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The official regeneration magazine of Southwark Council Issue seven Autumn/Winter 2008 Southwark

Bermondsey Square

issue seven

The Shard

Shaping Southwark Regenerating today’s cities isn’t easy. Mace Group is the driving force behind some of the UK’s most ambitious and challenging urban regeneration schemes. We bring a unique culture of control to the complex, multi-agency programmes that area-wide regeneration involves. Regeneration isn’t just about buildings, we engage fully in the social, economic, planning and community issues that go hand in hand with area renewal. Our expert programme, project and development management skills are at work at every stage in the regeneration process – we work as your partners, actively engaging with the local community, public and private sectors from conception to completion.

Mace Group is proud to be making a major contribution to the changing face of Southwark, being heavily involved in some of the largest transformational projects in the borough over the past ten years, including: „ „ „ „ „ „

The Shard The Globe Academy City Hall and the More London Development Ofcom - Riverside House Metropolitan Police - Safer Neighbourhoods Bermondsey Square

We are delighted to have been recently appointed by Southwark Council as project management partners on their consultancy framework, to support the delivery of the borough’s regeneration vision. For further information please contact: Kevin Cowin +44 (0)20 7554 8000 or




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Southwark Issue Seven

Contents 06 News Catch up with what is going on in Southwark. 09 What makes Southwark great? Taking a look at just how far Southwark has come on its regeneration journey. 12 Projects Focus: Canada Water Work has finally started on this waterside site. The first phase of the development including residential, retail and commercial units are under way. 16 Projects Focus: Aylesbury Estate Houses are now being built as the first phase of this major re-housing project gets started.

18 Projects Focus: Bermondsey Square A boutique hotel and art house cinema are leading the area’s transformation.

34 Small projects Small public art projects can make a surprisingly large impression on the surrounding area.

20 Projects Focus: Bermondsey Spa A new generation of people are now calling Bermondsey Spa home.

38 On Southwark: Sokari Douglas Camp The acclaimed sculptor talks about art and life in her adopted home borough of Southwark.

24 Projects Focus: Elephant and Castle Just what has happened at the Elephant and Castle? 28 Schools for the future Southwark has taken the government’s Building Schools for the Future programme to heart. We check out which schools are set for an upgrade. 31 Delivering development We find out the impact development control has on our lives.

40 Business destination More and more companies are moving south of the river in a bid to find affordable, quality office space and getting more than they imagined. 44 Coming to a window near you Chambers Wharf is among the greenest housing developments to be found in the capital.

Editor Julie Mackintosh Art director Terry Hawes Designer Kieran Gardner Contributors Kirsty MacAulay, Alex Aspinall, David Blackman, Ali Jones Advertising sales Lee Harrison Office manager Sue Mapara Managing director Toby Fox Printed by Manson Images Southwark Council, Igloo, Jodie Kingzett, For Southwark Council Chiltern House, Portland Street London SE17 2ES Communications manager Wendy Foreman Published by 189 Lavender Hill London SW11 5TB T. 020 7978 6840 F. 020 7978 6837

Foreword It is twelve months since the last edition of Southwark magazine and it has been an action packed year. We’ve been moving forward with our plans to ensure all parts of Southwark continue to change for the better. Together with residents and businesses we are transforming Southwark into a safer, cleaner and more prosperous place to be. Over 40% of the borough is undergoing significant transformation, with over £4 billion being invested. The impact of this is visible on Southwark’s river front with, for example, award-winning buildings such as the More London complex. Also, at Bermondsey a new neighbourhood has been created with affordable family housing and all the important elements that make an area liveable with a new park, health centre, improving schools, provision for young people in the Salmon Youth Centre and access to a range of new jobs and training.

Stephen McDonald, strategic director major projects

Southwark The official regeneration magazine of Southwark Council

Construction has started on the first phase of the Canada Water scheme where new homes, shops and commercial space are taking shape. Progress is being made in Elephant and Castle – the agreement has been signed with partners, Lend Lease. Plans are also being shaped up for the Aylesbury Estate with consultation on the Area Action Plan. All of this is happening in the context of Southwark developing and consulting on its Core Strategy; which will set the framework for development and regeneration over the next 10-15 years. Southwark is at the cutting edge of innovative design and sustainable solutions. Whilst there are challenges in the current economic climate, we believe Southwark is uniquely placed to ride these out. As you will see from the articles that follow, this is a view shared by our contributors who are engaged in making the plans in Southwark a reality.

Councillor Paul Noblet, executive member for regeneration

Subscriptions and feedback ©3Fox International Limited 2008 All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of 3Fox International Ltd is strictly forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at time of going to press, but we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of 3Fox International Ltd or Southwark Council.

Richard Rawes, strategic director regeneration and neighbourhoods



6 Green Flags for Southwark’s parks Five of Southwark’s parks have earned Green Flag recognition in 2008. Peckham Rye, Dulwich Park and Southwark Park all retained their Green Flag standing from last year, while Bermondsey Spa and Sunray Gardens have scooped the honour for the first time. Over 30% of Southwark’s green spaces are now maintained to Green Flag standards.

