4-8 Hafer Road
Peter Barber Architects
- Original design
- Peter Barber Architects , 2016
The 2017 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2018 programme in August.
Today, the majority of property owners in London have limited or expensive options available when it comes to exploring how to make the most out of their current living space. For many the decision comes down to either moving (normally out of the capital), or finding the funds to increase the size of their existing home.
However, both options are built on the assumption of individuals being able to cover the high costs of moving or extending their property. So, what if your home is ex-local authority, you have limited access to finance and want to upscale? Many will know these properties were constructed after the war, with a focus on getting them built quickly and cheaply to house homeless families. Although solidly built, these blocks no longer provide the living space or flexibility expected by home owners today.
Research suggests many ex-local authority blocks across London when built provided a lower density housing supply than the buildings they replaced, with a price point that is significantly lower than housing in the surrounding area. This coupled with the need for better designed homes that fit purpose today provides economic rationale for demolishing and creating new modern homes.
Our ontheRISE story
Adam Street moved to Hafer Road, Battersea in 2004, which had originally been owned by his grandmother. In 1957 the house had been provided by the Council after his Grandmother had been made homeless during the Second World War. With a growing family, Adam knew very soon he would need to move and buy a bigger home.
Financially, this was unaffordable, so after exploring the costs of extensions, he discovered some research that had been carried out on land values. The document highlighted the land his property was built on, was worth more than the building itself. Following more detailed investigations Adam worked out that by redesigning and rebuilding the block of flats, it was possible to create enough new units to pay for a new building and in turn providing existing residents with larger and a more desirable property for free. By 2012, Adam Street had created ontheRISE to solve this very challenge.
Adam knew for the project to be a success he would need all current residents to share the same vision and desire. After some initial conversations, it was soon clear everyone in the block wanted to join together and transform their collective properties using a new and innovative model and tackle the housing challenge. The outcomes for all the residents would effectively be a new property worth double their existing home, with an overall outlay of around 10 per cent of the profit to pay for planning and rental accommodation whilst the new building was constructed. It’s here the story of ontheRISE, a group of neighbours worked together to build their new homes started.
ontheRISE has decided to share their story and offer this service to others in the Capital who are looking to stay in the city, increase the size of their homes and create something collectively as a community. With the first ontheRISE development now complete and a success, those involved have joined together with professional partners to offer other interested home owners a chance to explore if they too could transform their homes. The team will work with residents to determine if their project is economically viable, including exploring how to assess the planning, financing, design, build and sales of new properties in a structured and straightforward way.
When the initial project started, many said it couldn’t be done. However, the same strong collective desire by all existing residents made this project a success, modernising their homes, improving energy efficiency, floorplan layout and overall property value, whilst forming one team for the common good.
• Forming an initial fund of £40k to purchase the freehold
• An initial paper based exercise on the project viability
• £10k fighting fund for professional design and costing models to test viability of the plans
• Updating the shareholder structure based on new valuations
• Dealing with land ownership issues – 3 pieces of land were not owned by the freehold company required for the development
• £150k fund to pay for planning, legal costs and land acquisition
• Managing the planning process and overcoming 30 local objections
• Negotiating with a developer to finance and build the project, with the £5.5M needed to fund the construction secured through commercial bank finance
• Successfully arguing the case with HMRC that Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) was not payable by existing owners and residents to regain their homes, saving £200k
• Harnessing self-build status to significantly reduce the Community Infrastructure Levy by £200k.
Having now successfully been through the process with an established set of partners, ontheRISE has developed a step by step plan for potential resident groups who want to follow and benefit from the approach. While the whole process can take between 3-4 years, the transformative effect it can have on a collection of properties and their value is significant.