The end is nigh: Brick by Brick’s final tower block is sold off

Building site: Flyover Towers this week, where construction workers were still on site. Plans for almost half the building’s flats to be ‘affordable’ or social housing have been abandoned

Our housing correspondent, BARRATT HOLMES, on the council’s increasingly desperate efforts to flog off the last developments from its inept house-builder

Flyover Towers, the final development by Brick by Brick, Croydon Council’s bankrupting building firm, has been sold as a job lot.

The deal could see previous plans to provide some social housing in the building abandoned completely, with the council appearing to have given up on securing sales through shared ownership schemes.

A senior source at the Town Hall has confirmed that, “We have exchanged contracts but not yet completed” on the building, which is sometimes referred to as Kindred House.

The property disposal is part of the cash-strapped council’s increasingly desperate efforts to generate cash from its assets following its financial collapse in 2020, which was caused in large part because of the failures of Brick by Brick.

As Inside Croydon revealed exclusively last year, Brick by Brick’s other late-to-complete development, the 157 flats in five blocks on a former car park at Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, have been sold to one of the country’s biggest housing associations – Notting Hill Genesis. Final negotiations over the purchase price are continuing.

Nearly finished: Kindred House has been built at a painfully slow pace, and is two years late to complete

Flyover Towers has been built on part of the Wandle Road car park, next to the Croydon Flyover in the town centre. Builders were still on site this week – more than two years after the development was supposed to have been completed.

Council sources refuse to divulge who the prospective purchaser might be, or the purchase price, although Notting Hill Genesis has confirmed that it is not involved in this acquisition.

“It’s all confidential,” a Katharine Street source told Inside Croydon. “Until the sale is completed, we can’t put that info out. As soon as we do, we will.”

The source refused to answer questions about how many of the homes would be offered as social housing, at social rents, as had been intended under original plans five years ago.

Construction work on the 25-storey Flyover Towers began in 2019, in what was supposed to be a two-year build. Construction sources have confirmed that the covid lockdowns were only a minor part of the slow progress on the site. In common with all Brick by Brick-managed projects, the build went seriously over schedule, with cost over-runs likely.

At the planning stage, 68 of the block’s 128 flats were to be for private sale – estimated market value for these alone: £26million – with 19 offered as affordable rent and 41 for shared ownership.

Two-bedroom private flats in Kindred House with views directly across the Flyover were being advertised for sale in 2022 at an eye-watering £560,000. One-bed flats were on offer for £340,000. Given that BxB is now selling the whole block to one buyer, it is safe to assume that there were not any takers when the flats were previously marketed.

When Brick by Brick was founded in 2015, the then Labour-run council promised that half of all its homes across the borough would be “affordable”, with the other 50per cent of the homes built going for private sale to help subsidise the project.

It emerged that the majority of BxB’s “affordable” properties would in fact be sold as less-than-affordable shared ownership homes. This scheme fell through when it emerged that no one at inept Brick by Brick had bothered to get the company licensed as an approved vendor of shared ownership homes, leaving their prospective buyers high and dry and unable to secure their mortgages.

Following the council’s financial collapse in 2020 and the start of the winding-up process for Brick by Brick, a licensed shared ownership vendor, So Resi, was drafted in to handle the sales. This, though, appears to have been less than a full-throttle success.

Half-a-million-pound flats: with views over the Croydon Flyover, previous sales efforts appear to have flopped

As research for Inside Croydon discovered last summer, including Flyover Towers, Green Lion Road and other BxB properties around the borough, there were at least £110million-worth of new homes standing empty in Croydon.

In the middle of a housing crisis.

Many of those homes remain vacant today.

Brick by Brick’s failure ever to make a profit, or to repay its £200million-worth of loans from the council, was a major contributor to the council’s bankruptcy. It was not until March 2022 that Brick by Brick made its first “repayment”: £30million, covering interest and just £2million of its loans.

Because of the delays in completing the builds, the poor sales through So Resi and estate agents, it has now been conceded that the winding down process for Brick by Brick will continue for another 12 months.

Some members of BxB staff will continue to be employed until early 2024, adding further costs to the council’s exit strategy.

“There is a reasonably extended part where we have to have some staff,” Jason Cummings, the council cabinet member for finance, said.

“We have responsibilities to the builds. Brick by Brick won’t be operating as a company but there will still be a couple of staff doing that tying up process.”

Read more: Council slips through £5m deal to buy Brick by Brick houses
Read more: Council sells off public green space to Brick by Brick for just £1
Read more: Council set to take £100m hit as it winds down Brick by Brick
Read more: Conflicts of interest, incomplete contracts, unlawful payments

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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10 Responses to The end is nigh: Brick by Brick’s final tower block is sold off

  1. Laurence Fisher says:

    What’s even more shocking over the emptiness problem and financial side is – who the hell would want to live on a motorway reservation strip? Wrong place, wrong price, wrong council. The day Croydon Council start making sense, is the day we all have to worry.

  2. Lancaster says:

    Knowing how competent the Council are at deals and negotiation; it would come as no surprise if they paid to get rid and offload this tower block.

  3. Laurence Fisher says:

    No. WE paid, and will continue to do so until further notice.
    It wouldn’t come as a surprise, you’re correct.

  4. derekthrower says:

    For the poor people who will be residing next to a busy flyover. They will have to hope that Part Time does not hold up the ULEZ scheme in Croydon or they will be enjoying the ambience of carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, lead with all other available poisonous chemicals care of Brick by Brick led by the latest Dicks by Dicks.

  5. Ian Kierans says:

    And still no one arrested or even disciplined?

  6. Lewis White says:

    I remember when the council were consulting , in the time of the previous Conservative administration, on the area Masterplans for central Croydon. The area plan concept was great, but some of the content dubious.

    I seem to recall responding to the effect that the vacant , Council owned area of surface level car parking alongside the flyover should be planted with large-growing trees, to clean up the air for the residents of Old Town, not with new blocks in which people would have to live, and in which they would breathe polluted and dust-ridden air.

    Of course, money talks, or (in the case of Brick by Brick– the shiny propsect of money, which became a mirage), so we have ended up this block and others on the South side of the Duppas Hill part of the flyover, where the blocks are so close to the road, that it is possible for the passing car passenger to read what brand of toilet cleaner the residents are using in their bathrooms.

    Is it right that people should be subjected to such pollution?

    Are these blocks going to get populated by people who love concrete, and gritty urban living ?

    Will families live here? Will councils and housing associations put them here?

    Will they become the slums of a not-too-distant future?.

    It is not certain, but it is worrying.

  7. Haydn White says:

    So the council wont reveal who they have sold it to or the price paid. But as ever the truth will eventually be told , but we may have to wait a while for IC to dig up the facts.

  8. Laurence Fisher says:

    They will hide this well. Or drive it to Viridor to burn it. No wonder that smoke stack stinks…

  9. Sally says:

    Jo Negreedy’s gold handshake must now be recovered by Croydon Council.

  10. Pingback: Brick by Brick’s losses pile up even after selling £89m of homes – Inside Croydon – UK Poperty Guides

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