New council homes were unveiled less than 300 metres from The Shard last week after success of community-led project, writes Danny Wiser…
The 27 new homes in West Bermondsey were celebrated due to the collaborative approach of their building.
Marklake Court was given planning permission three years ago and now will see households that were either overcrowded or under-occupying moving in to free up space elsewhere in Southwark.
One of the new residents, Barbara Caley, moving from an old three-bedroom maisonette to a smaller new one said: “It’s been very exciting to be asked to take part in the design of the new building.
“And we were actually listened to. They acted on some of the things we put forward.”
The homes added to the 1960s estate on land used at that time for car parking were named Marklake Court to continue the Rudyard Kipling theme for homes on the Kipling Estate.
It comes from the 1910 story ‘Marklake Witches’ where Marklake is described as “just up the road from Burwash” – just as the new Marklake Court is a few yards up the road from its taller neighbour Burwash House.
At the unveiling were Kipling Estate residents, London government officials and members of the different organisations including the Leathermarket Community Benefits Society (CBS),
John Paul Maytum, who chairs the CBS, described Marklake Court as the realisation of a vision in keeping with what he called a “proud history of building homes for ordinary Londoners,” invoking the “homes fit for heroes” period after World War I.
There is a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom flats within two blocks which are five and seven storeys high.
The council rents will be higher for those who chose to move but hopes to save those previously under-occupying residents who were paying the bedroom tax.
It is thought that the weekly rent for a one-bed Marklake Court flat will be £130 per week compared with approximately £105 for one of the vacated Kipling Estate one-bed properties.