A new 2,400-home development branded ‘New Bermondsey’ will be completed three years ahead of schedule, after the area was designated one of London’s first Housing Zones last week.
The site in the northern-most tip of Lewisham will benefit from a £20m loan from the Greater London Authority, which will allow construction of the first 532 houses to be sped up by two years. With construction starting next year, all of the development homes are expected to be completed by 2018. However there is still no completion date for the whole scheme.
The development will create 2,000 jobs and include a state-of-the-art £42m sports complex, a multi-faith centre, a hotel, medical facilities and a conference centre.
Extra transport funding will be made available as part of the Housing Zone initiative, with construction for a new Overground station on the East London Line starting this year. Two new bus routes will also be introduced.
However, some aspects of the scheme have faced criticism from Millwall Football Club, whose stadium will be surrounded by the development. Last year club chairman John Berylson said: “I am appalled and bewildered by the behaviour of the council towards Millwall Football Club, our fans and our Community Scheme.
“Lewisham Council’s decision to sell the freehold of these three areas of land adjoining our stadium – including the Lions Centre and our car park – to developers without considering our own plans makes us feel isolated, unsupported by our local authority and angry.”
Responding to the news that construction of the project would be sped up, a club spokesperson told the News: “The Club will fight every step of the way to prevent the London Borough of Lewisham from seizing that land through a compulsory purchase order and excluding Millwall from making an important contribution to the New Bermondsey Housing Zone.”
Simon Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, supported the news.
He said: “I welcome new homes – London’s lack of affordable housing is the number one issue of concern to the largest number of local residents.
“I will keep fighting for as much affordable housing across London in general, and in Bermondsey, the Borough, the Elephant and Walworth, as will my colleagues Caroline Pidgeon and Stephen Knight in the Greater London Assembly.”