‘Barbican of the South’, a strong example of post-war British brutalism

In 2015 a decision was made that Milford Towers was to be no more and was soon to be demolished. Lewisham Council had been planning an ambitious regeneration of Catford since 2012, and high on its list of priorities was the demolition of the sink estate with a gigantic supermarket likely to replace it. Exciting, but not to happen!

The decision was rescinded, and in June 2018 CRL were awarded the contract to repair and refurbish 9 residential blocks, 22 commercial units and a busy marketplace at Milford Towers in Catford as Main/Principal Contractor for Lewisham Homes. CRL were no strangers to Milford towers as a few years earlier we had carried out the repairs to the Multi-Storey car park which serves the estate.

The works carried out consisted mainly of the following:

    • jetwash/high pressure clean all the concrete surfaces,
    • prepare the areas requiring repair,
    • carry out all necessary concrete repairs,
    • application of a fairing coat, primer & an anti-carbonation coating,
    • re-pointing & replacement of brickwork,
    • Helifix repairs,
    • expansion joint replacement,
    • removal of defective concrete parapet wall & replacement,
    • replacement of the powder coated handrail, and
    • staircase tread repairs.

Once the access works had been erected and a more thorough inspection of the concrete elements could be carried out it was found that extensive additional repairs would be required to the
concrete ring beams. This had a consequential effect on the programme and an extension of time to the programmed works was required.

The site team had to take great care in maintaining safe access and egress to commercial and residential properties. Public protection has been top of the list when planning each stage of works. CRL also carried out occasional ‘out of hours’ works due to a busy marketplace and Tesco store located directly below the site. Due to the close vicinity of residential, as well as commercial properties it was necessary to implement noisy works restrictions for concrete breakout, high pressure cleaning and any other noisy activities during certain times of the day, and night.

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"We started the project wary of the reputation that Milford Towers had. However, our site teams developed an excellent relationship with the tennants which hepled the project run smoothly and incident free." 

Ben Lawson | Regional Manager (London & the South East) | CRL 

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