrook House has long since seen better days and the entire space could be better used.
    Olive Morris – just a dark red eyesore really.

  8. Tim Dickens October 2, 2013 at 9:57 am · Reply

    Mark, it’s absolutely true that there is a drastic need for more council housing stock in Lambeth. What is crucial with this development, however, is what percentage of the new housing units will be classed as social housing? Just as important is whether that housing will be let at a “social” or “affordable” (ie much higher) rate. All this remains to be seen at this stage.

  9. Mark October 2, 2013 at 9:50 am · Reply

    I should have thought that all the protesters at the evictions of short term tenancy tenants, or those that do not pay their rent, would rejoice at these plans to add to the housing stock of Brixton. The council – abysmal as they are at maintaining things like the Windrush Square and trees in Lambeth, but extremely good at awarding themselves huge pay rises -have one thing to their credit, they are top notch at building housing especially affordable housing. Coldharbour ward has one of the highest densities of affordable housing in the country, if not Europe. All the estates in the 14 years I have been here have been renovated once, the majority twice, and some of them three times. There is obviously a need, for this housing as Lambeth has also a growing population, prices are going up and businesses moving to the area suggest the area is becoming more popular. Everyone with an ounce of rationale understands that the reason for high prices of property are to do with lack of supply, and high demand. The government’s stupid help to buy is only making things worse, So why not support the council in building more housing? It must make sense, surely?

  10. I live up Brixton hill October 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm · Reply

    James—yes. Absolutely. Bullseye. Spend it on schools, not an “enterprise centre”. The idea that Lambeth council knows anything about “enterprise” is frankly beyond laughable.

    Schools. We need more schools. Primary, secondary. More schools.

  11. Yuppies Out! October 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm · Reply

    Lambeth College to be new housing.
    Olive Morris to be new housing.
    Old market buildings to be new housing.
    Unused premises to be new housing.
    Brixton Village to be new Foxton Village.

  12. Alastair Scott October 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm · Reply

    I accept that Olive Morris House and Hambrook House are past it, even though the first is less bad than it could’ve been (imagine if it had been faced in concrete …). However, for such open locations, the replacement buildings look dreadfully generic. At least the proposed replacement for Lambeth College, never built, had a bit of imagination to it, even though what was originally proposed also had a good view of bedrooms in Effra Court …

    What is desperately needed is a bit of integrated planning up Brixton Hill, instead of buildings being picked from a catalogue and plonked down whenever the opportunity arises.

    • And October 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm · Reply

      I agree with what you’re saying. Except, they don’t look much like family flats from the plan – no outside space visible at all. Even old fashioned council blocks have some outside communal space for kids to play in. No kids means no need for schools — apparently. Unless kids living there are expected to run across the A23 to Rush Common. Or, could those be rooftop gardens I see?

      • Alastair Scott October 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm · Reply

        Unfortunately, there’s not going to be much opportunity for “family flats”, whatever they might be, in such constrained space – the housing I grew up in in Central Scotland, which had 260 feet between houses in adjacent streets, just isn’t possible. That said, it would appear that the replacements for Olive Morris House are relatively narrow (it’s difficult to see how far back the existing building goes) and there might be space for something at the back as well as the roof garden (at least the proposer is trying …).

        This brings home the point about integrated planning again – if buildings are replaced piecemeal as gaps appear they are never going to be in harmony with each other or the surroundings. Look at Arodene Court, which was shoehorned into a space and has been largely unused (and, I suggest, unusable) for years.

  13. Nicholas Weedon October 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm · Reply

    I live in Effra Court now, and I don’t want to be overlooked by balconies across the road from a building that’s higher still and looks set to block valued winter sunlight from my window. NIMBY bit over, I do wonder about demolishing not very old places like Olive Morris and Hambroke, just because more money seems to grow on new buildings. The whole matter of “affordable housing” needs to be addressed properly, and the Council should not appease developers who pretend it can’t be built. The office block looks overbearing on the poor old Electric, but there are actually some good things about the plans too…

  14. James October 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm · Reply

    Yes. A secondary school should be part of the plans.

    And a primary.

  15. Siobhan Turner October 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm · Reply

    While I acknowledge that housing is essential, it does rather seem to me that Lambeth Council is interested purely in the housing side, rather than the other elements of infrastructure necessary to make them happen. Where will the children in these new buildings go to school? And if the answer is Sudbourne School, then where will the children currently living all of 250m away, but only just eligible by distance, go to school? And that’s just primary – the state of secondary schools in Lambeth is even worse. It does occur to me that the goal of Lambeth Council is to privatise education by the back door – anyone who can possibly afford to goes private, because the alternatives are either so restricted or so unpalatable, thus reducing their obligation to provide those services, but at the same time, ghettoising them.

  16. David Warner October 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm · Reply

    I remember Olive Morris House being built (I lived in Effra Court at the time). We were told it housed a nuclear bunker – so it’s going to take some demolishing!
    The prevailing sense I have living in Brixton is of massive mounts of public money being spent building things – them renovating them, then rebuilding them again. Who would have thought that a publicly built council flat in the middle of the twice publicly refurbished Stockwell Park estate would now be on sale for £350,000? Someone is making a tidy profit out of all THAT courtesy of Foxtons – and it ain’t the hard-pressed ratepayers/council tax payers of Brixton.

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