Started before the war on the site of a single house, this set of three buildings took some time to emerge due to the collapse of the developer (English and Scottish), then hostilities, then a dispute with the contractors. The LCC acquired the semi-complete buildings in 1949 and built them to the original designs with a few amendments including the installation of communal heating. Gray based his design on Freud’s Belvedere Court which he would have been aware of as he lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb. There are 13 flat types in all ranging from studios through to three beds with separate dining areas. All the original Crittalls remain. The flats were rented at a ‘higher rent’ by the LCC, presumably to cover the relatively high cost of building due to the development having been intended as a private rented development originally. In 1972, the GLC offered the flats for sale as long as over 50% of the tenants exercised that right. They did. The flats are almost all leasehold today with a handful of (now Southwark Council) tenants remaining. A number of clauses from the original tenancies were retained through to the leases and the flats cannot be sub-let.
Article for 20th Century Society