Southwark Council has served an enforcement notice on the owners of the Old Justice Pub on Bermondsey Wall East after work was carried out on the grade II listed building.

Meanwhile applications for planning permission (19/AP/0438) and listed building consent (19/AP/0439) have now been submitted to the council for works to create a roof extension to accommodate a new flat.

Southwark’s planning committee unanimously turned down the massive Biscuit Factory planning application on Wednesday night.

As we reported last week, Southwark planning officers recommended that elected members should refuse planning permission for Grosvenor’s massive scheme spanning the former Peek Freans biscuit factory and the old Scott Lidgett School site.

The Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor property firm wants to build around 1,300 homes which would stay in the company’s ownership and be rented directly to tenants.

The meeting heard that the key issue is a difference in opinion between the council and the developer on three key points:

  • the cost of building the scheme
  • the expected level of rental income from the flats
  • the ongoing costs of managing the completed development

Grosvenor insists that its proposed affordable housing offer – with around 27 per cent of the homes to be let at less than market rent – is the maximum that can viably be provided.

The council’s independent viability consultants consider that the scheme could offer a larger number of affordable homes at a deeper level of discount from market prices.

Under Grosvenor’s proposals, a couple wanting to rent one of the discounted Biscuit Factory homes would need to earn around £30,000 each to qualify.

Following the council’s decision, the Mayor of London will have the opportunity to ‘take over’ the application. If this happens, then a public hearing would be held at City Hall.

“After many years of working collaboratively with the council and community to develop proposals for a highly accessible and exemplary scheme we are obviously disappointed by the committee’s decision,” said Craig McWilliam, CEO, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland.

“Our proposals are for a neighbourhood accessible to the growing majority of Londoners who simply cannot afford to buy, do not qualify for social housing and want the many advantages of a secure, professionally managed home to rent.

“This includes Southwark’s many health, education, public order and fire service workers who can through, our proposals, afford to live close to where they work.”

A side-effect of this week’s decision is likely to be a delay to the construction of a permanent building for the Compass secondary school. Councillors urged Grosvenor to submit a separate planning application for the school, which would occupy land owned by Grosvenor but is otherwise funded independently from the rest of the development.

Southwark’s planning committee will meet next Wednesday to consider Grosvenor’s plans to redevelop the Biscuit Factory and former Southwark College sites in Bermondsey.

The Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor property firm wants to build more than 1,300 homes in a series of building up to 28 storeys high.

Rather than a conventional development of homes for sale, Grosvenor is proposing a build-to-rent scheme which will see it retain ownership of the site.

However, the firm has not been able to reach agreement with the council over the maximum viable provision of affordable housing.

Planning officers are recommending that planning permission be refused due to insufficient affordable housing, as well as concerns over density, highway safety and pedestrian routes through the railway arches.

Grosvenor has offered 27.37% affordable housing, based on habitable rooms, with an average discount of 25% below market rents (ie rents payable of up to 75% of market rents). This would equate to 976 habitable rooms, or 322 of the 1342 homes.

The council points out that to be able to live in Grosvenor’s proposed ‘affordable’ homes, couples or sharers would need to be earning around £30,000 each.

Southwark planners contend that not only would the the proposed affordable homes fail to help those in the most serious housing need, but that Grosvenor could afford to provide a greater number of homes below market rental prices at a deeper discount.

A Grosvenor spokesperson said: “Our proposals are for a neighbourhood that is accessible to the growing majority of Londoners who simply cannot afford to buy, do not qualify for social housing  and want the advantages of a secure professionally managed home to rent.

“This includes Southwark’s many health, education, public order and fire service workers who want to, and can through our proposals, live close to where they work.”

The meeting is scheduled to take place at the council’s Tooley Street offices on Wednesday 6 February at 6.30pm. It is likely to be webcast at www.youtube.com/southwarkcouncil

You can see the papers for the meeting here.

Transport for London has asked the Government to help fund a second entrance for Surrey Quays Station and extra facilities at Canada Water Bus Station to meet rising demand for public transport as the area is developed.

News of the funding bid came in London transport commissioner Mike Brown’s regular report to the TfL board.

“We submitted a bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) on 3 December for various enhancements to the transport network to support the provision of around 14,000 new homes by 2031,” wrote Mr Brown.

“The enhancements included in the bid were as follows:

  • An increase in service frequencies on the East London line to 20 trains per hour
  • A second entrance at Surrey Quays station
  • A new station at Surrey Canal Road, between Queens Road Peckham and Surrey Quays
  • Additional facilities at Canada Water bus station, to enable the provision of a new bus route serving the Convoys Wharf development

“These enhancements will support the major developments proposed at Canada Water, New Bermondsey and Convoys Wharf, delivering mixed-use development that supports key Mayoral objectives.

“A decision on funding for the bid is expected from central government during 2019. “

Last summer TfL set out its initial view on the transport implications of the Canada Water masterplan.

Proposals to rebuild Rotherhithe Primary School with expanded premises for an extra form of entry are now being considered by the council’s planning department.

The existing buildings date from 1971 and are said to be beyond viable refurbishment.

The new school – facing Hawkstone Road – has been designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios.

