The St John’s Hill estate used to be home to The Royal Masonic Institution for Girls School and two lodges. When we built the estate in 1936, most of the school buildings were demolished, but the two lodges remained.
To save money on building costs, the flats were built with a bath in the scullery that could be covered with a working surface when not in use. When they opened in 1936, weekly rents ranged from 5 shillings for a one-room flat to 16 shillings and sixpence for a four-room flat.
We modernised the properties in the 1960s and 1970s, creating a separate bathroom in each flat and installing lifts in some blocks. During this period, blocks M and P were converted to sheltered housing.
In 2011, the estate held a community event to celebrate its 75th birthday.
In July 2012, we got planning permission to redevelop the entire estate. Our current consent is to deliver 658 new homes made up of a mix of social rent, older people’s extra care, shared ownership and private sale. As part of the redevelopment, we're also creating a large public square, two commercial units and a new community centre.
The first two phases of the of the project, which include 242 homes for social rent and 48 shared ownership, are already complete. We expect to complete the final phase in the summer of 2026.