Buzz at Michael Faraday school The new term started with a fresh sense of excitement at the Michael Faraday Community School, as Southwark Council has given the goahead for the creation of a new building under the Southwark Schools for the Future (SSF) programme. The Aylesbury estate-based primary school gained planning permission for the £11.9 million project in September. Peckham Library designer, the worldfamous SMC Alsop, is behind the new vision for the primary school. A circular two-storey building will replace the existing structure. More than 4,200 new homes will also be created in the Harvard Library refurbishment The John Harvard Library has closed its doors to the public for nine months, as it undergoes major building works. Funded by £1.42 million from the Big Lottery Fund Community Library programme, the redevelopment will offer more space and facilities for learning and formal training courses and quiet study areas.

Southwark Issue Seven

area – it is hoped the education-led regeneration will be key in reversing the fortunes of the area. Councillor Lisa Rajan, Southwark Council’s executive member for children’s services and education, said: “We are committed to placing education at the heart of the Aylesbury regeneration project. Michael Faraday provides an outstanding education for local children and young people. This redevelopment will make it an even better school for our young children and learning environment for the whole community.” Construction work will start early 2009, with completion due in 2010. Place shaping Options for the future direction of regeneration in Southwark are being debated with residents, businesses and developers this autumn. This will lead to a ‘preferred option’ for the core strategy being published in May 2009 for further consultation. For more details visit:

War memorial restored to former glory Dulwich War Memorial has been unveiled following the completion of major restoration work. Volunteers from the Southwark Young Offenders Programme were responsible for clearing up the memorial after the project secured £9,000-worth of funding from Southwark Council’s Cleaner, Greener, Safer initiative.

 Approval for first Heygate site Southwark Council has given its seal of approval to Wandle Housing Association’s proposals for the first of 16 new sites to rehouse Heygate Estate residents. The Camberwell New Road scheme, designed by architects Cartwright Pickard, will deliver 113 new homes, some of which will be affordable housing. The development will also feature 10 wheelchair access units, extensive bicycle storage and retail space along the Camberwell New Road frontage. Waheed Chaker, Wandle project

manager, said: “Wandle is thrilled to be initiating this exciting project, and unlocking the potential in the Elephant and Castle area.”

Green future for Elephant Dalkia has been selected as Southwark Council’s commercial partner. The company will provide sustainable infrastructure for the continued redevelopment of Elephant and Castle. A Dalkia-led consortium, with Veolia Water and Independent Fibre Networks, will ensure the area’s new developments successfully realise the council’s green objectives, such as achieving zero growth in carbon emissions. Partnership agreement for Elephant and Castle The continued regeneration of Elephant and Castle received a boost in August 2008, as Southwark Council signed a partnership agreement with Lend Lease to regenerate the 52-acre site. The deal will secure the next stages of the area’s £1.5 billion transformation, which is to deliver new jobs, and more than 5,000 new homes, as well as new community buildings, up to 75,000sq m of retail space and new public areas. Mark Boyes, Elephant and Castle project director at Lend Lease said: “For us, this is the next step in this project’s progression. We have been working hard on the masterplanning and we look forward to sharing our thinking with Southwark residents and local organisations in 2009.”

Further progress for Aylesbury redevelopment Southwark Council has released phasing plans explaining the scheduling of the ambitious rehousing programme taking place on the Aylesbury Estate. The estate’s existing 2,700 homes are to be replaced with 4,200 new homes,

with 2,100 of them affordable. Work is to begin in earnest in January 2010. Consultation with residents is already under way in the shape of the Aylesbury Area Action Plan preferred option. The results of the consultation are due to be published early next year.


Southwark: London’s most dynamic and exciting borough Promoting major developments that transform the area, improve the economy and raise the aspirations of the local community.

Shaping Southwark: location, location, location

If there’s one element of regeneration that frustrates everyone from developers and residents to planners and politicians, it’s the length of time the process takes. “Cat years,” observes Southwark Council’s new executive member for regeneration Paul Noblet, with a wry smile. But, as he rightly points out, this London borough already has some pretty impressive achievements under its belt, which were all worth the wait. Most obvious is the transformation of Southwark’s riverfront – with Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market to name but a few – into arguably becoming the capital’s tourist and cultural centre. As the Tate’s deputy director Alex Beard said in the last issue of Southwark on the motivation behind its planned extension: “It’s being driven by the extraordinary success of the museum. By this stage [eight

years after opening] we thought we’d be doing well if we reached one million visitors. But last year we reached five million and the average has been four million since we opened.” Sitting alongside these worldclass attractions are some of the newest and hottest commercial developments, like the mixed-use 280,000sq m More London, home to heavyweights such as Hilton, Ernst & Young and mayor Boris Johnson himself. Another noteworthy addition is the almost complete Bankside123 scheme. IPC Media has been in situ at Bankside 1 for a year now while Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is about to occupy almost 40,000sq m in buildings two and three. Mike Hussey, managing director of developer Land Securities’ London portfolio says RBS’s occupation vindicates the decision to construct Shaping Southwark


