Embodied Carbon Estimation for Central Hill Estate: Report by Model Environments

‘A conservative estimate for the embodied carbon of Central Hill Estate would be around 7,000 tonnes of CO2e, similar emissions to those from heating 600 detached homes for a year using electric heating, or the emissions savings made by the London Mayor’s RE:NEW retrofitting scheme in a year and a quarter. Annual domestic emissions per capita in Lambeth are 1.8 tonnes. The emissions associated with the demolition of Central Hill Estate, therefore, equate to the annual emissions of over 4,000 Lambeth residents.’

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Central Hill: The Alternative to Demolition

The images in this report were presented to the Central Hill estate Residents Engagement Panel on the 17 May, 2016. The proposals also take on board comments from Lambeth Council’s planning department, as well as comments from residents, neighbours and other architects following ASH’s previous exhibition on 20 February, 2016.

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The award winning Central Hill estate is a unique and highly successful piece of architecture and landscaping that is home to an established community, many of whom have lived here since it was built in the early 1970s by LCC architect Rosemary Stjernstedt under Ted Hollamby.

ASH’s proposals illustrate the potential to add around 222 new homes on Central Hill Estate, without demolishing a single home.

The proposals here reinforce the ideology and intentions of the original architecture of the estate, whilst allowing for the full refurbishment of the existing homes and public realm – bringing them up to a ‘decent standard’, and thus addressing any current concerns about their homes voiced by residents.

Lambeth’s arguments for the demolition of the estate do not stand up to scrutiny in any way other than increasing the density and land value of the estate. We believe this alone cannot justify the demolition of the 456 existing homes, and the uprooting of a long-standing community.

This is an initial feasibility study, and there are many possible design solutions to the fundamental proposition that architectural alternatives to demolition exist. What is presented here is an outline proposal to demonstrate the numbers of additional homes that could be gained on the estate.

The scheme has been costed by an independent quantity surveyor, and planning advice has been sought to ensure that all proposals correspond to local and national planning policies. Structural advice has also been sought to establish the feasibility of roof extensions.

If you would like to sign the petition supporting these proposals, see the ASH Petition

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In Defence of Central Hill


In June 2015, Architects for Social Housing (ASH) were contacted by residents of Central Hill, a council estate in Crystal Palace. They has started the Save Central Community campaign that February, and were fighting to save their homes from demolition at the hands of Lambeth Council, who had formally added the estate to their regeneration programme in December 2014.

Contrary to Lambeth’s slur campaign, the estate is extremely well designed. The streets, houses and green open spaces work in conjunction with the rolling landscape, the light and the different degrees of privacy, from south-facing front courtyards to balconies with views across London. It is no surprise that this is a coveted spot. Land values are correspondingly high, and are the main reason for the proposed demolition of a unique and innovative piece of urban design that should be a model of social housing and community living.

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