Farmstead Road

Farmstead Road



Planning Application Link    View map

Number/street name:

Address line 2:
Farmstead Road



Metropolitan Workshop

Architect contact number:

Phoenix Community Housing.

Planning Authority:
London Borough of Lewisham

Planning consultant:

Planning Reference:

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
16 x 2 Bed flats (including 2 wheelchair accessible M4(3) & 8 x 3 Bed flats

Tenure Mix:
75% affordable; 25% shared ownership

Total number of homes:

Site size (hectares):

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):

Smallest Unit (sq m):

Largest unit (sq m):

No of parking spaces:
5 (including 2 wheelchair access with electric charge points)

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

The Bellingham Estate is recognized in local policy as an exemplary example of early interwar planning which ‘drew heavily on the influences of the garden city movement in planning and architectural terms. ‘
The Lewisham Character Study adds ‘…New separate residential dwellings in the rear gardens of this urban typology will not be considered acceptable due to the difficulty of achieving a good design fit with neighbouring developments.’
Our proposals successfully challenged this policy by integrating the layout into the surrounding suburban grain, supported by an architecture derived from local Arts and Crafts features.
The site has no previous applications.

The Design Process

Phoenix Community Housing is a not-for-profit resident-led housing association based in Lewisham. Their Farmstead Road site comprises of a short terrace of four existing homes with long rear gardens which bound the railway. It is located on the edge of the Bellingham Estate, one of London’s few remaining arts and crafts-influenced estates which doesn’t have a conservation area designation. However, the Lewisham Character Study contains the following policy:
‘…. residential dwelling(s) in the rear gardens….will not be considered acceptable due to achieving a good design fit with neighbouring developments’
With the Lewisham policy at the forefront of our minds, we embarked on designing a contemporary site layout inspired by the original estate masterplan.
The project provides 24 affordable family homes and represents an increase in housing density from 14 to 83 dwellings per hectare, setting a positive precedent for rear garden redevelopment in suburban locations.
The existing short terrace at the front of the site is replaced with a pair of symmetrical ‘gatehouses’ each comprising of three 2-bedroom apartments. The gatehouses match the building line of the existing homes, and their balconies frame a new shared surface entrance into the site.
To the rear lies a new ‘butterfly’ apartment block, comprising of two wings which crank to mirror the geometry of the surrounding suburban grain. This inward-looking arrangement mitigates overlooking and sets up a symmetry which is evident across the estate, helping the proposed blocks fit seamlessly with their neighbours.
Owing to the capacity of surrounding streets, parking has been negotiated down to eight spaces, enabling it to be hidden from the street. Likewise, bin and cycle storage is located at the edges of the site, where it will not detract from the collegiate landscaped entrance court.
The scheme has been designed to meet the Passivhaus ‘Low Energy Building Standard’.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

To preserve and enhance the character of their historic context, the buildings draw influence from the local Bellingham Arts & Crafts motifs. At the entrance, archways become reflected in upturned scallops in the gatehouse terrace balustrading and glazed bricks line the carved-out balcony reveals. External lift and service risers become handsome chimneys framing the Butterfly block entrance, punctuating a mansard roof which elegantly hides a third storey of homes. Brick detailing references the patterns seen in adjacent homes. Projecting brick courses highlight the gatehouse entrances, and sawtooth brickwork emphasises the verticality of the chimneys.

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Scheme Information


  • Multi-Aspect Apartments


  • Medium density


  • Affordable
  • Shared Ownership


  • Community Consultation
  • Infill
  • Urban Infill


  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design
  • Traditional
  • Local Vernacular
  • New London Vernacular


  • Building energy in use (any target above Regs)

Outdoor areas

  • Private Terraces
  • Roof Gardens
  • Roof Terrace
  • Outside Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Healthy Streets
  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Community Buildings
  • Play Spaces
  • POS
  • Public open space


  • Wheelchair
  • Community


The Farmstead Road project is designed to meet the PassiveHaus Low Energy Building Standard, so that the families that live here can dramatically reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint. The project has been developed in collaboration with specialist sustainability engineers Etude and adopts the following Passivehaus design criteria; optimised building form, improved fabric performance, airtight construction, mechanical ventilation, and low carbon heating to deliver a low energy building. The buildings rely on a ‘fabric first’ design approach to reduce operational costs, improve energy efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions. External walls have high levels of insulation, airtightness; thermal bridge free design and triple-glazed windows. Ancillary spaces such as bin and bike stores have been integrated into the landscape design, to preserve the performance of the building’s fabric. Space heating and hot water is provided by individual air source heat pumps to the flats in the Gatehouse buildings and by direct electric systems to the flats in the Butterfly buildings. Rooftop PV cells will generate onsite energy and efficient white goods and lighting is proposed throughout. Farmstead Road will provide warmer, more comfortable affordable homes that are constructed to a higher quality, delivering better internal air quality and long-term energy performance with significantly lower fuel bills. Importantly for Phoenix, it will reduce fuel poverty, rent arrears and debt risk and future maintenance costs, as well as supporting their sustainability objectives.