Demolition work has begun on Catford’s former Jobcentre as 2017 plans for 45 new flats get underway.
Lewisham Council gave the green light in December 2018 to construct the new block at 9-19 Rushey Green. The current building is rather austere yet handsome enough. The new block is pretty anonymous.
The six-storey building will have commercial space at street level adjacent to Tesco Express. There are 15 “affordable” homes of which six are shared-ownership which has come in for increasing criticism as a tenure – with rent payable on top of a mortgage plus often matched with other fees.
The development proposed “starter homes” which are supposed to be slightly cheaper than market homes – though that was to be achieved by throwing away minimum size regulations. It’s been shown that small homes with inadequate living space and storage contribute to poor mental health.
The plans would have seen developers make very healthy margins – aided by Help to Buy – by providing “cheaper” yet ever smaller homes.
The Conservative Government pledged 200,000 such homes in 2014 but none have been built according to a report out this month. A blessing perhaps, though they’ve not been replaced with good quality, sizable homes instead. Housebuilding still lags far below numbers achieved during most decades of the 20th century and below existing targets.