The changing face of Kidbrooke

With one of London’s most famous estates demolished and thousands of new homes and towers rising you may have thought the vast Kidbrooke scheme would have gained a fair bit of publicity, but considering the scope of the project there’s been surprisingly little.

I’ve seen the new blocks from afar many times but thought I’d pop over the document how things are looking. For those who havn’t seen since it was the Ferrier estate it’d be quite a surprise.

New towers are mainly centred around Kidbrooke station, which is currently being rebuilt.

New station building in foreground

The nearest block in the above photo houses a Sainsbury’s at ground floor and faces onto a new square which is sort of near where the estate’s old main square (Teleman?) was located, if memory serves.

New station and Sainsburys as seen from square

A pub named The Depot is also located beside Sainsbury’s. The name references the site’s history as an RAF base before the Ferrier Estate was built between 1968 and 1972.

New pub

It’s already a lively place befitting a town centre near a busy station and a nice place to be on a sunny day.

The old Ferrier comprised of around 2,000 homes in total and lasted less than 40 years before coming down. It was a pretty basic design of slab blocks  and towers located around squares. None of the complexity of early stages of Thamesmead, for example, was evident. The walk from the station to the town was an afterthought at best. This will be much better at integrating rail and town.

It also had a library that closed when the estate was demolished around a decade ago and no replacement ever opened. Greenwich Council like to keep that quiet when they state no library has closed as a result of recent cuts.

The new estate, or, err, Village, will total over 5,000 when complete, which is a moving total which generally keeps rising. Earlier this summer Berkeley Homes submitted plans to increase homes in Phase 3 and 5 resulting in an uplift from 1,004 to 1,309 for those stages pushing total homes above 5,000.

Taken in 2016 when work on towers begun

The tallest tower of the entire development has recently been revealed and overlooks the development’s main square and park.

This spot was to see a far smaller building in early plans. This below image shows a five-storey building on the site of the tower:

Earlier draft of the masterplan before revisions saw housing levels increase

As with much of this development (and most others) that plot saw building’s increase in size as time moved on.

New station

New station entrance

A new station is also being built and will be a pretty basic affair. It’s due to have barriers installed though there’s another ungated entrance on the other platform and I don’t think anything is confirmed to happen there in terms of staffing, and if not then it’ll be a bit of a waste of time to put in barriers in the main building.

No cycle lane

In terms of other transport provision there’s newly designed streets – on what is in effect a clean slate – that lack segregated cycle lane. This keeps happening at new developments.

Lacking cycle lanes

It would be minimal cost to put them in when starting from new with redesigned streets across the site.

New parks

Beside the new towers is a highlight of the entire development in the form of landscaped open space and a children’s park. The development is fortunate to have extensive greenery across the site which is wonderfully landscaped.

A children’s play park is extremely popular – and nearby is an idyllic spot to sit and relax.

Whilst the site is a hell of a lot more pleasant these days to spend time and walk around in than it was during the dying days of the Ferrier, it has lot many truly affordable homes. And that’s costing taxpayers big, with the council recently spending over £120 million buying homes off the market to house people. It recently approved buying homes as far out as Medway in Kent.

Homeless costs have jumped from £4 million a year in 2014/15 to £13.1 million last year.

Earlier stages of Kidbrooke redevelopment – lots of cameras

Back to the main square by the station and extensive building work continues to the south. When complete this will then surround the square before work moves onto some of the last major plots.

On a bright sunny day the entire development was a joy to walk through. There’s ample open space beside towers. Much like post-war planning envisaged. However the new square was more meagre than I’d imagined but still a decent space. It’ll certainly be buzzing when the new station opens and the towers become occupied.

There’s much to like about the new development. It’s just a shame so much is so expensive depriving many people – including those in good jobs – the chance of living there.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

11 thoughts on “The changing face of Kidbrooke

  • Is the Sainsburys Store a Sainsburys Local or is a slightly larger store?. For the amount oh homes already bulit and still under construction on Kidbrooke Village. I think the area would benefit from a full size store. Kidbrooke Village is rather isolated when it comes to shops and facilities with the main shopping areas and banks etc being a bus ride away.

    However, the new Aldi store is under construction on the site of the old Homebase Store. on KIdbrooke Park Road and due to open by the end of the year.

    • It’s a step up from a local Sainsbury’s but smaller than a normal store like the one at Eltham or even Lewisham.

      • Ah yep it does have a fresh pizza section I believe but size wise it is small

    • It’s a Local. Pretty small. Many will indeed go to the new Aldi

  • Bit sloppy journalism. Basic research would tell you that there are plans for the other side of the station. And I doubt SE trains would leave one side open.

    The library closed because the estate was being pulled down. Nothing to do with cuts.

    Can’t you eve try to be a bit positive about developments?

    Yes there may be fewer cheaper housing. It is the market telling people to up skill and get better jobs. Or move to where housing is cheaper.

    • 1) I’ve written about the other side numerous times. SE aren’t even likely to be running the franchise when the station is complete – and the DfT normally stipulate staffing. There’s no guarantee it won’t be left open.

      2) Why wasn’t a library reopened as housing grows from 2000 to 5000+?

      3) I describe parts of the development as idyllic. Not sure how that isnt being positive. If you want a developer puff piece it isn’t happening. I look at the good and bad.

      4) The affordable housing argument you present is nonsense. No market is providing everyone with £40k+ salaries. Do you want every police officer, fire fighter, shop worker and others to live many miles from the capital? How does a fire fighter upskill? Bring their own hose to work and get a £20k pay rise?

      As shown, the result of reducing truly affordable housing is taxpayers paying huge sums (£120m in recent years alone) for the authority to buy homes way out of London.

      • Very balanced reporting, murkydepths; from a local resident.

    • “It is the market telling people to up skill and get better jobs. Or move to where housing is cheaper.”

      I love it when the ‘market’ tells me to do things… Don’t lay into murkydepths when you haven’t got the knowledge Tina

  • Thank you Aaron Shaw and Murky for replying to my question about the Sainsburys Store.

    Another great article Murky keep them coming. You provide us with the information and facts that we do not get from other journalist and artticles where a lot of facts are omitted.

  • I was here a few months ago to attend the excellent little NHS clinic and I was surprised to see a chap picking litter around the footpaths of the stations down-side. You see a few patrolling the area and they’re making a good effort to keep it clean. The walk through the car park to reach Sainsburys meant I didn’t need to go the long way round across the station footbridge but it’s still a bit tricky on crutches. I hope that the station bridge remains open as it’s much more convenient (and feels far safer) than the public bridge further down

  • Pingback: Greenwich Council Proposes 322 new affordable rental homes in Kidbrooke – Constructing London

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