The first of a series of massive new developments proposed along the Old Kent Road is going to planning committee this week.
The Ruby Triangle planning application marks an extraordinary change in the scale and density of development along the Old Kent Road.
The proposal includes 1,152 homes of which 40.5% are affordable (25.1% social and 15.4% intermediate), two towers of 40 storeys and 48 storeys, a small park and a sports hall.
The height and density of the development is heavily influenced by the emerging Old Kent Road Area Action Plan which has not yet been examined in public. Some local residents, businesses, and community groups have been unhappy with the level of consultation around the Area Action Plan that has taken place to date, despite the emergence of a local community forum.
The approval of this application will set a precedent for other large developments to be permitted in the area, before the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan is formally adopted. This will will lead to current Old Kent Road residents being overlooked, and profoundly impact on light levels.
Industrial floor space is currency protected, however this development calls for the release of more than 2046.95 sqm of it. This process is not compliant with current policy. The release is not led by a strategic plan and so could potentially lead to the loss of industry specific jobs and businesses that have been based in the Old Kent Road for decades.
Planners will argue that tall towers are the only viable way to satisfy huge local housing demands. However, this reasoning is unlikely to appease local residents impacted by the scale of the development.
The Ruby Triangle application relies heavily on the proposed Bakerloo Line Extension to transport residents. The Bakerloo Line Extension has not been confirmed and if it is, it will not be ready until 2030. This means Transport for London's already at capacity bus network will need to increase buses along the Old Kent Road. Until the Bakerloo Line Extension there will be overcrowding, slow moving traffic and more private car use, all of which will considerably worsen the already poor levels of air quality in the area.
See the Officer's Report below.
For more analysis of the application you can read the 35% Campaign's excellent assessment here: http://35percent.org/2018-10-08-ruby-triangle-goes-to-committee/
For more information about the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan click here.
Thanks to Flora, the planning caseworker at Southwark Law Centre for the update! If you have any questions please get in touch: