Sixty-five potential locations for over 40,000 homes, infrastructure, schools and businesses have been earmarked by Southwark council. It is currently seeking your thoughts and opinions on the Area Visions and Site Allocations that make up part of the New Southwark Plan (NSP).
In a nutshell the NSP is the strategical document that will influence planning and development in the borough in the coming years. Some will argue that it isn’t worth the paper that it is written on and will only be changed again in a couple of years. Others will view the consultation as an important opportunity to try and influence what the council is planning for the future. Some may even share both views!
The proposals throw up some interesting potential development sites that Southwark council has earmarked in its attempts to meet its burgeoning housing target imposed on the borough by the Mayor of London (over 40,000 in total). We thought that it might be helpful to pick out some of the potentially controversial and important locations that sit within each of our seven Community Action Networks and bring them to your attention.
This site includes plans to build 1,500 homes on the former Peek Freans biscuit factory on land north of Clements road and a primary school for 600 pupils. That’s a lot of news homes for one site - especially considering that there are currently no residential units on this site. At the moment it is predominantly made up of offices and light industrial work space. Whilst plans include the creation of 6000m2 of ‘flexible workspace’ this is a reduction of 23,000m2 from the existing site. It is probably fair to assume that this is to accommodate 1,500 new residential units. It might also be assumed that in order to incorporate quite a large number of new units there will be a propensity to build skywards although, according to the document, this will be ‘subject to consideration of impacts on existing character, heritage and detailed townscape analysis.’ We will see!
If you want to view the proposals in greater detail, as well as the other sites earmarked for Bermondsey, then click here.
Borough and Bankside
This fire station complex includes two Grade II listed buildings: the 17th Century main Southwark Fire Station Building to the south of the site, which borders Sawyer Street and Southwark Bridge Road; and the 16th Century U-shaped Winchester House and attached railings, which are set back from Southwark Bridge Road towards the centre of the site.
On the face of it providing Southwark residents with a new secondary school and sixth form (along with accompanying sports hall and activity studio) seems like a positive move. However, the question remains as to how easy it will be to maintain and preserve the historic nature of the building considering the presence of a Grade II listed building on the site, as well as the fact that it falls within the Union Street conservation area.
But what happens to the site in the meantime? The topic cropped up at the last Borough and Bankside CAN meeting. Check out what was discussed here.
If you want to view the proposals in greater detail, as well as the other sites earmarked for Borough and Bankside, then click here.
Here at Southwark CAN we have been supporting a campaign that will hopefully lead to the reopening of Camberwell railway Station. To find out more about the campaign you can click here. But what’s this got to do with the NSP? Well, Southwark council have helpfully earmarked the old station site for redevelopment… for the purposes of a new train station! Not only will a new station improve transport links for residents of Camberwell, it will also help alleviate demand on Denmark Hill station (which has seen passenger journeys double in past five years from just over 3.5 million to 7 million). Southwark council are currently in discussions with TFL and Network rail that will hopefully see them come up with a business case for the proposals.
While the idea of a brand spanking new station seems appealing – what happens to the businesses that currently operate on the site? Southwark’s proposals insist that any development provides at least the amount of employment floorspace that there currently is.
To find out what other sites Southwark has their eye on in Camberwell click here.
The Grove Tavern has been closed for quite a while now. The current leaseholder, Stonegate Pubs, has nine years left on its lease but has shown no sign of wanting to re-open the pub. It would strike anyone that it is a waste that this site remains unused – especially considering the amount of pubs that have been lost in recent years in the capital. The fact that Southwark council has identified the site as ripe for redevelopment would normally set alarm bells ringing – but in the NSP they state that any new site must retain a pub. A good thing right? Well, they have included a caveat that nay new development may include care homes.
If the latter route is pursued then another issue rears its ugly head: air pollution. Air quality is poor along the south circular road, and would surely have an adverse effect on care home residents – may of whom will already be suffering from poor health.
At the recent Dulwich CAN meeting it was noted that it is excellent that the Council are identifying potential sites for Extra Care Housing, but it is vital that pollution levels are taken into account for those potential sites, to ensure that the environment is appropriate for its use.
Peckham and Nunhead
Anyone who is familiar with Peckham will be familiar with the PeckhamPlex cinema, and the multi-story carpark which houses it. The NSP considers this site appropriate for ‘comprehensive redevelopment.’
According to Peckham Vision ‘redevelopment’ will equate to the demolition of the building after the end of the temporary leases of Bold Tendencies, Frank’s Café and Peckham Levels. This could also mean the loss of an important cultural institution in the cinema itself.
There has been a groundswell of support for Peckham Vision’s response to the consulation. If you want to add you voice you can do so by clicking here and joining the thousands of others who feel that Southwark council need to think about this site very carefully, click here.
There was one site that stood out in the list of redevelopment sites that Southwark council have identified for the Rotherhithe area: A new town centre on the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre that extends onto the Harmsworth Quays site. The council states that the development could combine shopping, civic, education, leisure, business and residential uses and car park. Anyone in the area will know that it is a popular landmark for local residents, and provides a social hub for the area’s older residents.
There is a big push in the Canada Water Area Action Plan to get people to leave their cars at home. Therefore, any development is set to impact on the amount of parking available. This would be mitigated by making the site more accessible to public transport, as well as by foot and cycles.
The council also states that any redevelopment must include a new health centre. As well it might, considering the tens of thousands of new residents that will be attracted to the area.
To take a look at the Area Action Plan click here.
To view all of the proposed redevelopment areas for Rotherhithe click here.
On the face of it this potential development site appears quite straight forward: provide town centre uses on the ground floor with active frontages on Walworth Road… but with a few flats thrown in for good measure. Whilst Southwark council states that the site must retain the same amount of retail space – it must be wondered at what cost? Will any rise in rents force out the likes of the Oli Food Centre? Call us cynical but the photo below suggests that may well be the case.
Photo courtesy of the 35% Campaign
This blog is supposed to give a flavour of some of the potential plans for redevelopment that Southwark council will pursue in the coming years.
Below is a complete list of the areas that Southwark is consulting on, plus corresponding area visions and development sites:
- Bankside and The Borough
- Blackfriars Road
- East Dulwich
- Elephant and Castle
- Herne Hill and North Dulwich
- London Bridge
- Old Kent Road
So what next?
It must be remembered that these sites will be subject to planning procedures etc and are only an indication at this stage. If you have any views on any of the sites and wish to share them with Southwark council, then now is your chance!
The council will then make any amendments to the plan and publish and consult (yet again) on something called the ‘Proposed Submission Version.’ This is the version that they hope will be agreed upon and ultimately implemented. This should be published by the end of 2017. After this consultation the plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State for public examination.
If you want to find out more, or have any questions about Southwark’s plans, please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org.