Southwark is such a good investment proposition we believe it will ride out any uncertainty two and three speculatively. “[It] was based on our belief that the Bankside area has always held the potential to be a diverse and exciting location for commercial, retail and residential users,” he says. “We are delighted that RBS have recognised that.” Such qualities of the area could also explain the various planning applications for developments around Blackfriars Bridge and Elephant and Castle, not to mention the London Bridge Tower, AKA ‘The Shard’, which is set to become Europe’s tallest building. The on-set of recession is serving to derail regeneration plans around the country, and Southwark is not immune. But it is better placed than some to ride it out, as Richard Rawes strategic director regeneration and neighbourhoods, explains. “Work is about to begin on the construction of what will be the tallest building in Europe at London Bridge. Despite the global economic crisis, Southwark continues to be a good place to invest in, we have longterm ambitions and a commitment to deliver on the regeneration opportunities that exist.” Tim Plumbe, of commercial letting agent DTZ, says: “Southwark is a great area for what we would historically have termed ‘city occupiers’. They consider transport a top priority and this is one of the key attractions.” As well as its great connections Southwark Issue Seven

– the Jubilee Line runs through its heart, there are excellent rail and underground services to the London Bridge transport hub and nearby Waterloo and the East London Line extension – Southwark also boasts a £4 billion regeneration programme. The transformation of Elephant and Castle, Bermondsey, Canada Water, the Aylesbury Estate and Peckham, not to mention the overhaul of the borough’s schools (see major projects update pages 12 to 27) featured on the pages of this magazine – are among the most exciting and ambitious schemes in the country. “We’re determined to make this the best location in London, if not the UK, to live, work or visit,” says Noblet. “I think good regeneration takes a perfect storm: political will, market interest and the support of local people. We have all of these and we have agreements with some excellent developers who are totally committed to leaving a positive legacy.” One of those is the council’s commercial partner at Elephant and Castle – Lend Lease in collaboration with First Base and Oakmayne Properties. “Lively and ongoing dialogue with the public is fundamental to regeneration – otherwise we’d just call it redevelopment,” says its Europe chairman Nigel Hugill. But how will all this be affected by the new, tough market conditions? High-profile cutbacks by house

Left Tate Modern has shaped Southwark’s regeneration.


builders, lenders less than willing to part with their cash and a nervous public waiting to see just where things are headed make regeneration fraught with uncertainty. “I’ve been through two recessions in the past,” says David Taylor, chairman of Canada Water developer BL Canada Quays. “You just have to keep your head down and work harder. Southwark does have plenty of the old adage: location, location, location.” Neil Chegwidden, head of residential research at Jones Lang LaSalle, is optimistic for the long term. “Everywhere will suffer under the current conditions, but I still believe we have a fundamental lack of housing in the UK and particularly in London. In the short term, regeneration areas could suffer due to competition between developers and the huge choice on offer to customers. However, in the medium and longer term there should be more price growth from this lower base. After this difficult phase is over there will be a lot of pent up demand from firsttime buyers who delayed purchasing a property and from homeowners who put off a planned move.” The borough is certainly used to having it tough. Despite the many advances in recent years, it still has some of the most deprived areas in the country, with higher than average unemployment (about 46,000 are jobless), low educational attainment, and high levels of social housing and exclusion. In fact, it was these very problems that spurred regeneration in the first place. “About 15 years ago, Southwark realised it could no longer go on talking about being a ‘sarf’ London borough, blaming our ills on Thatcher

and expecting to be handed large amounts of money,” explains council leader Nick Stanton. “So we rebranded as a riverfront central London borough by wooing the Tate Modern and working with the Globe and Borough Market. “These are perhaps the most visible signs of regeneration. However, running alongside, less glitzy and glamorous, was the recognition that the grey, impenetrable 1960s housing estates had to be replaced. We started in Peckham by knocking down the notorious ‘five estates’, building the leisure centre and library and introducing more social programmes. “At Elephant and Castle both strands of regeneration thinking come together. It will become a retail and leisure destination, and we are also getting rid of the Heygate Estate and giving everyone who wants to stay in the area new, well-designed affordable homes.” Yet the council is far from resting on its laurels. Noblet stresses: “We will continue to ensure that people in Southwark have the chance to benefit from its regeneration, whether that’s through improvements to the public realm, new amenities, better homes or the chance to gain employment.” So can Southwark weather the current economic malaise and continue to deliver its goals? The recent decision by the consortium behind The Shard to agree four key construction contracts that could see work on the 310m tower begin next year should go some way to calming nerves. And that proves confidence in Southwark is still sky high.

Shaping Southwark

Construction begins at Canada Water

Right top Barratt starts the move towards a new town centre.

Right below Work has started on Barratt’s 900 residential units.


