The site of a former workhouse, infirmary and hospital dating back to 1746 is to be transformed into 62 sustainable and affordable new homes.
Not-for-profit housing association Peabody generated more than £8m for the NHS by purchasing the former St Olave’s Hospital in Rotherhithe in 2018.
Construction contractor Thomas Sinden will deliver the new Peabody homes in an £18m all-affordable-home project.
A traditional groundbreaking event to mark the start of construction saw Southwark Councillor Kath Whittam and the community join with Peabody and Thomas Sinden to celebrate this historic area being brought back to life.
The development will bring 14 homes for social rent and 48 for shared ownership, with one-, two- and three-bedroom homes for families close to the greenery of Southwark Park.
All the flats will have either a balcony or terrace, and the duplexes will have their own gardens. One of the blocks will have a communal roof terrace, and there will be new outdoor areas and play spaces for residents to enjoy.
The project will generate additional social value and community benefits, with Thomas Sinden offering job, training, and apprenticeship opportunities for local people. It will include eleven construction jobs for residents who are currently unemployed.
Local charity Bermondsey Community Kitchen (BCK) joined the event, providing refreshments and accepting a £1,000 donation from Thomas Sinden’s Managing Director to support volunteers’ work locally. BCK is a non-profit training facility, run by volunteers, that provides Level 1 and 2 City and Guilds Professional Cookery qualifications for long-term unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds.
Angela Wood, Deputy Executive Director of Development at Peabody, said: “The positive impact of new affordable homes cannot be underestimated. Peabody already works closely with many communities in Southwark, and we’re pleased to have started delivering more new homes for people locally.
“St Olave’s will give those on Southwark’s housing waiting list the opportunity of living in a new affordable rented home, while providing budding homeowners the chance to get on the property ladder in Zone 2 through shared ownership. Building an entirely affordable scheme is challenging in the current climate and it was fantastic to mark this major milestone with our partners and the council. We look forward to welcoming residents in 2025.”
Councillor Kath Whittam at Southwark Council commented: “As a ward councillor I am very glad to see the site go ahead, and it is particularly nice when the scheme is 100% affordable. I’d like to thank Peabody and Thomas Sinden for putting such a strong scheme together, which will give our residents the chance of a fabulous new home.”
Matt Ayers, Head of Construction at Thomas Sinden, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Peabody on this historic site to create a clean, safe and sustainable development that will make a difference in the community for generations to come.”