Southwark Council's programme of rooftop housing development
In October 2019, Southwark Council outlined its plans to introduce a set of principles, or promises to residents, to guide a proposed bespoke programme of rooftop development aiming to provide vital new council housing.
 Tackling the housing shortage
Southwark faces an acute housing need with over 12,000 families on the waiting list and over 2,000 children currently living in temporary accommodation. The council has one of the most ambitious council housebuilding programmes in the country with a commitment to build 11,000 brand new council homes by 2043. Over 600 council homes have already been delivered, and more are on the horizon, but with available land in short supply the council is looking at new and innovative ways to build more housing. This includes a special focus on unlocking potentially hundreds of new homes with upward extensions on existing blocks. But the council is also aware of the impact this will have on people living in the affected buildings and has drafted a series of principles and commitments to maximise the benefits and minimise the impacts on residents.
“We’ve spoken to residents about the opportunities and challenges linked to rooftop housing and the kind of preferences that were raised were things like their desire to remain on the top floor, being prioritised for the new homes and improvements being made to the rest of the block.
“Unlocking a new dimension of council housing supply like this is not going to be straightforward, but we are driven by the potential for hundreds, potentially thousands of new council homes in our borough. We plan to offer a quicker on-site construction time by doing most of the building off-site, [giving] first refusal on the new homes to those living underneath, and improvements to the existing block, with any costs associated with the new homes – such as a new roof, lift and landscaping – non-rechargeable to leaseholders.
“We are also developing an accompanying rooftop design guide that will detail some of the best options to complement and enhance an existing block well, maximise internal living and amenity space and solutions for connecting new homes to existing services.”
 Maximising offsite construction
One of the ways the council is promising to minimise the impact on existing residents is to build rooftop homes in a modular form, off-site and crane them onto adapted blocks, significantly shortening the time construction is on site. Residents living immediately underneath the new homes will be given the first opportunity to move into them, so people previously living on the top floor will have the chance to stay on the top floor and in a brand-new home. The vacated properties will then be made available to those on the waiting list.
 About this article
This article was previously published on the IHBC website in October 2019 under the title: ‘Southwark Council plans new principles for bespoke programme of rooftop development’. It can be accessed HERE.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air rights buildings.
- Community infrastructure levy.
- Existing use value.
- Future proofing.
- Hope value.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Residual valuation.
- Site selection and acquisition.
- Site appraisal.
- Speculative construction.
The IHBC Director's top pick this week: an opportunity to transform a church into a community centre of environmental awareness, valued £555k, closing 25/11.
SNH has published new guidance on how best to fit pollinators into urban design and construction with a series of easy steps to suit all project budgets and sizes.
Applications are invited for the Sustainability Scholarship 2020, with successful applicants to receive £3000, support and mentoring from experts, and closing 29 November.
It was hoped the 1.4 mile (2.3km) Victorian Queensbury Tunnel could be used by cyclists travelling between Bradford and Halifax, but plans have been threatened.
Completing works that widened public access to the hidden architectural spaces and collections of Durham Cathedral showcases exceptional project management.
This month HSE is carrying out its latest construction inspection initiative with a focus in particular on measures in place to protect workers from occupational lung disease caused by asbestos, silica, wood and other dusts when carrying out common construction tasks.
Peterborough and Birmingham are the latest places to benefit from the Government Hubs programme to regenerate city centre sites.
Graffiti by Banksy has been taken off a bridge in Hull as the Grade II (GII) listed Scott Street bridge itself faces dismantling.
Liverpool landmark the Everton Library, a Grade II (GII) listed building that has been the focus of calls to restore it to its former glory continues to lie leaking, vandalised and derelict, when £5m could renovate the building, reports The Liverpool Echo.
A landmark on a list of the UK’s most endangered buildings, Shotton steelworks’ Grade II-listed general office and clock tower, is to be brought back to life in Flintshire.