For an area once described as ‘eight acres of nothingness’, Canada Water is certainly putting itself on the map. Five years of planning and consultation have finally come together, with building work now begun on the first phase of the council-led 162,000sq m Canada Water regeneration scheme. Barratt Homes went on site in summer 2008 with the fledgling residential, retail and commercial units on Surrey Quays Road – after agreeing to buy the land from Southwark Council – the first physical signs of a new town centre that promises to transform the entire area. Created by a joint venture between Southwark Council and a partnership of British Land and Canada Quays (BL Canada Quays), proposals for the £1 billion Rotherhithe peninsula programme include a much-anticipated library, additional retail space and new public spaces around the Canada Water dock. There are plans for 2,800 homes (of which 35% will be affordable) and 9,000sq m of new office, business start-up and live-work space. Barratt is to build around 900 of these homes. Alistair Baird, head of the company’s East and West London divisions, dubbed the regeneration “one Southwark Issue Seven

of the most exciting to be proposed in London”. A blueprint for further development on the site (expected to include around 200 new homes as well as further retail, commercial and leisure facilities) is being prepared for planning submission before the end of the year. The architectural centrepiece of the whole Canada Water scheme, for completion in 2010, the 2,500sq m Piers Gough designed library is set to become a real community hub. Or, as the architect more flamboyantly puts it, “a magic, extraordinary, unashamedly magnificent public facility”. With its aluminium cladding, waterside location and an unusual shape, it’s architecturally striking. Inside it will be pretty impressive as well. Alongside book and DVD lending, there will be exhibition and performance space, a café, accommodation for community groups, fitness classes, homework clubs, free internet access, story telling and opportunities for education and training. “The greatest thing to happen to this community” and “desperately needed” is how Barry Duckett, chairman of the Canada Estate tenants

and residents association, describes the library. Southwark Council’s executive member for regeneration Cllr Paul Noblet remembers a father-of-four telling him at a public meeting how important it would be for his kids who needed a quiet space to study away from the family’s cramped flat. As Southwark magazine went to press, a decision on the contractor to build the library was imminent and eagerly awaited. But with the OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) process still ongoing, all the council’s Andy Brown would reveal is: “Our rigorous selection process makes us confident we can appoint a contractor capable of delivering the quality of building the community deserves”. Overhanging the Canada Water basin, the library will be in a public plaza that BL Canada Quays will itself construct. Set to become a venue for cafes, restaurants, markets, exhibitions and events, the tree-filled waterside space is hoped to become the focal point for the entire regeneration. We caught up with BL Canada Quays chairman David Taylor who is pleased to see the scheme get off the ground. “In the current economic


climate we must be one of the few housing schemes in London to really push ahead in recent months,” he observes. But although the residential side is leading the way, Taylor points out that Canada Water is a truly mixeduse scheme. “That’s the key to placemaking. In the past, developers focused on monocultures. In the postwar era, it was either all housing with no retail, or town centres full of retail but which offered no activity after the shops closed. Then in later decades, the trend was towards out-of-town retail with no residential to accompany it.” He believes Southwark Council and BL Canada Quays has remained true to the original vision it first unveiled five years ago. “When we started there was a lot of cynicism about broken promises from previous developers. It was a tense environment and there was a lack of trust. I knew we’d have to work hard to build the relationship. So we consulted widely, in fact I would argue that consultation has never been carried out with the same intensity before.” The team has held well over 200 meetings with local people, targeting Canada Water

Everybody needs good neighbours Southwark Council isn’t the only landowner in the area. Across the water from the Barratt development, Conrad Phoenix is currently advancing plans, known as Waterside View, to create 640 units of housing, restaurants, cafes and recreation facilities on the waterfront. A further two sites are owned by Tesco/Segro.


all sections of the community with specific events, interactive workshops, exhibitions, open days, a dedicated website and a regular newsletter to ensure local peoples’ involvement in developing the masterplan. And their feedback has been taken into account. For example, taller buildings have been relocated away from the waterside, while ecological areas have been extended and more open space added. Consultation carried out in December 2007 found over 90% of local people were in favour, rating plans as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’. “Our relationship with the community is very robust,” observes Taylor. “We agree, we disagree, but it’s transparent. We went for planning with full support. Members of the community actually came and spoke on our behalf which is pretty amazing given that most had been against the regeneration at the outset.” With Canada Water’s central location and its transport links, particularly the Jubilee and East London lines, it is surprising just how undeveloped the area actually is. “It’s almost unbelievable to think you could stand in the middle of London on eight acres of undeveloped land,” says Taylor. “The early phase really does offer a fantastic opportunity.” He’s also excited about the proposed Southwark Issue Seven

library, as it prepares to welcome a contractor. “There were two big decisions: one taken by us and one by the community, which is a sign of a healthy partnership. We decided to go for an iconic building with the Piers Gough design. Local people were clear they wanted more than just a library, so there is a real community focus: homework clubs, a coffee shop, performance space and a host of other facilities you might not expect from a traditional library. The outside space around it will also be tip top.” Taylor believes the Canada Water library could be even more successful than Peckham’s Stirling Prize winner which attracted worldwide acclaim and 3,000 new readers within its first three months. Does he have any doubts given the current economic situation? “The best projects survive. And ours is one of those,” says Taylor. “The downturn is not good for anyone and the banks are running for cover. But you just have to keep your head down and work harder. I’ve been through two recessions before and just as quickly as they descend they lift again. In this climate the old adage ‘location, location, location’ really does hold true”.

Top More than just a library - a true community space.

Above The new library will be an iconic building.



