Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Housing, New Cross

Plans for 324 flats at Lewisham Council’s New Cross site submitted

An application has been made to build 324 homes at a long-vacant site in New Cross on Besson Street.

Alongside homes will be shops, pharmacy and GP surgery. Blocks will range from three to twelve floors in height. This proposal is a joint venture between the authority and Grainger.

Demolished 2007

The site is owned by Lewisham Council and lay empty for 12 years since buildings on site were demolished. Council housing was pulled down alongside a pub and builder’s merchant yard. Plans in 2009, seen below, went nowhere:

Click to enlarge

The New Cross Road frontage is in keeping with existing buildings – with new paths through the site created. Red brick and gold balconies are predominant colour palette and material.



Community space will be provided within the new development. According to plans:

“The proposal provides the New Cross Gate Trust with a new space for gatherings and activities such as community events, shows, meetings, clubs and classes and with a new office.”

Tallest block at junction of Besson Street and Briant Street (in distance)

Community space is located on the ground floor of the tallest block on site.

Site history

After six years lying vacant Lewisham Council identified it as suitable for mixed-use development in mid 2013. Six and a half years on and finally there’s a planning application. Just as well there’s no housing crises and a sharp rise in homelessness eh?



As for affordable housing, 35% of homes created will be ‘London Living Rent’ levels. That tenure is the higher level of “affordable” housing set by the Mayor of London and above traditional council housing levels, as well as the new ‘London Affordable Rent’.

Overview of site

No prices for the 65 per cent of private rentals are yet set, though Grainger charge £1,450 pcm for a 2-bed above an Asda in Barking and £1,700 in Canning Town. We can expect something closer to £2,000 in New Cross.

Internal garden

The application states that a viability assessment concludes that including a GP surgery and community space gives an opportunity cost equivalent to providing 50 per cent “affordable” homes.

The development is predominantly car-free with residents expected to use public transport or cycle. There are 10 parking spaces for disabled residents. The London Overground is expected to see a boost in trains per hour in the peak through New Cross Gate and Peckham Rye in coming years. Southeastern have no confirmed improvements.

Click here to view all 158 planning documents.

2 Comments

  1. Graham

    I was stunned and just cannot believe that Labour Controlled Lewisham Council demolished council housing in 2007 and left the site empty and undeveloped for 12 years. Despite them going on about the Housing Crisis in London and the UK at every opportunity.

    When you knock down social housing at affordable rents we would expect the redevelopment to start immediately not 12 years later and be replaced with new social housing at local affordable rents surely.

    However I do like the new mixed use development on this New Cross site with the GP Surgery Pharmacy and shops. As it is important that amenities are included in new developments as the local population continues to grow.

    I was always like to see empty sites being brought back in to use. I just wish in this case it did not take 12 years.

    • ‘I was stunned and just cannot believe that Labour Controlled Lewisham Council demolished council housing in 2007 and left the site empty and undeveloped for 12 years.’

      Really. Labour is just as bad as the Tories and Lewisham council no better than Greenwich. The truth is that London boroughs are remaking their area by pricing out the poor. Only the wealthy or the fortunate can afford to live in some parts of London.

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