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Southwark Council approves over £11 million in workspace and 400 new homes

Above: CGI of the proposed plaza at 18 Blackfriars Road in Southwark (courtesy Foster and Partners)

Southwark Council’s planning committee has unanimously approved plans to turn an empty site near Blackfriars Bridge into a £1bn development with offices, residential blocks and a central plaza.

Three new towers will be built next to existing landmark, 1 Blackfriars: a 195m office block (reduced in height following consultation with Historic England), and two residential blocks at 155m and 95m.

The scheme will deliver 433 new homes on site, of which 40.5% are affordable (104 social rent and 56 intermediate homes). This is an increase on previous plans that had 26% affordable homes on site.

The council has secured £11.8m towards affordable workspace which they will build and manage in the borough. They also raised £40m on the scheme to be spent in the borough through what is known as the Community Infrastructure Levy. It’s an important tool that helps the council to make sure that development in the borough works for all.

Nearby Christchurch Gardens will be re-landscaped and at the bottom of the buildings, there will be shops, bars, restaurants, and performance space. These will be linked by three interconnected public spaces – the Rotunda, Hatters Yard and a children’s playground.

The scheme aims to minimise embodied carbon as much as possible, targeting a 20% to 30% improvement against the Greater London Authority benchmark.

Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for New Homes & Sustainable Development, said: “This is a huge win for our borough, both in terms of job creation and new homes where two in five will be affordable. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to secure nearly £12m towards our plans to build and manage affordable workspace across the borough, aimed at a range of businesses from different industries. It’s really exciting that so many benefits will come forward for residents, new and existing businesses, and the local economy thanks to what was agreed during the planning process.”


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