+44 (0)20 7407 3667


Aylesbury plans for action 16

Since the 1990s, Southwark Council has been working hard to transform Aylesbury Estate’s fortunes. The decision to demolish the estate and start again from scratch was made three years ago after it was discovered that refurbishing the 2,700 homes would prove prohibitively expensive. Re-housing everyone will be no mean feat and a comprehensive phasing plan outlining the delivery of the 15-year re-housing programme was consulted on in August. The plan details the demolition of 1,700 homes during the first 10 years and creation of 2,500 new homes in the same period. The remaining 1,000 homes will be demolished and replaced over the following five years. Masterplanners Urban Initiatives are currently working on the Area Action Plan (AAP) for the estate. The AAP is a planning framework document that will guide the development. “The AAP is now at the final stage of preparation. The consultation has been very productive and people have generally been really supportive,” says Daniel Hill of Urban Initiatives, highlighting the generous size of socially rented homes, the provision of private outdoor space for all homes and the redevelopment of Burgess Park as elements that captured the imagination of residents. “This isn’t just about housing. Successful places are created by a wide range of factors from local shops to safer streets and employment opportunities. That is what the plan will encapsulate.” The AAP will be submitted for planning at the beginning of 2009 – a major feat, according to Stephen McDonald, Southwark Council’s strategic director major projects: “What we’re doing at the Aylesbury is creating an exciting and sustainable new Southwark Issue Seven

neighbourhood, with well-designed homes, excellent community facilities and open spaces. We want to create a desirable area where people will choose to stay and raise their families.” So far, plans have been well received by residents, with 78% supporting the regeneration plans. Ongoing consultation has been vital. A two-bed 70sq m show home, designed by Levitt Bernstein, won a thumbs up. A threeweek information road show in spring took the preferred options for developing the estate out to the people. Resident engagement is also a key priority of the team regenerating the estate. A ‘neighbourhood team’ has been formed to comment on the emerging AAP. A ‘future leaders’ group getting young people involved in the regeneration programme recently visited an estate in Brent to speak to those who’ve been through the process to learn from their experiences and find out how regeneration can affect an area. Southwark has recently revised its original plans for the estate, following feedback from the spring consultation. Residents made it clear the proposed density was a concern and there was a desire for more, larger family houses. The council has modified the housing elements of the plan to produce a better lower density scheme, with more family houses and fewer tall blocks. Out of the 4,200 new homes being built, 950 will be for families. They will have access to the three new schools being built in the area. The number of affordable homes in the area will also be increased to 50%. Meanwhile things are happening on the ground. London & Quadrant Group will soon begin construction of phase one of the project: 260 homes, commercial units and adult education and employment support.

So what do the residents of the Aylesbury make of the regeneration? Local photographer and project co-ordinator Mark Chilvers asked some of them. Jaymin Small: “Obviously I’ll miss the Aylesbury. This is all I’ve known, but change isn’t necessarily a bad thing… The area is bad, I’m not going to lie and say the floors are painted with gold.” Pauline Twiss: “I’ve lived in the area all my life. When I saw it being built I thought it was luxury, because before that we never had baths or kitchens. We had a little scullery. We had two bedrooms, but even though there were five of us, we all ended up sleeping in the one room. They were big but they were damp.” Donna Grant: “I really want to move and I’m really excited, but I know when I close the front door for the last time, I’m going to cry my eyes out. But then the tears will turn to tears of joy because obviously I’m going to move into a brand new place and it’s going to be fantastic.” Jason Adaje: “I hope the redevelopment brings all the hopes and dreams of residents to life. A lot of things have been discussed and a lot of plans are in place and I hope we don’t get a cut-price version of what we have spent many meetings discussing. If everything does go according to plan then the Aylesbury is an area I would like to live in.”

Aylesbury Estate


Bermondsey Squared


Southwark’s newest community is settling in to its new home With plans including a boutique hotel operated by private members club Home House, an art house cinema, loft office space, 76 apartments and – of course – the return of the famous antiques market, the 14,000sq m Bermondsey Square epitomises the area’s transformation from a once downat-heel neighbourhood. “We are very excited about Bermondsey Square, the quality of design, the diversity of the offer and its contribution to the area’s regeneration,” says Honor Boyd, development director, Igloo Regeneration. Fiona Halsey of estate agent DTZ describes Bermondsey Square as “a new creative hub, and the first of its kind in London, bringing different elements together from residential and commercial uses to the hotel and the antiques market.” Overall completion is now set for early 2009, when the hotel opens its doors, although the Bermondsey Carnival this autumn acted as an informal launch, with the square hosting events and activities including an open-air film screening. Residents have been moving in since June, with many of the studio, one-, two- and three- bedroom apartments (set in eight and 10-storey blocks) now sold. Boyd says: “We’re targeting owner occupiers, the design of the flats reflects this: they’re bigger than normal [onebeds span up to 60sq m and two-beds 90sq m] and have high-grade interiors. It’s genuinely about lifestyle.” It’s also about good investment

