The Church Grove Project is a pilot scheme to create sustainable, community-led neighbourhoods and truly affordable homes. It is intended to provide a replicable model that involves local people and residents in addressing the housing crisis
and building vibrant, connected neighbourhoods.
The site is in the borough of Lewisham, on a disused plot next to the Ravensbourne river. It’s a short walk from Ladywell train station and Lewisham High Street, with University Hospital Lewisham, Lewisham Council offices, Lewisham College and Goldsmiths College all within a 15-minute walk.
The future residents are of a mixture of ages and backgrounds, type of employment and income. They have chosen to live in a scheme which offers more control and mutual support than housing developments offered by commercial developers or even housing associations.
Many residents will be involved in the construction process, working on tasks such as carpentry and tiling, in exchange for a discount corresponding to the amount saved by their work.
The Church Grove project is designed to benefit not just its future residents but also the community within which it sits:
• the temporary community hub is available for use by local community organisations for meetings, social events and shared workspace
• a new playground between the flats and the river accessible to the public
• new public access to the Ravensbourne, supporting Lewisham Council’s long-term aspirations to open up access to the river.
Design for a low-carbon future
• use of electricity rather than gas, with an air source heat pump providing metred hot water and photovoltaic panels generating electricity
• insulation to a standard higher than the national Building Regulations
• all flats fitted with high-speed broadband to allow for home working
• raised beds for food growing and green roofs on the main building as
well as on some of the bin and cycle stores
• rainwater harvesting to water butts on each floor
• a car-free scheme with very limited car parking, and cycle storage meeting the proposed London Plan requirements; three disabled parking bays, one car club space and an electric vehicle charging point
• planters along the walkways to create a green screen of climbing plants that will reduce the risk of flats overheating in summer and help mitigate air pollution.
Download more information about the Church Grove Project below.