Lewisham Council Builds Pop Up Homes

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 39 months ago
Lewisham Council Builds Pop Up Homes


London needs to build more houses. We know this. But one of the many, many problems with that is it takes time to build houses. Planning permission has to be sought, funding has to be found, construction has to begin. All the while, people languish in expensive but crappy rental flats or on waiting lists. So how about building temporary houses?

That's an option Lewisham council is looking at to help ease the situation. The former Ladywell leisure centre on Lewisham High Street was knocked down a few months ago and, while plans get drawn up for what will happen to the site (unlikely to feature a cinema, sadly), the council's not happy for the site to sit around unused. Instead, they're proposing 24 temporary units, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

The homes will be in situ for up to four years, cost no more than £4.3m to build, could be inhabited by this summer and are moveable to other sites when Ladywell is finally ready to be built on. The development will also feature eight ground floor units for business or community use (where we might often rail against every new housing project having a mini-supermarket underneath it, this location would be pretty horrible for someone on the ground floor).

Lewisham has around 600 households in what the council's Cabinet Member for Housing refused to call bed and breakfast at a recent meeting (because "there's no breakfast") and placed over 1,600 households into temporary accommodation between April and September 2014 alone. 24 new homes won't make much of a dent in that, sure; but if the idea is extended it could start to make an impact. As of September 2014, there were 45,810 households in temporary accommodation across London. Let's bring on the alternative, creative solutions and avoid situations like the Carpenter's Estate in Newham, where a huge estate is sitting empty while plans for redevelopment crawl along.

Last Updated 27 January 2015


Why do you say unlikely to feature a cinema? Is that definite? Why does it have to be such garish colours. We need facilities for the huge amount of home being built. This just delays any chance of that.


No reason why it shouldnt have a cinema/theater space on the ground floor, multi use spaces in communty housing is of great benefit. I like the idea of 21st century pre-fabs on spaces where more permanent solutions are waiting interminably to be sorted out.


In Lewisham £4.3m can rent about 70 to 90 flats for 4 years at market price. So spending it for 24 accomodations that should be knocked down in few years is a complete waste of taxpayers money.

Conculsion. This is either a lie to build permanently bypassing regular authorizations or is just another bonkers deision made by lewisham council


It'd be better if they created a converted shipping container village on the site like they did in Elephant and Castle. The pods are much easier to move around to other sites, and would offer a far greater amount of accommodation. I don't mean to be unsympathetic to families with kids, but not all of us have children or will ever have kids, yet we single folk still pay our taxes and we still have votes. I'd much rather see a large number of single people housed than a small handful of families who would perhaps be better off being moved into temporary warehouse conversions where they would have more space and privacy.

P.S. Lewisham DOES need a cinema. It's ridiculous to have to travel to Surrey Quays or Bromley, Beckenham or Peckham to see a movie. I hear the Weatherspoons in Forest Hill may be getting turned back into a cinema again which would be lovely, but Lewisham Shopping centre is the perfect place to house the cinema I reckon.