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KPF's rejected Bermondsey biscuit factory scheme back with more homes

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KPF has reworked its proposals for the £500 million Bermondsey biscuit factory scheme after its original plans were rejected by the local council over its lack of affordable housing

In May, the London Mayor called in the 6.2ha scheme near Bermondsey Tube station after Southwark councillors unanimously voted against it.

Southwark said developer Grosvenor’s proposal of 1,342 rental flats, with 27.5 per cent of the units to be let below market rates, came in below its policy target of 35 per cent affordable.

Grosvenor has now admitted these plans were ‘not good enough’ and has come back with a proposal to increase the total number of homes to 1,548.

This would enable to developers to deliver 35 per cent affordable housing which is comprised of 30 per cent social rent and 70 per cent discounted rent. 

It would also lead to an increase in the height of the proposed towers along the viaduct with 1 to 7 additional storeys. The tallest tower in the new scheme is 35 storeys.

Evolution of biscuit factory designs

Evolution of KPF’s biscuit factory designs [October 2019]

Evolution of KPF’s biscuit factory designs [October 2019]

The changes to the scheme, which will still deliver a replacement secondary school designed by Cottrell & Vermeulen Architects, will be submitted as amendments to the GLA.

The proposals will be considered at a City Hall public hearing, which is expected to take place before the end of the year.

The original plans were rejected after Southwark Council became locked in a dispute with Grosvenor over the affordable housing contribution for the scheme. 

The developer argued that the most it could offer was for 27.5 per cent of the units to be let below market rents, but the council’s independent viability consultant disagreed. 

Southwark said the offer came in below its policy target of 35 per cent affordable and the discounted units would ‘not realistically’ allow for any significant provision of social rent or London Living Rent units.

Grosvenor’s Simon Harding Roots said:Bringing about positive and lasting change for Bermondsey has always been our focus. However, our original planning application was not good enough. We acted in good faith but it didn’t meet the council’s expectations.

’Since then, we have worked hard to address the clear call from the community, council and London Mayor to deliver more affordable housing whilst ensuring the project, and its many other benefits, can become a reality.’

Grosvenor appointed KPF as lead architect on the project following a review of its design team, effectively replacing Karakusevic Carson, which had been appointed to that role in 2015.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • MacKenzie Architects

    This will all eventually end in tears, basically for Londoners who can't find or qualify for social housing, and have to pay the top dollar rate -probably as rental to some pension fund or investment group since they'll not get on the property ladder in London.

    It takes all sorts to make a city. This is another well-meaning but hopelessly misguided political experiment we have wandered down.

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