Labour London Assembly member (and directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets) John Biggs tabled a formal question to Mayor of London Boris Johnson seeking an update on the proposed ‘Brunel Bridge’ for pedestrians and cyclists which could be built to link Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf.

Boris Johnson’s reply was published on Monday evening:

TfL is providing financial and other support to the work being undertaken by Sustrans to develop plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe.

The work suggests that there is a positive case for better crossings in this area. It has found that a bridge would deliver benefits by encouraging walking and cycling trips, and provide an alternative to the busy Jubilee line between Canada Water and Canary Wharf.

There are some significant challenges that a bridge here would need to overcome, including meeting the needs of shipping and connecting into the existing walking and cycling networks on either side. Further work will be required to investigate these issues.

TfL expects to receive the outputs of this work shortly. Next steps will be considered with key stakeholders, including the opportunities that exist for funding, construction and ongoing maintenance.

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A proposal to install a floating swimming pool in Greenland Dock has been turned down by Southwark Council planning officers.

We first reported the scheme back in May.

The proposal was put forward by South Dock-based architect Adrian Priestman.

At a recent overview & scrutiny committee Cllr Mark Williams (cabinet member for regeneration and new homes) revealed that Mr Priestman’s proposal did not have the support of the council administration.

The planning application attracted more than 50 objections and 20 letters in support.

This week officers used delegated powers to refuse the planning application, citing the lack of an ecological impact assessment, adding that “the council are not therefore in the position to fully assess the impact of the proposal on the Site of Importance of Nature Conservation that is Greenland Dock”.

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On Tuesday Southwark’s cabinet agreed the basis of an agreement with British Land for the redevelopment of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and Harmsworth Quays.

In his foreword to the cabinet report, Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, wrote:  “Canada Water represents an enormous opportunity for the local community and Southwark as a whole. This report sets out the approach we will take to achieve the requirements we set out last year. These include a mechanism to achieve 35% affordable homes irrespective of viability under the statutory planning system. We will also secure a new leisure centre to replace the sub standard facility at Seven Islands.

“The council is also committed to retaining a long term interest in the town centre and the key to this will be retaining the freehold interest and maximising returns from the development for the benefit of Southwark’s residents. It is important to recognise that this will be a truly mixed use scheme with significant jobs generated for local people not only during the construction phase but also in the long term. As part of the mix of uses we welcome the opportunity to bring a world class higher education offer and the opportunities this will bring in relation to business development, training and economic activity.

“The scheme provides an opportunity to be at the vanguard of our plans for sustainable transport including cycling and pedestrian links to the rest of Southwark and beyond and a reduction in a reliance on cars. The highest quality architecture, urban realm and energy efficiency will be at the heart of the scheme creating a world class town centre to meet the needs of our residents. We will also explore how to set up a London Living Wage Zone at Canada Water; where everyone working in the masterplan area is paid at least the LLW. Details for how this might be achieved will be included in the final agreement.”

Emma Cariaga, British Land’s project director for the Canada Water Masterplan, said: “We have an exceptional opportunity at Canada Water to create an exciting new town centre which will bring jobs to the area, alongside new homes, restaurants and accessible open space.

“We remain committed to working with both Southwark Council and the local community throughout the development of the masterplan, and beyond”

Listen to the full audio of the cabinet agenda item on Canada Water:

Read the full cabinet report and appendices.

The man who has overseen the 67-acre redevelopment of King’s Cross has joined British Land to lead its 46-acre Canada Water project encompassing Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, the former print works and leisure park.

British Land says its sites at Canda Water  have potential for around 5.5 million sq ft of office, retail, residential, leisure, educational and community space.

Chris Grigg, chief executive of British Land, said: “Development is a core part of our business: we are very focused on areas of London which will benefit from growth and regeneration. Canada Water provides an exceptional and exciting opportunity to create a mixed-use scheme with office, retail, residential, leisure and community space.

“Roger Madelin is a highly experienced developer and brings enormous experience of delivering major mixed-use developments. Placemaking lies at the heart of what we do and I look forward to working with Roger to create a vibrant new destination for London that caters for a wide range of modern needs.”

