affordable housing in the local area, as well as the apparent over- and under-occupied Kipling households. As a result, the residents came to the Leathermarket Joint Management Board (JMB) for aid. Said to be a popular and trusted tenant manage- ment organisation, the self-managing tenant group operates on behalf of 1,500 council tenants and leaseholders in Southwark. In response to the concerns, residents from the Leathermarket area established the Leathermarket Community Benefit Society (CBS) in 2014, intending to bring forward the new homes. With a need for professional support to develop the homes being recognised, the CBS collaborated with regeneration experts igloo Community Builders. They acted as development manager, in order to inform and guide the residents, taking them through each step of the development. First of all, space needed to be found for the new homes, in what is an already highly-developed zone of London. Twenty under-utilised garages on the Kipling estate were identified by the Kipling Tenants and Residents association (TRA) as a potential site. This infill site was chosen because it was small, within the JMB’s management area, and it closely bordered the homes of existing residents, ensuring simple decanta- tion for relocated tenants.

Southwark Council believed that the local community was best placed to deliver these so-called ‘hidden homes,’ and so enabled the community itself to become the developer. The council retained the freehold, but transferred the site to LCBS on a long lease, allowing the community to lead the project, as well as manage the completed building. Along with early

funding from the Greater London Authority, the development got underway.

A COMMUNITY VISION Throughout the design process, Bell Phillips worked closely with local residents. According to the architects, consultations began with a “blank sheet of paper,” and there were no preconceived ideas about what the project should be. It is through this approach they took that the architects believe an authentic response to the community’s needs and aspirations has been created.

At each stage of the three year-long development, residents worked alongside the team on the designs. The architects listened to individual members of the community, collected their comments, and then demonstrated how the designs would respond to this feedback. Bell Phillips director, Hari Phillips, spoke

to Housebuilder & Developer on the commu- nity-led aspects of the development, explaining how they approached the project: “Through extensive and detailed local consultations with the local commu- nity over the course of a year the team was able to build trust, consensus and utilise local knowledge. This approach made it possible to reinforce the strong existing sense of community in the area. “An initial workshop with local residents

sought to draw out the broad principles on which the design should be founded. From this starting point the architects evolved alternative approaches to form and massing which were presented to the local commu- nity. The favoured options were selected and developed through consensus. This iterative community-led process continued as the


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