News Article

Yard Project update

04 Jul 24

Project not going ahead as planned

We are sorry that you have not heard from the SLT Yard Project for some time.


Unfortunately, the project can no longer go ahead as planned. Lambeth have had to withdraw their grant offer as we have found it impossible to assure them that we can deliver the proposed extension in the strict time frame.


Our proposal of a two-room extension only made practical and economic sense if we could build right up to the boundary. At the beginning, we identified the removal of the earth banks to make a level space, as a high-risk factor to be considered as a priority.


Our yard shares its boundary with three neighbours, each with its own complications and requiring us to make each a proposal for a Party Wall agreement. The most complex is the boundary with the church yard which comprises considerable changes in level, and, on their property, an almost buried Grade II Listed but crumbling Victorian wall, and two substantial protected trees. Estimates to clear to this boundary while retaining their wall and trees were unexpectedly quite out of proportion to the cost and value of the project.


The wall and the trees are of no actual use to the church but, for us to propose removing their property for our advantage would entail months of negotiation with the church, the diocese, Listed Building Control, Arboreal consultants and the Tree Preservation department as well as Lambeth Planning and a Party Wall Surveyor. And we would still need to protect the church’s land from collapsing as we built our extension wall.


If there were no time constraint, we could have worked through this, although the consents could have failed at any stage. However, there is a rigid, government imposed, deadline of 31 March 2025 by which all projects must be completed and performance goals at least in sight. We had to agree that we could not meet this target.


Both Lambeth and the AHF have suggested further funding opportunities which we will follow up as soon as possible, including Lambeth’s newly launched RE:Purpose fund.


We are most grateful to the SLT members who contributed to the consultations and workshops and who toiled to clear the yard and investigate the boundary wall. All these have provided very valuable knowledge and ideas to inform our future use of the building and, of course, the yard.