About Somerleyton Road

Somerleyton Road is a different kind of development. Lambeth Council is providing the land and has chosen to act as its own developer. This means the council and the community have more control over what is built and can focus on investing more than £100 million in building affordable homes and a thriving local community rather than making a profit.

It’s a development shaped and run by the people who will use it. Building work could start Spring 2016.

 What could be built?

Local people said they needed homes they can afford, jobs and training, and a chance to build a community.

Because Lambeth Council has chosen to act as its own developer on Somerleyton Road, the project can focus on building affordable homes and a thriving community rather than making a profit.

Somerleyton Road CGI
View of Somerleyton Passage with community hub and shop on the ground floors

New homes on Somerleyton Road

  • Half of the 304 new homes will be let at affordable rents, with more than 120 of these at council rent levels.
  • We want all the new homes to be for rent and managed through a new housing cooperative to make sure tenancies and rents are fair.
  • The range of sizes and types of new homes, including 79 x 3 and 4 bedroom homes and 65 x extra-care homes, responds to housing need and our aim to build a community for all ages.
  • Housing tenures will be mixed throughout the development and all new homes will be dual aspect.
  • The first tenants in the extra-care homes will be people currently living in nearby Fitch Court sheltered housing. They have been helping Mae Architects to design their new homes.

Lambeth Council has committed to building 1,000 new council homes through its More and Better Homes programme.

Somerleyton Road c.1965
Somerleyton Road c.1965

A new home for Ovalhouse theatre

  • The new theatre is close to the site of the old Brixton Theatre on Coldharbour Lane that was destroyed by a bomb in the Second World War. There used to be seven theatres in Brixton.
  • The building will provide two new studio theatres and seven flexible studio spaces capable of hosting a wide range of theatre productions, rehearsals, classes and community events.
  • Ovalhouse theatre, currently based in Oval, has been looking for a suitable site in Brixton for more than eight years. It sees Somerleyton Road as the ideal place for its lively, cutting edge theatre programme and impressive range of arts training and performance opportunities for young people.
  • Ovalhouse will also manage two floors of office space above the theatre and the creative workspaces in the refurbished Carlton Mansions next door.

Other commercial and community spaces

  • Brixton-based, Zac Monro, leads the refurbishment of locally-listed Carlton Mansion to provide much-needed workspace for Brixton’s creative businesses. The ‘Nuclear Dawn’ mural will also be preserved and become a feature at the entrance to the new theatre.
  • A chef training school is planned that will build on Brixton’s reputation as a food destination.
  • There is also space for a nursery, retail and other businesses, as well as a community hub.
  • Public open spaces will create ‘hot spots’ for people to meet and relax, or take part in a range of activities – these include a street gym, a community growing garden, a children’s play area and a multi-purpose space called the ‘Railway Yard’. Gross Max is designing the public realm and landscape.

 

How will it be run?

The final development will be owned and managed by a new community body in which the residents, community and business occupiers and the wider community have a say. The homes will all be for rent and will be set up as a new housing cooperative to make sure tenancies and rents are fair.

Meanwhile, the Somerleyton Road Steering Group is committed to keeping the local community at the forefront of the development and will ensure the plans continued to be shaped by local people. The steering group has been set up with representatives from Lambeth Council, Brixton Green and Ovalhouse, chaired by the Cabinet member for Jobs and Growth.

 

How did it come about?

Sketch from the Somerleyton Road 'Understanding the Money' workshop
Sketch from the ‘Understanding the Money’ workshop, January 2014

 

  • In the 1950s and 1960s Somerleyton Road was at the heart of Brixton’s West Indian and Irish communities. Forty years ago the homes were demolished and it became harder for local businesses and the community to thrive.
  • In 2008 Lambeth Council began working with local people on a masterplan for Brixton to guide investment and development in the area. Some Brixton residents came together as they felt Brixton people should be at the forefront of any redevelopment of Somerleyton Road. They set up the Brixton Green community benefit society and over 1,200 Brixton people became shareholders.
  • In 2013 the Lambeth Council’s cabinet agreed to set up the Somerleyton Road Project, with Brixton GreenLambeth Council and Ovalhouse working in partnership as members of the Steering Group. Local people and businesses continued to be involved in agreeing the brief.
  • In June 2014 igloo was appointed as the development management team and delivery partner for the project. It brings together a professional team, including a team of five architects that continued to work with the community to design Somerleyton Road.
  • A planning application was submitted in September 2015

Find out more

Read our full Q&As about the Somerleyton Road project here. As we clarify or receive additional details we will ensure this Q&A is updated.

You can read more about the site itself here and how we decided on what we wanted from the site on the Agreeing the Somerleyton Road brief page.

 

A Somerleyton Road Community Day

A Somerleyton Road Community Day

 

Events

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Brixton Conversations film screening

2015-11-07 2pm (screening at 3pm for approx 20 mins) to 5pm
The Ritzy, Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, London SW2 1JG
What does heritage mean, what is home & what creates our connection to Brixton? Anchor & Magnet asked 10 brixtonites to take part in a one to one chat with a fellow local they'd never met on film.... More »

Somerleyton Road exhibition

2015-10-13 5.30pm to 8pm
The Black Cultural Archives Heritage Centre
After many years working with local people on an ambitious new development incl more than 300 new homes and a theatre, we've now submitted a planning application. Come and see the plans and model.... More »

Somerleyton Road exhibition

2015-10-14 12 noon to 2pm
The Black Cultural Archives Heritage Centre
After many years working with local people on an ambitious new development incl more than 300 new homes and a theatre, we've now submitted a planning application. Come and see the plans and model.... More »

Somerleyton Road exhibition

2015-10-17 12 noon to 3pm
The Black Cultural Archives Heritage Centre
After many years working with local people on an ambitious new development incl more than 300 new homes and a theatre, we've now submitted a planning application. Come and see the plans and model.... More »