Balancing local needs
The Bells Garden estate includes a number of well used facilities, used by not just the estate residents but the wider community in this area of Southwark. Providing additional housing and re-provision of these facilities in a sensitive way balancing the needs of the Council and the residents was a challenge the design needed to address.
Creating a place for the community
For new residents, the 83 new homes for council rent have been designed to have excellent space and private amenity standards. Large 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom homes are provided to meet housing needs in this part of the borough. For existing residents and the wider community, the purpose-built community centre is more outward-looking and accessible with south-facing outdoor spaces for year-round activity. The comprehensive landscape strategy sees all the external spaces across the estate significantly improved. A new Multi-Use Games Area and adjacent games area, as well as a new formal playground for younger children provides facilities for a greater diversity of users of all ages.
Energy demand in the new homes is reduced through highly insulated and air-tight construction. A new Energy Centre will serve all the new homes and has been designed for connection to the SELCHP energy network being extended to the site. This achieves an annual 80% saving in CO2 emissions. The site landscaping provides new areas of lawn, wildflower meadows, community planting areas and raised beds. 102 new trees and areas of sensory planting will enhance the setting of the existing mature trees. This new landscape will offer a significant contribution to health and wellbeing while enriching the ecological biodiversity of the site in a meaningful manner.