Lewisham Council's Head of Planning at Future Cities Forum


Above: CGI of phase 2 of Lewisham Gateway development, linking Lewisham Station with Lewisham High Street (Muse Developments, Get Living and Lewisham Council)


Future Cities Forum is delighted that Emma Talbot, Head of Planning at Lewisham Council, will be speaking at our 'Making of the Modern City' event next week. She will join TfL's Head of Planning Projects, Matthew Yates, on a panel which looks at connected transport, housing and place.


Lewisham has been one of a number of boroughs that due to the financial downturn, will now not benefit immediately from an extension of the Bakerloo Line. Emma - talking ahead of the forum - has stated that the Council is still preparing for the time when the extension will be built over the coming years or decade. She has described the work that is taking place to prepare sites for station entrances and says that the Council must ensure that place-making around these, is kept to the highest order, both in terms of design and materials.


Speaking in September this year about the then Chancellor’s Growth Plan, the Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, called on the Government to deliver the Bakerloo Line modernisation and extension.


Prime Minister Liz Truss' new plan, aimed to make growth its “central economic mission, setting a target of reaching 2.5 per cent” - and so Southwark and Lewisham Councils renewed their campaign for the investment needed to bring the line to South-East London.


It was estimated that The Bakerloo Line Extension would yield over 110,000 new homes and support 130,000 jobs across the capital, The Council said it would also give over 100,000 residents across central and south Lewisham a new transport link to central London, while creating a more reliable and greener option the entire length of the line, from Harrow, through Westminster and on to South- East London.


Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, stated:


'London is the beating heart of the British economy and the Bakerloo Line extension is vital to Lewisham and London’s continued growth. It would create tens of thousands of new jobs and homes, as well as make our capital city greener. It is a project supported by the overwhelming majority of local residents who need new social homes and fast, reliable routes into central London.'


The emphasis on tackling climate change has also been given a strong focus during Lewisham's year as Borough of Culture. Over a period of six months, the theatre company, Teatro Vivo, has been in residence with the Council's Climate Resilience Team, opening up dialogue between the Council and wider Lewisham communities to influence ways of working and the impact of policy. Actor-led street conversations and targeted community workshops took place in all 19 wards and a new participatory theatre piece was devised incorporating research from within the Council and feedback from across the borough.


While the scale of house building may not be as large as hoped for with the current hold on the Bakerloo Line extension, the Borough has been developing Lewisham Gateway - a game-changing development in the heart of Lewisham. The project is being delivered by Muse Developments, Get Living, Balfour Beatty, the Mayor of London and Transport for London, supported by the London Borough of Lewisham and Homes England.


The wider Lewisham Gateway development has already delivered 362 new homes, along with new shops, restaurants and a public park with children’s play space and access to River Ravensbourne. Major infrastructure improvements include the removal of the Lewisham’s northern roundabout and the installation of a new highways system.

The second and final phase started in July 2020 and is due for completion in Winter 2023. Balfour Beatty is the principal contractor working on behalf of Muse Developments. Get Living Plc will own and operate the scheme once completed. The scheme will provide 649 new homes, including 424 for market rent, 106 affordable, and 119 for co-living. The co-living homes will be self-contained studio-style flats with shared communal facilities. There will also be 25,000 square feet of retail space, 15,000 square feet of food and beverage space, 10,000 square feet of offices, a gym, a multiplex cinema, and an extensive public realm.

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