The Lane

Blackheath, London

The Lane

Built by the Span Development Company, The Lane at Blackheath has a strong community character and a distinct architectural style that complements the surrounding area. Designed by Eric Lyons.

The Lane at Blackheath, has been selected from a total of 73 estates developed by the Span Development Company between 1948 and 1984. The company’s aim was to provide good housing cheaply. Without exception these estates are highly valued by residents and in constant demand from buyers of all age groups.

The Lane has a particularly strong Resident’s Society, set up by the development company on completion in 1964. Over the last 43 years an elected committee of residents has managed the maintenance of the building exteriors and the landscape. This structure is common to all Span estates. It has sustained property value and engendered a sense of community and is key to the Span ‘formula’ in which the careful and sensitive design of the buildings and landscape are equally important.

The site stretches along the side of a railway tunnel and was formerly occupied by two large houses and a nursery garden. Access is via a single access road, or ‘lane’, leading from Blackheath Park, a distinguished road of large villa’s within the Cator Estate conservation area. The constraints of the site provided the challenge of how to achieve a sustainable density and fulfil suburban parking standards whilst also providing a meaningful public realm. The solution was to provide small groups of terraced houses around shared gardens with remote parking courts, thus prioritising people over cars, and providing a setting for residents.

The Lane received a Housing Design Award and a Civic Trust Award on completion in 1964.




The influence of postwar Scandanavian architecture is evident in The Lane's distinct characterSite layout at The LaneThe parking provision prevents cars from dominating the streetscene.Span's attention to the spaces between buildings allowed the inclusion of high quality greenspace throughout the development.The character of a Span interior is determined by the large areas of glazing bringings in daylight and allows views out over greenspaces and the public realm.Crisp white rectilinear blocks of two storey terraces.The back gates and garden walls create a second front, providing an attractive access area.Front entranceway with ample greenspace provided through shared communal gardens along the frontages.

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