2013-03-08 13.23

The six Lib Dem councillors for Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks have written a joint letter opposing plans by Sellar (developers of the Shard) to build a 41-storey tower on the site of the Decathlon store at Canada Water.

We believe that 41 storeys is simply too high, and not in keeping with either the local area or the delivery of the Canada Water Area Action Plan.

The area has already seen the development of a ‘landmark’ tower, as per the Area Action Plan, adjacent to Canada Water station.  The 41 storeys are also far above both the aim of the AAP to restrict development in the core area to between generally 5 to 8 storeys and the already secured planning permission for 10 storeys on site C.

Whilst we welcome high quality development in the area and an increase in both health facilities and open space, we have severe reservations about the proposed building heights, the transport sustainability of the plans, and the mooted quantum of on site affordable housing.

You can read the councillors’ letter in full here.

English Heritage has also raised objections to the proposed tower, warning that it will spoil the view of Tower Bridge when seen from London Bridge.

There is a “medium-high” risk from unexploded World War II  bombs in the redevelopment of the Mulberry Business Centre at Canada Water, according to a threat assessment submitted to Southwark Council.

King’s College London will next week hold a public exhibition of its plans to build new student accommodation, offices and housing on the site opposite Alfred Salter Primary School.

An Explosive Ordnance Threat Assessment carried out last year by BACTEC International has been submitted to Southwark Council.

The report notes that the site – which was alongside the now-infilled Quebec Dock – was bombed several times during World War II as part of wider Luftwaffe attacks on the Surrey Commercial Docks. During the war the site was occupied by a series of timber sheds which had all been demolished by 1946.

According to the assessment, a 500kg bomb would have had a maximum bomb penetration depth of up to 10 metres below WWII ground level.

BACTEC recommends that all workers carrying out excavations on the site should be briefed on the possibility of finding unexploded ordinance. It also recommends that a bomb disposal engineer should be on-site to supervise all open excavations.


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Last month Southwark Council’s cabinet agreed to the next stage of work towards the rejuvenation of Albion Street.

The council says it will work with local residents on the Albion Street Regeneration Framework which will have four main strands.

The next stages include proposals to expand Albion Primary School, further consultation with residents on the Albion Estate to see how they can benefit from wider regeneration, ensuring that the redevelopment of the former Rotherhithe Library on Albion Street supports the hopes of local people and enhancing public spaces in the area.

Cllr Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration and corporate strategy said: “Albion Street was once a lively and successful area – home to a popular street market and at the heart of the Rotherhithe community.

“Despite the tremendous changes we have seen in the Rotherhithe and Canada Water area, Albion Street area has not really felt the benefits.

“We are fortunate that there is a lot of enthusiasm and many great ideas coming forward from local tenants, residents, councillors, businesses and groups such as the Scandinavian churches. We want to make sure that there is a role for all local representatives to get involved in improving the area.”

Work on the redevelopment of the Dockland Settlement complex on Rotherhithe Street will begin “imminently” and is due for completion by the end of 2013, says Southwark Council.

The scheme includes 28 homes with five to be for social rent and four will have shared ownership status. The development will include new community and sports facilities.

“We are very pleased to be able to welcome a new sports facility in Southwark  in this Olympic year,” said Cllr Veronica Ward, cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics.

“We look forward to delivering an exciting and inclusive sports and leisure programme together with the Dockland Settlements charity.”

Cllr Peter John, leader of the council, added: “Regeneration is about more than just building new homes, it’s about meeting the needs of the local community and enhancing local facilities.

“The new sports facility and the additional affordable housing stock will do that by creating new employment opportunities and getting young people involved in exciting sports programmes.”

The Dockland Settlements were established in the 19th century to improve welfare and recreation for the youth of dock areas.  There are three Dockland Settlement centres at Stratford, the Isle of Dogs and Rotherhithe.

Dockland Settlements chief executive Lorraine Cavanagh said: “We have been working with local residents for the past two years and have now reached a point where a programme of activities can be put together in readiness for the opening.

“Dockland Settlement will continue to work to improve the quality of lives for local people through various programmes and partnerships and I welcome groups who would like to be part of this programme to still get in touch.”

Bermondsey Municipal Ofices

Southwark planning officers have granted planning and listed building consent to Hollybrook Homes for the conversion of the former Bermondsey Borough Council municipal offices in Spa Road into 41 homes.

The municipal offices were built in the late 1920s as an extension to the adjacent Bermondsey town hall. When the town hall was bombed, 19 Spa Road became the home of Bermondsey Borough Council until the metropolitan borough gave way to the London Borough of Southwark  in the mid-1960s.

The building stands on the site of the old Bermondsey Baths and it seems Hollybrook intends to call the scheme “Bath House Lofts” in recognition of this history.

Thames Water has applied to Southwark Council for permission to remove the large heaps of material from the Chambers Wharf site.

When the Chambers Wharf buildings were demolished, 24,000 tonnes of hardcore was kept on the site for use in future development.

With the land now likely to be used for Thames Water’s ‘super sewer’ project, the utility company has decided to remove the material from the site.

Most of the spoil will be loaded onto barges using a specially constructed conveyor belt and taken to a recycling plant at Tilbury.

Because of the presence of Japanese knotweed some of the material will be removed by road.

Thames Water says planned hours of operation for the removal works will be Monday-Friday 7am-9pm and Saturday 7am-1pm.

“As a responsible landowner, Thames Water has decided to remove the spoil material from the site, for the sake of the local community,” says the company’s application to Southwark Council.

More details here.