Somerleyton Road gets green light from planners
Written by Future Brixton team
December 16, 2015
Our ambitions to build 304 new homes, a theatre and much more at Somerleyton Road were given the go ahead by the council’s planning committee last night. This means work could start on the £100 million scheme in Spring next year.
Over a number of years, the council, Brixton Green, Ovalhouse, local people and the design team have worked together to plan a ‘street for all ages’ – from the children’s nursery to the extra care homes.
The council is committed to building 1000 new homes at council rents over the next four years and because it’s acting as its own developer, the focus for Somerleyton Road can be on building affordable homes and a thriving community rather than making a profit.
The development will be owned and managed by local people, businesses and the wider community. The new homes will all be for rent and managed through a new housing cooperative to make sure tenancies and rents are fair. Half of the new homes will be available at affordable rents and 121 of these will be at council rent levels.
Cllr Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth says “ Somerleyton Road is genuinely ground breaking and has been created through a partnership that brings together Ovalhouse theatre, the local community, Igloo and five outstanding architects. Now we can see the shared ambition and creativity of everyone involved start to become reality and that’s really exciting.”
Managed by Igloo regeneration, the team of architects brings variety to the individual buildings along the street. Metropolitan Workshop’s masterplan for the site makes sure they work together as a ‘family of buildings’ and open 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.
The new theatre will be close to the site of the old Brixton Theatre on Coldharbour Lane that was destroyed by a bomb in the Second World War. Designed by Foster Wilson, it will include two performance spaces and seven flexible studio spaces, as well as a café bar and two floors of office space.
“We are delighted with this decision which is an important step towards building a bold new contemporary theatre in a town centre that used to have no less than 7 theatres.” Deborah Bestwick, Ovalhouse
The first tenants in the new extra-care building will be current residents from nearby Fitch Court, who have helped Mae Architects design their new homes.
The tenants’ representative, Mr Carlton Guy, said: “People are very comfortable with what is on offer. This is not just building a block, it is building a community that feels family orientated. We’ll be secure and can be social.”
The courtyard garden was a feature inspired by the future tenants of the extra care homes and people told us outdoor space and greenery was important throughout. All the new homes will have access to private outdoor space and other public open spaces will create ‘hot spots’ for people to meet, relax and do things – such as the street gym, the community growing garden and the children’s play area.