The Beddington Zero Energy Development is a mixed-use urban village built on a disused part of Beddington sewage works in north Hackbridge
Built in 2002 on a 3½-acre site focused on Helios Road, BedZED was a collaborative project between the Peabody Trust and the London Borough of Sutton. Its cutting edge architecture integrated environmental, social and economic needs and employed various methods of reducing energy, water and car use. The development incorporates 82 homes and several small businesses (most of which are ecologically inclined), with associated on-site amenities.
Half the homes were sold on the open market, a quarter were reserved for social rent by Peabody and the remaining quarter for shared ownership.
A community facility called BedZED Pavilion is used for dance and exercise classes and family activities. Some of the neighbouring land was preserved as recreational space but other parts were later built up with less imaginatively designed housing.
The Bioregional Development Group played a leading role in initiating the BedZED project and optimising the development’s sustainability. The group is headquartered in BedZED and has built on its experience here in subsequent projects around the world. Architects ZEDFactory are also based here.
Like most utopian schemes, BedZED has its flaws and some residents have mixed feelings about having moved here, but its creators’ intentions were admirable and further schemes of this nature would greatly enhance London’s social housing stock.
Postcode area: Wallington SM6
Further information: Bioregional’s page on BedZED