Construction work on one of south-east London’s tallest towers appears to be nearing completion beside Lewisham station.
For many months the tallest building on site beside Tesco has appeared externally complete save for a few areas where no progress has been seen, including at corners at the top of the tower.
It’s still unfinished, but lights are now on within the tower of an evening with much looking internally and externally finished.
And the Built to Rent project now has a name and operator.
Meyer Homes gained permission for the site’s development though Legal and General are now in charge of all rented flats at Bale & Anchor.
L&G being in charge may help explain why five years on from gaining approval for another town centre site under their ownership a short distance away, Legal and General have yet to build a thing.
That’s left a half empty retail park in a prime site close to Lewisham station during a housing shortage.
The new development is far from affordable for many. It helps by not building the nearby site. A three-bed flat starts at £3620 a month. A four-bed Victorian house in the area is a fair bit less than that.
A one-bed starts from £1,815. Also, why are Legal and General using square foot measurements? Do they think as it’s a bigger number it looks better. It’s 2024. Use square metres.
Built to Rent continues to be an extremely expensive tenure. Many of the perks still proclaimed aren’t really worth a great deal anymore. No agency fees? Well they’re banned now anyway. Capped deposits? The Tenancy Fee Act did the same for all private rentals.
Fast broadband? A high speed package can be had for £25 a month.
They also make a play of rooftop amenities. When approved the rooftop was due to be publicly accessible. Let’s see how that plays out.
One benefit though proclaimed for the sector is that an institutional, professional landlord should be more reliable as private rentals are a bit of a wild west. You never know what type of landlord you’ll get, and I’ve had a few cowboys in the past. The type who don’t want to fix any issue or send “family” round to do a bodge job then attempt to fleece the deposit when vacating making up claims.
So while new Build to Rent should help around the margins with housing problems, unless costs fall beyond some ludicrous levels it won’t achieve major impact or provide affordable housing for many.
As for the site, it’s directly beside Lewisham station but as we recently learned a closed station entrance will not be reopened and neither will a new one be built despite is appearing a relatively easy process.
A modular staircase and lift installed when the DLR was extended sits directly beside the new tower and adjacent blocks. See the outline in red below.
No funding for an entrance is despite this development being far from the only one north of the station. There’s two estate rebuilds nearby doubling homes to 1,225 homes plus plans are being drawn up to demolish the adjacent Tesco supermarket and building a mixed-use development on site.