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Marklake Court: new council homes built by community initiative

Tenants are moving in to 27 new council homes on the Kipling Estate near London Bridge, the first to be built by the Leathermarket Community Benefit Society (CBS).

Marklake Court: new council homes built by community initiative
John Paul Maytum and Cllr Leo Pollak hand over the keys to two new Marklake Court tenants

The CBS is a spin-off from the Leathermarket JMB, the long-established tenant management organisation that runs hundreds of council homes in West Bermondsey.

The new homes have been built on the site of garages on the Kipling Estate at the corner of Weston Street and Guy Street.

The block has been named Marklake Court to continue the Rudyard Kipling theme for homes on the Kipling Estate.

It comes from the 1910 story 'Marklake Witches' where Marklake is described as "just up the road from Burwash" – just as the new Marklake Court is a few yards up the road from its taller neighbour Burwash House.

John Paul Maytum, chair of Leathermarket CBS, said: "Involving residents right from a blank sheet of paper at the very start has enabled us to get the very best outcome for this site, while delivering as many homes as possible to meet acute housing need.

"Residents are much happier than with the traditional development approach, because they've shaped the design – from the size and layout of the building right down to choosing brick colours and the interiors of flats.

"Maintaining residents' trust in this way allows us to open up sites that the council couldn't do on its own and really tackle the pressing need for new council-rent homes in this area.

"We're delighted that Southwark Council has given the vision, commitment and practical support to make this scheme a shining example of what new council house building can achieve when it embraces a spirit of true partnership with residents."

Councillor Leo Pollak, Southwark's cabinet member for social regeneration, great estates and council homes, said: "As a council we are keen to do everything we can to alleviate housing need in our borough – with over 11,800 families on our housing list, waiting for relief from overcrowding, extortionate housing costs and health problems linked to their housing situation.

"This is why as part our long-term drive to build 11,000 new council homes we are keen to support new and innovative models that deliver affordable, secure and enduring high quality homes.

"Leathermarket CBS has been an ideal partner in this, bringing their intensive community engagement to help unlock and maximise the potential of a challenging site on the Kipling Estate, and help establish the possibility of genuinely affordable new housing in the area, within walking distance of the Shard.

"Every step of the design of this scheme has seen tenants' involvement and I am delighted that this will continue through to the long-term management of their homes."

Leathermarket CBS is currently seeking planning permission (17/AP/4661) for its second development of 40 council homes to be built on the former Joseph Lancaster Nursery site in Deverell Street.

• Watch video of Southwark cabinet approving Leathermarket CBS funding in March this year.

• Watch video of Leathermarket CBS deputation to Council Assembly in March 2018.

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