From country to suburb: The why and the how of suburban development. A universal phenomenon with examples from south-east London.


State subsidies and funding

In the early 20th century central and local government increasingly became a source for money for house building. This money has become available in different ways at different times, depending on national circumstances and the political persuasion of the government of the day. During World War I estates for workers in munitions factories were sometimes funded directly, as in the case of the Progress Estate in Eltham, or indirectly, as in the case of the Vickers estate in Crayford. In the 1920ís government encouraged local authorities to build housing schemes and huge estates, such as Downham (London County Council 1924-30 and 6,000 homes), Bellingham (also LCC 1920-3, 2,000 homes) and Welling, (Bexley Urban District Council, 426 homes) were built. In the 1930s money was channelled through the private sector in the form of subsidies. In the post-war era government channelled huge sums towards slum clearance and the erection of new inner-city estates, smaller outer London estates and in the building of new towns. The Aylesbury Estate (196 2,434 homes) in Southwark, the Coldharbour Estate (1947, x, homes) in Eltham and Thamesmead in Greenwich and Bexley (1965 and ongoing, to provide a home for 40,000 people, but now reduced) on the Woolwich and Erith Marshes are examples of these. Now the preferred route of channelling state money into housing is through housing associations.