Southwark Issue Seven

sense. The area’s rise has been gaining momentum for years and despite a slow down in the housing market Bermondsey is still an attractive prospect to buyers. “It’s very funky and arty; a real up and coming area,” adds Halsey. Bermondsey Square is also set to provide 14 affordable units on Tower Bridge Road, for those priced out of the property market. Discussions with a registered social landlord are at an advanced stage. The 80-room boutique hotel, simply named ‘The Bermondsey Square’, is designed to fit comfortably with the museums, independent retailers and art studios on nearby Bermondsey Street. Promising ‘bohemian chic’ throughout its bedrooms, bars, restaurants, terrace garden, wine shop and conferencing facilities, the Bespoke Hotels-owned hotel will open its club and spa facilities, as well as business rooms, to local residents, via free membership for a year. They will be eligible for concessionary room rates, should they want to book in friends and family. “Bermondsey Square is a real regeneration success story,” says Southwark Council’s Jeremy Pilgrim. “The quality of design and the mixture of uses are impressive and we expect the development to have a positive impact on the whole area.” Discussions with potential office tenants are ongoing, but the search for a restaurant operator is over. Del Aziz is opening a restaurant/ bakery/delicatessen in the new year. Meanwhile the 400sq m Sainsburys

Local store, is currently being fitted out. One of the arty, distinctive elements in the Bermondsey Square mix will be a 60-seat art house cinema operated by locally based Shortwave Films. It is headed by Southwark native Rob Wray, the man behind annual arts festival, Elefest. He has taken out a 15-year lease and plans a varied programme of independent, classic and low-budget films as well as opportunities for local people to get involved in movie making. “We can’t afford blockbusters or compete with national chains, so we’ll be doing our own, niche thing,” he says. “Bermondsey is so close to the centre of London that [change] was inevitable. Of course, regeneration is making it trendy and more affluent people are moving in but you have to make a decision: are you for or against it? I chose to get involved and make sure locals benefit as well.” Perhaps the weekly antiques market is Bermondsey Square’s real USP and it will enjoy a new 200-stall home. “The new site of the market in front of a very nice hotel is a premier spot. This must reinvigorate us and attract more people,” says one trader.

Left Office space in the Bespoke Hotel.

Centre The Bespoke Hotel’s facade.

Right One of the new residential units.

Main New residential block.


More residents arrive at Bermondsey Spa 20

The first residents are already in place at Bermondsey Spa and the plans for the new district are well under way Southwark Issue Seven

Left New residents have moved into the Artesian.

Below Plans will provide 211 new homes.

21 New residents are already settling into the Artesian Building and Amisha Court, Bermondsey Spa’s latest residential developments which overlook the newly refurbished park. Reverend Stewart Hartley, whose St James Church, is right in the middle of Bermondsey Spa is pleased with the changes. “Something needed to be done. Lots of buildings were derelict or had come to the end of their lifespan, and the developer has worked hard to include the community and bring life back to the area,” the reverend says. The 100,000sq m site spans 10 locations, and by 2011, the entire area will be transformed and will provide more than 2,000 new homes (over 40% affordable), 17 GPs in two new health centres, an NHS dental practice, pharmacy, new youth and play facilities, more than two hectares of re-landscaped open space, new retail, including a local supermarket… the list goes on. But as Hartley points out, change was needed. “This area has long suffered from a variety of social problems, including substandard and overcrowded housing,” he says. Just a mile from the City, for the past few decades Bermondsey Spa could have been a world away. But the area is slowly but surely reinventing itself. “Bermondsey Spa has so much going for it,” says Jane Seymour of Southwark Council. “A central location, fantastic bus, train and tube links and it’s so close to all of the wonderful attractions of the South Bank.” This view is endorsed by the Hyde Group, which – with plans for more than 700 new homes across the regeneration so far, including St James Square – is heavily involved in Bermondsey Spa’s transformation. Principal development manager Simon Vevers says local feedback has been extremely positive.

In all, the initial tranche of St James Square will provide 211 homes, split equally between private sale, intermediate and social rent. Phase two, known as Eyot Heights, is already under construction with 114 homes (divided 50:50 between private sale and affordable housing) and a twostorey health centre with a new nine doctor surgery. Phase three, with its 300 homes, supermarket and commercial units, is currently the subject of a detailed planning submission. Similarly, the site on Spa Road – named ‘Bolanochi’ after the Italian chocolate factory which previously occupied the area – is progressing apace. Designed by Levitt Bernstein, the 138 homes, 50% of which will be affordable, are due to be handed over in phases from September 2009. Given the recent economic downturn, Hyde must have a lot of faith in Bermondsey. “We do,” says Vevers. “Bermondsey Spa has always been a good opportunity. Market conditions are clearly having an impact, but that has not reduced the popularity or attraction of Bermondsey Spa as a place to live.

