Planning permission granted for London’s largest affordable self-build project

What’s been hailed as the largest low cost self-build housing project yet in London has been granted planning permission.

Lewisham Council approved the plans for the 33 home project, and construction is expected to begin in late 2018 or early 2019. The scheme is set to cost £8.6m and will be built on a one acre site in Ladywell.

The project has been initiated by an 800-strong local community organisation, the Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS). Over the last few years RUSS has worked closely with Lewisham Council to progress the scheme to this stage.

The houses built will range from one to four bedrooms. Of the new properties, 14 will be available on a shared equity basis, 12 will be shared ownership, and five will be for social rent. The remaining two homes will be shared and see a total of six rooms offered for affordable rent. The properties have already been reserved for local people who meet the project’s affordability criteria.

RUSS has worked in partnership with Lewisham Council to facilitate the site on a 250 year lease. The land will be held in a Community Land Trust so the homes will be valued based on the value of just the building and not the land. The residents have had the homes designed so they are simple and cost effective to build. It is also proposed that they will do some of the construction work themselves.

These factors mean that residents are predicted to be able to buy a 25 per cent stake in a typical one bedroom home from £77,500. The monthly rent on the home would be £429 (reduced by £104 per month because of the resident’s contribution to the building work). A three bedroom home is anticipated to cost £141,000 for a 25 per cent stake, with a monthly rent of £763, reduced by £208 per month.