Greenwich Citizens Housing celebrating winning a bid for two sites at London CLT's Annual General Meeting, September 2022. Photo © Yiannis Katsaris.
Susan Road & Felixstowe Road, Greenwich
Status: Agreement on site
Size: 19 homes (1, 2 and 3-bedrooms) across 2 sites
We are working with Greenwich Citizens Housing (GCH), a volunteer-run local campaigning group, to develop approximately 19 affordable homes for and by the community at Susan Road and Felixstowe Road, two sites within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
In 2022, GCH and London CLT were selected by the local council to steward these sites for the community through a competitive bidding process. At the Susan Road site, currently occupied by garages, local people identified that the pedestrian route from Susan Road to the Kidbrooke Parade needs to be improved, and we hope to make it safer and green. The current site on Felixstowe Road is overgrown and disused, a great opportunity to create a safe play street and community spaces in the Abbey Wood neighbourhood.
Find more information about the designs for this project in our latest Annual Report.
With the aim to submit for planning permission in 2023, Greenwich Citizens Housing and London CLT are working with Archio Architects to develop designs for the two sites through a genuinely community-led design process, with local people in both neighbourhoods involved in the project from the very beginning.
If you would like to get involved with the design process, please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'd be happy to connect you with Greenwich Citizens Housing.
"Choose your architect" day in Abbey Wood and Kidbrooke, November 2022.
Led by Greenwich Citizens Housing (GCH), campaigning for affordable housing in Greenwich in the form of a CLT began in 2018, reaching out to many local people to join the campaign and input into the plans. Since then, GCH and members of the community have been working together with local Greenwich Councillors to get commitments to bring a CLT to the borough. In the summer of 2019, GCH met with architects from Archio to learn more about the design process and start to imagine what a CLT could look like. In December 2019, we held an open-air gathering to meet local residents at a prospective CLT site in Kidbrooke, and a month later Nathanael Hitch, on behalf of GCH, collected the South London Citizens award for Action Team of the Year on 21 January 2020.
Of course, along then came Covid, and plans for further actions at other prospective sites in Greenwich had to be put on hold, but that didn’t stop GCH learning, working, and planning, including formalising its relationships with London CLT as a key delivery partner and Greenwich Citizens to work on outreach, as well as strengthening links to Greenwich Council and working to educate stakeholders about CLTs.
We were all thrilled about Greenwich Council’s decision in June 2021 to release two sites for CLT housing, one in Abbey Wood (Felixstowe Road), and the other in Kidbrooke (Susan Road) – the very site of GCH’s action in December 2019.
Photos of the currently disused Felixstowe Road site, November 2022.
Then the hard work really began – the Council’s competitive tendering process meant GCH and London CLT needed to put together a formal bid for the sites. GCH ramped up its work building relationships with communities around the sites, meeting with a resident group from Abbey Wood and introducing them to the idea of CLTs and holding a training session in the area in September 2021, inviting local people to join GCH’s Community Steering Group.
“To actually be working with architects and the local residents at such an early phase - pre even getting the site - is kind of radical. It’s not whitewash participation, it’s real and also the most fun part of being part of a community group like this.” - Jake Sherwood, Greenwich Citizens Housing
The tendering process formally started at the end of November 2021 and closed at the end of January 2022. During this intense 2-month period, GCH, London CLT and Archio had regular workshops to put together a bid that reflected the needs of the neighbours and wider community. After a long and nervous wait, we were delighted to find out that we had been successful with our bid.
Once the agreement on the sites was secured, GCH and London CLT worked to begin the community-led design process, meeting regularly and holding local outreach events to expand the Community Steering Group and listen to residents’ concerns and hopes for the project. On 19 November 2022, GCH held a full day “Choose your architect” event across both neighbourhoods – Kidbrooke and Abbey Wood. Local people were invited to join through doorknocking and leafleting organised by GCH in the week before the event, and had the chance to get involved in this vital step. Presented with two great architecture practices with different approaches to community-led design, 50+ community members who stopped by the event chose to stick with Archio and embark on an intensive design process. Now it’s crunch time again, and GCH, London CLT and Archio will be applying for planning permission. 2023 will see us drilling down into the design detail, looking at viability and working to involve more community voices in the process.