Not only does it have a great location and transport links, it also has other attractions like the parks, the Design Museum and the antiques market.” Of course, those people who’ve been living in the Artesian building for over a year now already know this. “I’m very happy in the Artesian,” says Abi Kamara. “My home is beautiful and there is space and security.” Around 40% of the 73 homes were reserved as affordable and key worker housing while the rest sold quickly. “A proactive community has evolved, with social events and meetings,” says Vevers. “This included a well-attended anniversary party in June and plans for a formal residents’ association to work in partnership with Hyde on the management of the building.” Architecturally striking, the Artesian also houses a new eight doctor surgery with four nurses, podiatry, dentist, sexual health clinic and pharmacy, offers a car sharing scheme and boasts an on site combined heat and power plant. But it’s not only the Artesian, by Pollard Thomas Edwards, pushing the

Bermondsey Spa

12 February 2009, 9.00 – 6.00 Palace Hotel, Manchester

Smart funding for regeneration schemes in challenging economic conditions SocInvest returns in 2009 - the annual summit for decision-makers from local government, developers, advisory firms and the investment community will meet in Manchester to explore next generation funding options. • The only event covering the full range of innovative funding solutions available • Interactive workshop streams to explore financing mechanisms for housing, infrastructure and regeneration • European and US models and their potential in the UK. The Jessica loan in practice • Public-private partnerships, ADZ and related infrastructure mechanisms • Gaining widespread support and adoption of the initiatives most likely to deliver regeneration in the current economic climate Keynotes and interactive seminars from: Roger Wilshaw, Regeneration Strategy Team Leader, Dept. of Communities and Local Government Alan Gay, Director of Resources, Leeds City Council Phil Jenkins, Director Infrastructure Finance, Royal Bank of Canada Nick Johnson, Deputy CEO, Urban Splash Deborah McLaughlin, North West Regional Director, Homes and Communities Agency David Cooper, Head of Structured Project Finance, Barclays Commercial Bank Adam Marshall, Head of Policy, Centre for Cities Chris Murray, Director, Core Cities Jamie Kerr, Managing Director, John Laing Projects and Developments Andrew Hirst, Director of Strategy & Resources, Hull Forward Daniel Klemm, Strategy and International Manager, Creative Sheffield Brian Field, JESSICA Task Force, European Investment Bank Ian Perry, CEO, Harvest Group Christopher Munday, Head of Funding Solutions, Dept. Economy & Transport, Welsh Assembly Government

What delegates said about Socinvest ’08: “SocInvest was a very useful tool for us to seek out potential opportunities and acknowledge lessons from previous local asset based vehicles, in order to progress our own LABV. The speakers were very knowledgeable and have helped us understand the advantages and possible barriers to public and private partnerships.” Richard Harrison Housing market renewal officer Middlesbrough City Council “A useful overview of an area of increasing importance.” John Rundle CDC Implementation Team, Gateshead Council

Registration is now open – book online at For further information on exhibitor and speaker opportunities please contact project director Shelley Cook on 0207 978 6840 or

“This was a great opportunity to hear from an excellent mix of practitioners and experts with knowledge of current regeneration funding initiatives, the governance, funding and delivery vehicles.” Barry Lucas Corporate finance director, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Sponsored by:

Organised by:

John Carleton, Field Director North, Housing Corporation

Event partners:

Right Eyot Heights is currently under construction.

architectural boundaries, buildings such as St James Square and Bolanochi are adding to the mix. “Bermondsey Spa represents something of a blank canvas and an exciting challenge in terms of the variety and urban fabric already in the area,” says Vevers. Seymour agrees. “Bermondsey Spa is really starting to come together,” she says. “There has been so much positive change already and over the next year we are looking forward to seeing even more of the schemes taking shape, reaching completion and benefitting the local community.” As with any large-scale development, sites are progressing at different paces. Recently completed, the Dragonfly Apartments overlooking St James Churchyard is providing new premises for Little Acorns Nursery as well as 49 homes. Two blocks on Spa Road will be redeveloped to provide 52 homes and eight retail units and Amisha Court recently completed with 50 units and space for a restaurant. There are also plans to develop a site of over two hectares behind the old town hall and library designed by Glenn Howells, the mixed-use masterplan draws on Bermondsey’s industrial past by creating a highdensity neighbourhood, which has been likened stylistically to Soho. Business, retail and community uses will coexist within a network of streets and public spaces, along with around 450 new residential units. The council hopes to start marketing plots in the near future. But some elements of the regeneration are already complete or nearing completion. The new City of London Academy is entering its third academic year. Spa Park has received a £2 million facelift, complete with a facility for pre-school and schoolaged children, to overwhelming local approval. The Salmon Youth Centre re-opened in January, offering a great

Creating futures

range of facilities including a sports hall, theatre, dance/rehearsal studio and a music/multimedia studio too. By the time the centre’s makeover is complete in mid-2009 it will also feature IT suites and arts and crafts rooms. “It’s going really well,” says David Mellis who works at the centre. “We have just recruited four more staff which will have a big impact, particularly on our arts and sports activities.” Reverend Hartley cannot praise the Salmon’s work highly enough. “It’s answering a great need and really pioneering how youth centres can be,” he says. In fact, he believes the whole regeneration is giving people renewed pride in the area, pointing out that vandalism in the churchyard has almost ceased since work began.

Bermondsey Spa at a glance: Where: A short stroll from the City and Bankside, just east of London Bridge. What: 2,000 new homes, including affordable and family housing, two hectares of re-landscaped space, new healthcare and community facilities, retail and a new micro neighbourhood with a mix of uses. When: First residents have arrived but overall completion is scheduled for 2012. Why: Bermondsey Spa offered a great opportunity for regeneration and the chance to address socio-economic issues including poor housing and health facilities.

