Second airspace development approved in Bermondsey

The Antony & Roderick House scheme

Apex Airspace and Lambeth & Southwark Housing Association (LSHA) have gained planning to build 30 affordable homes on top of and in between existing residential buildings Antony House and Roderick House in Bermondsey, with the assistance of HTA Design.

The development will include ‘bookends’ at each end of the existing buildings, a new central core connecting the buildings, and a double-storey rooftop extension. A bespoke steel structure has been developed to carry the weight of the new homes, enabling the existing buildings to carry the extra loading of the new homes.

The infill element will effectively turn the two existing buildings into one.

The new homes will be a mixture of one and two-bedroom modular prefabricated apartments.

With the buildings’ roofs already due for major rework, the project will save LSHA around £400,000 in replacement costs over the next three years. In addition, the creation of new homes has the potential to generate balance sheet leverage of approximately £4m, which could be used to fund more new homes, Apex says.

This is the second airspace development that Southwark has approved in recent weeks. Last month we reported that it had gioven Skyroom approval for of a four-storey upwards extension in St James’s Road, Bermondsey.

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Apex Airspace reckons that it has identified the potential for airspace development to provide up to 180,000 new homes in the capital. Chief executive Arshad Bhatti said: “Our collaboration with LSHA demonstrates our ability to unlock a previously unknown supply of affordable housing for the wider community in Bermondsey through this redevelopment and be able to deliver policy compliant rented accommodation in inner London.

“Apex has adopted a holistic approach whereby we are maximising the use of existing assets and infrastructures. This is having a revolutionary effect on the supply of good quality affordable homes in London, without encroaching on London’s greenbelt. Our pioneering model is a blueprint for other councils and housing associations to follow suit and adopt innovative solutions to address the chronic shortage of homes in the capital.”

LHSA chief executive Mark Jackson said: “If we’re going to build more homes for our tenants, we need to think innovatively and efficiently, which is exactly what Apex is offering. London desperately needs more high quality and affordable homes and the company’s construction methods will help us deliver new homes far quicker than traditional build methods due to off-site modular construction.

“As a housing association we need to ensure we are utilising our existing stock in the capital, which is why this is such a fantastic solution for us. We have been impressed by Apex’s model and feel this is a tangible solution for fellow housing associations to consider.”

Riette Oosthuizen, planning partner at HTA Design, added: “There is growing momentum for rooftop developments as an opportunity to create significant additional land for well-designed, affordable homes. Our study for Apex found that London alone has the potential for at least 180,000 additional rooftop homes. Rooftop development also allows for the improvement of existing buildings, whilst keeping communities in place. We look forward to bringing our offsite and modular design expertise to this scheme with Apex for the benefit of the residents of Bermondsey.”   

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