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How safe is our listed Modern Movement heritage?


19 Apr 2017 | Kate Macintosh

The limited protection offered by listing, particularly at Grade II, is well recognised. Although this does not diminish the sense of achievement when listing is granted, it does raise questions about how well preserved our Modern heritage will be. In the case of 269 Leigham Court Road, listed Grade II in 2015, Lambeth have instructed Mae architects to examine what alterations could be made to make the development compliant with "Extra Care" standards. 


Extra Care is a concept intended to reduce bed blocking of hospitals by the elderly who could be accommodated in care homes. The paradigm aims to create much larger communities within one site, with independent living alongside fully institutionalised 24/7 care provision. With 75 maximum residents, Leigham Court Road is unsuited to this model that (in my view) risks creating isolated ghettos. There is an irony in this pressure, given that Local Authorities are closing old people's homes because of lack of funding. The hidden intention is probably to shed responsibility onto housing associations or private providers.

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