Construction Begins for Almost 700 New Homes in Southwark

Southwark Council, developer Linkcity and lead contractor Bouygues UK welcomed London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development Tom Copley to the Tustin Estate construction site to officially mark the start of the build with a ground breaking event. 

Tustin Estate is a significant Southwark Council housing project which will provide nearly 700 new homes. The scheme includes 250 replacement council homes and shared equity properties, 220 additional council homes including keyworker homes, and 220 homes for private sale. The development will feature a central park, refurbishment of existing council homes and at least 1,800 sqm of commercial floorspace. In addition, the project will improve the public realm and landscaping across the estate, including new pedestrian, cycle and vehicular routes throughout, greenways, and improvements to Tustin Common. Work commenced in autumn 2022 and the whole project is planned to complete in 2030. 

Linkcity, the development arm of Bouygues UK, was confirmed as the development partner for the entire scheme in 2022. The partners will deliver the project in four phases.  

Linkcity, the development arm of Bouygues UK, was selected by the Council in 2021 to work with the authority to advise on buildability for the development of phase 1 and the masterplan, and confirmed as the development partner for the entire scheme in 2022. It’s the first large-scale project procured through Pagabo’s Developer Led Framework. 

Community engagement has been central to the project from the offset. The mandate for the project was established through a community ballot and residents have been able to influence aspects including design, construction strategy and social value. Employing local labour is a priority with positions such as resident liaison officer and traffic marshall already given to local people.  

Giving back to the local community is always a key priority for Southwark Council and its building contractors. Linkcity and Bouygues UK have held workshops for young people in the local area, including a ‘Girls Believe’ academy at Bacons College to attract more women into construction and engineering, and educational workshops including interview skills at London South Bank University.  Linkcity have also offered a three-week pre-employment course as well as longer-term apprenticeships and training opportunities. Local family events are regularly held in the community with activities like arts and crafts and dancing. 

Phillippa Prongué, Linkcity’s Managing Director, opened the ceremony and expressed how exciting it was to get to this point: “This is a really significant moment for our team and for Southwark Council, and the culmination of many months’ hard work. This project is not really about the physical buildings; it’s about the people who will live in them, that’s something that has been really clear to us from the first moment we got involved in this project.  

“One of the things that we pride ourselves on at Linkcity is the close relationship with our construction partner, Bouygues UK, and nowhere is the strength of that relationship better demonstrated than when we move a project from the design stage to construction and start delivering on the commitments that we have made. We are so pleased how the site team has taken up the mantle of working closely with residents to make the construction process a smooth one.” 

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Tom Copley, said, “I was delighted to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for this important scheme, which will deliver hundreds of brand new council homes part-funded by City Hall, including homes for keyworkers.  

“The local community have been at the heart of this project, which is also delivering green spaces and new pedestrian and cycle routes. Developments like this have contributed to the more than 23,000 new council homes started in London since 2018, and support the Mayor as we continue building a fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.” 

Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for New Homes and Sustainable Development, added, “Starting the first phase of our Tustin Estate Masterplan marks a huge milestone in transforming this area and meeting the needs of local people. Tustin is one our major estates in the borough and we are proud to work with residents here to provide new council homes, a school and a park for the local community. 

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with our residents as we progress with transforming and reinvigorating this estate. We know that the new homes, community spaces and facilities here will give a boost to our communities and support our residents to thrive.” 

The project is expected to achieve a 94% reduction on carbon emissions when in use. A large part of this is due to the clean energy being supplied by the local waste-to-energy district heating network. Additional measures such as high-insulation building fabric, solar panels, SUDs, and air-source heat pumps for individual houses will also contribute to this. Most of the demolition materials will be reused, demolition will be limited through refurbishing a section of the estate and Linkcity and contractor Bouygues UK will raise awareness of subjects like biodiversity through workshops with the local school and the construction of bug hotels.  

Linkcity is currently working on the early design stages of Phase 2 of the estate masterplan, with construction due to start after the completion of phase one in summer 2025. 

Bouygues UK