Roger Madelin said “The combination of the physical opportunity at Canada Water, working with British Land and with the thoughtful and ambitious London Borough of Southwark was an opportunity too exciting to turn down.

I have had an amazing 29 years at Argent and thank all my colleagues for the trust and support they have given me.

“The completion of the last phases of King’s Cross are in talented and safe hands. For new projects Argent and its new partner Related has an exciting future and I wish them all well.”

Last week the vexed question of where a new leisure centre to replace Seven Islands should be located was the topic of a further lengthy session at Southwark’s overview & scrutiny committee.

Cllr Mark Williams (cabinet member for regeneration and new homes) and Jon Abbott (head of regeneration north) gave a presentation on the various options, including refurbishment or rebuilding on the Seven Islands site.

Watch it in full here:

Southwark’s planning committee has given the green light to plans to extend the Edward III’s Rotherhithe Conservation Area to include all of Bermondsey Wall East.

The council consulted local residents on the proposed extension two and a half years ago but nothing further happened until this summer when Labour and Liberal Democrat members of Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Community Council  unanimously passed a motion calling on the planning department to take action.

Key buildings such as the former Old Justice pub (now known as the Winnicott), Angel Wharf and Corbetts Wharf will be brought into the scope of the existing conservation area which covers the area around the Edward III manor house.

Listen to audio of Southwark’s design and conservation manager Michael Tsoukaris addressing planning committee:

Stanley Arms

Southwark Council planning officers have rejected a proposal to demolish and redevelop the Stanley Arms pub in Southwark Park Road.

Pub landlord Roy Nicholls had applied for outline planning permission to knock down the Victorian building and replace it with a new four-storey block of nine flats with commercial space on the ground level.

Southwark planning officers rejected the application last month under delegated powers on the grounds that “the proposal would result in the loss of a community use to serve local people” and the pub’s status as an “undesignated heritage asset of special architectural and historic significance”.

Objectors to the planning application included the Victorian Society as well as the Greater London region and South East London branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

A letter from Tangram Architects submitted to the council in December 2014 noted that despite the landlord’s best efforts, “demographical changes” [sic] meant that “the business is nevertheless failing; it will not continue and the pub will inevitably close”.

See all the related documents at 14/AP/4668

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Southwark’s cross-party overview & scrutiny committee spent nearly two hours debating the future location of a leisure centre to replace the current Seven Islands centre on Monday night.

The meeting followed last month’s decision by regeneration boss Cllr Mark Williams to designate a strip of land to the west of the current Surrey Quays Shopping Centre car park – next to a realigned Deal Porters Way – as the preferred location for a new leisure centre.

The committee heard from Pauline Adenwalla of the Canada Water Consultative Forum as well as Lower Road resident Tom Holder and Catherine Whitaker of the newly formed Canada Water West Action Group.

Cllr Mark Williams and council officers Jon Abbott and Tara Quinn also addressed the committee.

The council will consult local residents on the proposals during the autumn.

You can watch the whole session online, courtesy of the Southwark scrutiny team.

Part one:

Part two:

boatman

The Boatman pub in Jamaica Road (latterly the Royal George) is the latest SE16 hostelry to be under threat of demolition.

Southwark Council has received a planning application – 15/AP/3523 – for the demolition of the pub and the construction of a five-storey block of flats with retail at ground floor and basement levels.

A previous planning application – submitted two years ago – was withdrawn before a decision was made.

According to the latest planning application documents:

The current owner occupiers and applicants have run the premises as the Boatman public house since 1986. The public house has been struggling to make revenue in recent years and as such has become financially unviable as a business.

The proposed redevelopment of the site facilitates their plan to bring their wider family back into the area and live in the new development, whilst removing a financial strain

It adds:

Due to cultural and social changes The Boatman public house has experienced a steady decline in trade over the past five years and is no longer a viable commercial enterprise. The building is not of great heritage value to the site. The existing design does not lend itself to change of purpose and does not offer significant potential in terms of efficient land use. The building has limited scope to offer significant benefits to the broader requirements of the area in the longer term. It is therefore a desire for the owner to redevelop the site and replace the existing building with a high quality contemporary development.

The applicants also point out that there are eight other pubs within a 600 metre radius.

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