Old Thomas Tallis School
This land on Kidbrooke Park Road could house 400 new homes

The former Thomas Tallis School site in Kidbrooke has been earmarked for up to 400 new homes as Greenwich Council confirmed plans to start building around 750 council properties before 2022.

Proposals first emerged last month, when housing cabinet member Chris Kirby gave an outline of the plans in a guest piece for local planning blog From The Murky Depths.

Now a complex and lengthy paper to go before the council’s cabinet on Tuesday expands on the proposals, adding that a number of different sites are being considered, with the former Tallis site – the only one named – the largest.

The council is bidding for funds from London mayor Sadiq Khan for the proposal, and will also need to seek permission to increase the amount it can borrow against its existing housing stock by £139m.

It says it has identified a further 64 sites that could provide another 700-800 homes by 2030 if City Hall is able to provide more funding at later date and it can borrow more money.

Among a raft of new proposals designed to shake up the borough’s approach to housing, Greenwich also plans to identify sites for a further 300 homes to be built by Meridian Home Start, the independent company it set up to provide homes at 65-80% market rent, and to explore setting up two community land trusts – non-profit providers owned by the community – to supply more homes.

There are now more than 17,000 households on the council’s waiting list – up 44% over the past five years – with 809 homeless households in temporary accommodation – the highest in 10 years.

Development area

Kidbrooke Station Square
TfL wants to transform the bleak Henley Cross interchange into Kidbrooke Station Square

The old Tallis site became free when the school moved to an adjacent site in 2011. The original buildings, which opened in 1971 on former RAF land, have now been demolished.

It is close to Berkeley Homes’ Kidbrooke Village – the redeveloped Ferrier Estate. Even closer by is the Henley Cross bus interchange, which Transport for London and Notting Hill Genesis Housing is planning to redevelop as the 650-home Kidbrooke Station Square, with a 25% at “affordable rent” (roughly between £145-£162 per week) and 25% for shared ownership.

Closer still is a store and car park operated by troubled DIY chain Homebase, which is frequently tipped as a possible development site.

Old Tallis site
The old Tallis site still has its early 1990s school signs

15-year programme

Greenwich says it has identified 130 locations – including garage sites – that could see 1,300 new homes built over the next 15 years.

These could include private housing as well as council housing. The paper also refers to the proposed sale of land on three estates to Pocket Living – which sells homes at 80% of market value – which has caused controversy within the ruling Labour group, in part because it involves selling publicly-owned land.

It also notes the scrapping of the controversial Haringey Development Vehicle, which would have seen the north London borough team up with developer Lendlease. It also adds that Greenwich has “no current plans” for any more “further full estate regeneration schemes” beyond the current scheme to redevelop the Connaught, Morris Walk and Maryon Road estates.

Councillors will discuss the proposals and vote on them at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening.

Neighbouring Lewisham is also bidding for mayoral funds, and elected mayor Damien Egan has pledged to start 1,000 new homes by 2022. Planning permission has already been given for 78 of them, in Lee and Sydenham.

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