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Council unveils ‘pop-up’ temporary housing solution to cut waiting list

Lewisham Council has unveiled plans for an innovative ‘pop-up’ village, providing temporary homes for 24 families and space for community and business use. 

Developed in collaboration with architect practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), the temporary scheme, estimated to cost about £4.3m, would be located on the site of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre building, which was demolished in early 2014 and currently vacant pending redevelopment. 

The proposed scheme, which is due to be submitted for planning approval at the end of January, would be on-site for between 1-4 years, with the first residential units potentially occupied as soon as late summer 2015. 

All the units exceed the current space standard requirements by 10%, helping the council to meet an existing shortfall in both high-quality, temporary two-bed accommodation whilst it develops new build and estate regeneration programmes for the Ladywell site and others. 

Sir Steve Bullock, mayor of Lewisham, said: “This scheme may offer a solution to an all-too-common problem that plagues many development sites, which often sit unused while complex regeneration plans are put together. 

“When we have thousands of people on our housing waiting list and are paying out for expensive bed and breakfast stays that is a terrible waste.” 

The scheme, which would be one of the UK’s first ever 'pop-up' villages, uses volumetric technology in its construction. This means that the development can be built faster and cheaper than if traditional methods were used, and the finished structure is fully demountable – meaning it could be used over a number of years and in different locations across the borough. 

Ivan Harbour, partner at RSHP, said: “We are very excited to be working with Lewisham Council on the Ladywell site, which we believe offers a blueprint to meet a wide range of urban housing needs. 

“By delivering well-designed, flexible and sustainable accommodation using a quick and cost-effective volumetric technology, we hope to change the way we think about house building in the future.” 

Details of the proposed scheme are now available online and at Lewisham library

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected] 


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