The architects say they have drawn on the area’s history when developing their vision for the new school:

The ribbon of the garden wall wraps around the site creating a protected central courtyard evocative of the historic basins and dry docks which were once carved out of the Rotherhithe peninsular. The organic shapes and materials of the landscape flow into the ‘basin’ of the courtyard which is framed by the more rectilinear walls of the building, inspired by the retaining walls of the dry docks and Brunel’s engineering legacy.

See planning application 18/AP/3792 for further details.

New plans to demolish the long-closed Albion pub at the corner of Albion Street and Neptune Street – and replace it with a four-storey block of flats  – have been submitted to Southwark Council.

The Albion pictured before closure
The latest proposals

A planning application for the redevelopment of the pub was submitted in spring 2017 but was withdrawn before a decision was made.

Now revised plans have been submitted to the council under reference 18/AP/3984 by George Macari of the Albion Pub Co.

In 2016, Southwark planners had advised that “the existing building carries certain architectural qualities that offer visual interest to Albion Street therefore the building is considered a non-designated heritage asset”.

Justifying their proposal to demolish the pub, Michael Trentham Architects argue that “the Neo Tudor style is a pastiche design and out of keeping with the overall character of the area”.

“The current public house was built in 1928 and is a typical plain example of the interwar Neo-Tudor public house design that was very common. It lacks the simple integrity of the surrounding buildings.”

Canada Water

Southwark’s cabinet this week approved the Canada Water Regeneration Charter, the first in a series of document setting out how the council will work with partners on measures to improve residents’ health and economic wellbeing in parallel with the major physical development schemes. 

“It is important when regeneration and change comes to our borough that key strategic partners are aligned with the priorities of the council and the community, and setting their sights high in realising a wide range of tangible benefits for existing communities,” sais Cllr Leo Pollak, cabinet Member for social regeneration, Great Estates and new homes.

“The Canada Water Social Regeneration Charter, developed with British Land, presents the results of a series of intensive consultation exercises reaching thousands of local people, and identifies a number of emerging priorities for the redevelopment – among them supporting new enterprise and skills development initiatives, creating new opportunities for young people, and spreading the benefits of new investment to neighbouring estates.”

You can watch the cabinet discussion on this page, and all the documents are available on the council website.

British Land says that occupiers from “a range of sectors” are showing interest in moving to the firm’s massive Canada Water development. Building work could start in the second half of 2019 once planning permission is granted.

The developer’s half-year results – published on Wednesday – included a lengthy section on Canada Water which is reproduced below.

Canada Water: A unique redevelopment opportunity in London

Highlights
• 5m sq ft mixed use development scheme
• Master development agreement signed with Southwark Council in May 2018
• Planning application including detailed planning submission on the first three buildings and outline
planning for the whole scheme submitted May 2018
• Valuation up 0.3% to £293m

At Canada Water, we are working with the London Borough of Southwark to deliver a 5m sq ft mixed use scheme,
including 3,000 new homes alongside a mix of commercial, retail and community space. The site benefits from
excellent transport connectivity with Canary Wharf and the West End two and twelve minutes respectively on the
Jubilee line and Shoreditch just ten minutes away by Overground. It covers 53 acres including the dock area,
providing 48 acres of developable land.

We started engaging on our masterplan proposals in 2014 and since then have held over 120 public consultation
and local outreach events. These have attracted over 11,000 people who provided 12,000 comments on our
plans, enabling us to shape a design with strong local appeal. Together with Southwark Council, we have now
committed to a Social Regeneration Charter which will ensure that residents in the borough benefit from the
development.
In May, we submitted our planning application, which included a detailed application on the project’s first three
buildings together covering nearly 580,000 sq ft. Our plans include 265 homes of which 35% will be affordable.
Building A1 will provide both residential and workspace and building A2 will be focused on workspace and a new
leisure centre, with both providing a small amount of retail at ground floor. K1, the third building will be wholly
residential. These buildings are part of a major first phase covering 1.9m sq ft of mixed use space.

The development agreement which we signed in May 2018 sets out the terms of a new headlease, which
consolidates our holdings into a single 500 year headlease with Southwark Council as the Lessor. This structure
effectively aligns the ownership of these assets, with British Land owning 80% and Southwark Council owning
the remaining 20%. Southwark Council will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the
individual plots, up to a maximum of 20% and returns will be pro-rated accordingly. This headlease becomes
effective on the fulfilment of a number of conditions, most importantly achieving outline planning consent for the
whole masterplan and detailed planning consent for the first three buildings.

Subject to planning approvals, construction of the first detailed plots could begin in the second half of 2019.

Potential funding structures will be explored when we have greater visibility on timing, ahead of which, we are
already seeing interest in the space from a range of sectors and discussions are underway on several buildings.

In the meantime, the Printworks has become an established live and electronic music venue, frequently hosting
crowds of up to 5,000. Ticket sales and visitors are now up to 300,000 with 31 shows scheduled for the Autumn
season.

The valuation of Canada Water increased to £293m benefitting from progress made with our planning application
although we continue to incur feasibility costs in relation to the Masterplan.