Selecting an Enabling Partner
In March 2015, the Council launched a process to select a not-for-profit community-led organisation or consortium to act as an enabling development partner to deliver a community-led self-build project on the Church Grove site.
The selection process sought financially viable and deliverable proposals, and placed an emphasis on affordable housing in the long term, high sustainability standards, and training opportunities for a wide range of residents.
The Council has been through a 'dialogue' process prescribed by European Regulations on shortlisted proposals from the Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS) and Phoenix Community Housing.
RUSS were selected as the enabling development partner to manage the project finances. The Council will enter into a contract and lease for the site. It is envisaged that a group of self builders could be established by February 2016, and that self builders will have a key role in shaping the project.
More detail background is available on the Mayor & Cabinet report approved on 4th March 2015 and 30th September2015.
We will keep prospective self builders and residents of Church Grove up to date with progress.
Background and research
Lewisham Council has a history of supporting group self-build in the borough, with innovative projects in the 1980s that have been replicated across the country.
The Church Grove site provided an opportunity for a similar project that would contribute to the councilís New Homes, Better Places programme, which plans to develop at least 500 homes for rent by 2018 to help tackle the significant housing challenges in the borough.
The council worked with self-build facilitators, Our London to engage interested residents, explore various options as to how the project could be delivered, and help select a community-led self-build enabler.
A Discussion Day in October 2013 provided inspiration and information on various options and approaches, and allowed the Council to seek feedback from interested residents and other parties. The Council also carried out technical work to understand the constraints and opportunities of the site.