Work on new town hall to start in New Year

News at Eden Harper | 09/11/2015

When Brixton Town Hall reopens in late 2017, a £135m project to transform the Grade II-listed building and turn nearby Olive Morris House, Hambrook House and Ivor House into 194 new homes will deliver a scheme that has been shaped by local residents.  

But it is not the only large-scale development that will increase the number of residential properties in Brixton. Planners are considering Lambeth Council’s vision for Somerleyton Road that could see the building of 303 new homes for rent and the opening of a new theatre.

Work on the Your New Town Hall project – which includes replacing part of Town Hall Parade with a new civic centre – is set to start early next year after the council gave it the green light in September following almost two years of design work, technical studies and public consultation.  

But it is not just the residents of the new homes, 40% of which will be affordable housing, who will benefit. The project will also deliver… 

  • New office/meeting spaces for local business and the community twice the size of the Impact Hub project that was previously based in the Town Hall and has now relocated to Pop Brixton
  • An energy-efficient civic building with an improved customer centre and new council offices. 
  • A car-free environment, where parking permits will not be allowed except for basement parking for wheelchair residents in the Olive Morris House development. 
  • Landscaped public areas. 
  • A cycle hub with changing and shower facilities plus a café.  

An additional benefit for Brixton residents is that the town hall renovation will save Lambeth Council £4.5m a year by cutting the number of buildings it operates out of from 14 to two, while the £50m construction cost will recouped by selling the new homes.  

The Your New Town Hall project is also set to create 600 construction jobs, which will include work placements and around 35 apprenticeships.

And more construction jobs will be created in April next year if the planned £129m Somerleyton Road scheme gets the go-ahead from planners.  

This major development will help the council’s Labour group meet its commitment to build 1,000 new homes in the borough by 2018. 

New theatre for Brixton

The planning application states that 303 new homes – which will all be available for rent – will be built in blocks ranging from six to 11 storeys in height. The scheme also includes moving the Ovalhouse Theatre in Kennington to Brixton and using Carlton Mansions as workshops for local artists.

This not only means Brixton will have its own purpose-built theatre for the first time since The Astoria was converted into the Sundown Discotheque in 1972, but the towering figure of Nuclear Dawn – the skeletal anti-heroine who sits on the side of Carlton Mansions on Coldharbour Lane – will remain part the local landscape.

The mural was created by Brian Barnes with the help of Dale McCrea and 15 volunteers in 1981, while Carlton Mansions itself dates back to Victorian times.

News that the former home for railway workers is to be saved from demolition is very welcome. As the planning application states: “The Ovalhouse Theatre and workspace will provide a vibrant new arts hub in the centre of Brixton. The building will be fully accessible, open to all and will be heavily used by the local community as well as attracting a London wide audience.”

Brixton was awarded The Great Neighbourhood Award in 2013 and we believe the work to improve the 2.5-acre triangle around the Town Hall between Brixton Hill and Acre Lane and the long-awaited arrival of a theatre will benefit the whole community. If you would like to be part of Brixton’s thriving future, contact Eden Harper today about properties to buy and rent in the area.