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Hard Hat Area: Public house and homes

DERELICT pubs are a common sight in London, especially in areas where regeneration is just getting underway.

Often they stand as monuments to bygone ages before they are either demolished, reinvented as coffee shops or simply divided up into flats.

You’d be forgiven for imagining the same fate awaits The Victoria on Grove Street in Deptford, south-east London.

Dating back to the late 19th century, The Victoria sits on the perimeter of a large building site where The Timberyard development is taking shape. But, in a rare move, the site’s developers — Australian firm Lendlease — have decided to incorporate the pub into the scheme for the new community it is in the process of housing. Work has begun on restoring the pub, which will offer 3,000sq ft of space over three storeys.

The Timberyard, which will provide around 1,400 new homes when it is complete in 2024, is being constructed over 10.7acres.

The land being developed has been occupied by low-level light industrial units and workshops in recent decades.

And it is the type of project Lendlease is in its element developing. In 2017, NextGeneration named it the UK’s Most Sustainable Residential Developer for the second year running.

At The Timberyard, Lendlease has recycled almost all of the material demolished on the site it inherited.

‘This meant all the concrete was crushed and reused on the site and all of the steel and timber recycled,’ says Richard Cook, Head of Residential, at Lendlease.

The project is being built over six phases, with the first set to be complete in January 2020.

Lendlease acquired the land in 2014, was granted planning permission in 2016 and began demolition work in the same year. Of the 203 flats from phase one already released for private sale, 80 per cent have been sold. On sale now are 27 flats, 20 of which are two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom. Prices range from £575,000 to £700,000.

The affordable homes at The Timberyard, which will consist of 20 per cent of the total, will launch next year and are being marketed by L&Q. Lendlease is also creating 100,000sq ft of retail and community space, which will include a parade of ground-floor shops on a central boulevard and a gym, which will be run by an independent operator with subsidised rates for residents.

Phase two of the scheme includes the construction of premises for tech start-up firms which will help create what Cook describes as ‘a community within a community’. The third phase will include the construction of the 24-storey Victoria Point tower, which will become the main focal point of the project.

Yard work: Construction has started on renovating The Victoria

And while retaining The Victoria pub is bucking a trend, The Timberyard is in tune with another — the capital’s reduced use of cars. Lendlease has decided to reduce the number of car parking spaces at The Timberyard from 400 to around 100, while ensuring there are at least two cycling storage spaces for each dwelling.

Other notable features at The Timberyard include the appointment of a full-time community manager and the creation of a charitable trust which will award £25,000 to a local cause each year.

With Surrey Quays, Canada Water and Deptford stations and the Thames Clipper all within a 15-minute walk, residents won’t be short of transport options. And if they want a local pint, there will always be The Victoria.