Eighty flats to be demolished less than a decade after they were built due to fire safety concerns

Charles Harrison (08 December, 2021)

The building's timber cladding was declared dangerous and residents were moved out after just 7 years

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80 flats on the edge of Peckham Rye that were built less than a decade ago are slated to be demolished after being declared too dangerous to live in.

Despite being only finished between 2009 and 2011, the flats at Solomon’s Passage have faced severe damp, mould and safety problems since their completion.

The timber cladding on the outside of the building was declared to be dangerous, and it emerged that the building lacked sufficient fire proofing. A 24-hour fire warden was employed as a result.

In 2018, just seven years after completion, the buildings’ previous owner sold the blocks and moved residents out of the flats into other housing, leaving the building mainly empty.

It has been left covered in protective hoarding, while a small number of the flats are temporarily rented out to people.

Proposals by ECD Architects that would have retained and reconfigured two of the development’s blocks were approved by Southwark Council in 2018. But after Wandle Housing Association sold the site to Henley Homes last year, the new owners have created their own plans.

A mockup of the proposed new build

Victoria Crosby, from Southwark Council’s planning team said: “The buildings suffer from problems of water ingress, damage to the timber frames, leaking roofs, damp, poor wiring and fire safety measures and concerns with the timber cladding.

“There are some temporary occupiers to help protect the site from vandalism but the majority of homes are unoccupied because the construction faults and issues mean that the previous occupiers have been moved out.”

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the demolition and rebuild of the flats during a meeting on November 30.

A spokesperson for Southwark Council said: “The highly unusual reasons for proposing the demolition of these buildings, which are only approximately 10 years old, relate to the poor build quality and the lack of action to remedy defects since the problems were discovered.

“As well as replacing the 85 poor quality, near-uninhabitable homes with new units, the six additional units proposed would make a small contribution towards the borough’s housing needs.”

22 of the 91 new flats will be available at social rent, with ten at affordable rents, while the remainder of the apartments will be at market rates.

The number of parking spaces available on site will be reduced from the current 62 to 40, with seven of the spaces reserved for people with mobility difficulties.

Peckham residents fear eviction from blocks to be demolished 5 years after being built

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