A crowd-funder has been launched to raise money to build London’s first training facility for self-home builders on land set aside for an affordable housing self-build project.

The project, aiming to build the homes and training facility, will shortly submitted planning permission in Ladywell.

The scheme is being driven by the Rural Urban Synthesis Society, a Community Land Trust, and is aiming to raise £57,000 for materials to build a training facility alongside 33 new affordable homes that they hope to complete by 2020.

MORE: Self-build homes return to Lewisham at former Ladywell school site

The facility will showcase the various methods of construction – from timber frame to straw bale.

RUSS signed a development agreement with Lewisham Council in April 2016 for a ‘community-led, affordable, self-build housing development’ in a derelict former school and industrial site at Church Grove in Ladywell, South East London.

Now a new project has started to build a training facility that will hold workshops for community self-builders as the group hope to inspire other projects across the capital.

RUSS chair Kareem Dayes, whose parents self-built their own homes, said: “Lewisham has a history of self-building. In 1985 a group of council tenants with no previous building experience built their own homes on land provided by Lewisham Council.

“They were led by architect Water Segal who developed a simple and cost-effective building design that anyone could self-build.”

This new project aims to provide sufficient affordable homes of top quality at a time where London prices are increasing.

Ted Stevens, a trustee of RUSS, said: “Building in London is especially challenging, but the RUSS group is making it happen and is keen to pass on its learning and knowledge to other Londoners.”

The training facility and community space will be self-built.

The homes will be filled by pre-selected people who passed tests to show they had a local connection to Lewisham and needed affordable housing.

They will be a blank canvas inside, a mix of one, two, three and four bedrooms and made from a timber frame.

The training facility will also double up as a community space for local clubs and workshops.

It will be constructed of recycled material and a spokesman for RUSS said there is potential to incorporate such as rain water collection.

Graziano Milano, who is overseeing the crowd funding campaign, said: “We plan to use the space to test ideas. We will also consult with the local community on our goal of creating a permanent community space that can bring new residents and the existing community together.” 

It is hoped construction on the homes will start next year.

The homes will be partially owned between the tenants and RUSS. A three bed will cost £141,000 for a 25 per cent share of the home.

So far, the crowdfunder to start the training facility has more than £4,000 towards its target.

Click here to view the crowdfunder.