Lewisham Small Sites SPD

​​RCKa’s celebrated Design Code SPD for Lewisham Council sets out a bold vision for small site housing development and takes positive steps to promote housing delivery in the borough.

Working together with Ash Sakula Architects, RCKa has recently completed a new Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for Lewisham Council, which sets out ways in which the borough intends to meet its London Plan small sites housing target of 3,790 homes over the next 10 years.

The SPD was formally adopted in October 2021, and comprises three documents: a small sites “Vision” which describes the challenges and opportunities offered by small site housing development; the SPD itself, which provides guidance on how the policies of the local plan should be interpreted; and a comprehensive appendix, which sets out the background research which informed the work.

A key aspect of the brief was to find a way for the SPD to achieve more than just a simple increase in density in appropriate locations. With this in mind, it acts as a guidebook for potential developers, community groups, planning officers and citizens to assist in thinking positively and creatively about the gentle intensification of the borough.

Each section of the SPD addresses a different aspect of small site development. Starting with general guidance, including a review of typical planning constraints, a development flowchart – which provides an easily-understandable methodology for small site development – and a comprehensive guide to how new homes can help address the climate crisis, the document then presents a series of ‘toolkits’ which speak to different aspects of development: placemaking, heritage, good design and open space, among others. Finally the SPD concludes with an examination of the types of site which are typically found within Lewisham, and sets out specific guidance showing how design excellent can optimise small sites development and to help meet housing need.

Accompanying the adopted documents, RCKa has developed a dedicated Lewisham small sites website which displays the information in an easily-accessible format. We have committed to hosting the website for the duration of the plan period. Both the graphic design of the suite of documents, and the accompanying website, were developed by RCKa’s in-house graphic designer, Zack Wellin. Further contributions to the documents included a section on heritage by Catherine Croft, and environmental sustainability by Melissa Merryweather.

View the SPD here

London Borough of Lewisham

Russell Curtis
Lee Jesson
Robin Turner
Zack Wellin