In partnership with Southwark Council, Hyde has been running the Building London Creating Futures programme for over a decade. Its aim is to support local people into constructionrelated employment and training. Workplace coordinators have been based in Bermondsey since May 2007, linking up with contractors to offer employment, apprenticeship opportunities and skills training. More than 200 people have registered: from school leavers with no experience, to lone parents and those looking to enter the construction industry following a career break. As a result over 24 people have secured employment from their apprenticeships. The scheme has been a resounding success. Henoy Lee, 23, is completing a bricklaying apprenticeship with contractor Rok on the Bermondsey Spa site. “My first experience of construction was working on site doing brickwork and clearing up the area, I wasn’t studying at that stage,” relates Lee. “With support from the coordinators I got a place on an apprenticeship programme, which will give me a good qualification. “I started my apprenticeship in September 2007 and I’m now studying for my NVQ in Brickwork one day a week. The rest of the time I spend on site learning new skills.” Apart from getting valuable on-the-job experience, Lee says being employed has boosted his self esteem. “I’m really excited about where I am today. My family and friends are supportive, and my mum, especially, is really proud to see me going out and earning. “I’ve got so much out of this: the experience, as well as meeting new people on site and at college.”

Bermondsey Spa


The Elephant marches on 24

It’s just over a year since Southwark Council announced Lend Lease (in collaboration with First Base and Oakmayne Properties) as its commercial partner for Elephant and Castle’s £1.5 billion regeneration. Finding a development mate for one of Europe’s largest schemes has been a long and protracted process. The current search lasted two years but its roots stretch back a decade when plans to transform the Elephant were first mooted.

This picture The proposed new market square in the Elephant.

Southwark Issue Seven

We asked Lend Lease project director Mark Boyes what’s been going on during the past 12 months and just how Elephant and Castle will be reborn as a bustling central London quarter. But more of that a little later – because 2008 has seen significant progress beyond the commercial partnership. Some highlights include: St Mary’s Churchyard which is now a fantastic new park and community facility, approval for the first of the new housing schemes for Heygate Estate residents (more on page 07) and the advance of over £500 million worth of private schemes bringing new housing, leisure and employment opportunities as developers realise just how much potential SE1 has to offer. Most have come on the back of the regeneration’s fantastically ambitious masterplan. Across 688,000sq m and by 2014, it proposes 5,300 new and replacement homes, up to 75,000sq

m of retail and leisure facilities, demolition of the existing shopping centre and the Heygate Estate, 4,000 new jobs, replacing the dark network of subways with new thoroughfares and public spaces and improved public transport – all with zero carbon growth ensured by Elephant’s very own Multi Utility Services company (MUSCO). In short, an entirely new quarter. “This hasn’t been done since Victorian times,” says Boyes who professes himself excited by the prospect. “I don’t think that people realise Elephant is literally minutes from the City, the South Bank and the West End or just how well connected it is” (Elephant and Castle has two, zone one tube stations, an overland rail station and hundreds of buses each hour). He describes his vision for the area as a grittier “more anarchic” version of Fitzrovia, something akin to Tribeca in New York, and talks about

Left The view down Crampton Street.


local and independent operators filling thoroughfares likened to Neal Street or Marylebone High Street. To realise this ambition, Lend Lease, MUSCO and Southwark Council are working closely with long time masterplanner Make and a host of other regeneration experts including architects, town planners, IT specialists and environmental advisors, to ensure all of the elements come together. “You can’t just construct buildings and hope they will do the job,” says John Prevc of Make. “First you have to understand what people in the area need, then refine the mix of uses and what the space should do. The design should, and does, flow from this”. So the car dominated streets, multiple roundabouts and dank underground walkways which currently characterise the Elephant are to take a backseat. The team is proposing a largely pedestrian network of enticing new streets, in many cases re-establishing historic routes (which existed before

Elephant’s development in the 1960s), linked to high quality public spaces such as squares and parks. The Heygate Estate is set to be demolished and its residents rehoused in modern new homes over 17 individually designed sites. The estate contains 1,000plus apartments but its repetitive, grey, monolithic blocks thwart the regenerators’ vision of a cohesive, architecturally interesting and easily navigated neighbourhood. The existing Heygate Street will be transformed into a 40 metre wide, tree-lined avenue, with a central zone reserved for buses, trams and cycles, while the street itself will host a mix of shops, cafes and residential space, as well as public amenities like doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries. Over the last year, Lend Lease has been studying the factors that make an area attractive to residents. After all, one of Elephant and Castle’s biggest problems has been the perception that it is somewhere to get out of, rather than move to. This

is readily acknowledged by council leader, Nick Stanton: “One of my mottos for regeneration is ‘succeed and stay’ as, traditionally, moving out has been one measure of success,” he says. According to Boyes: “We’ve undertaken lots of market research looking at why people choose to live in certain places to understand how Elephant and Castle

Below The plans for Elephant and Castle are farreaching.


to retain and attract both residents and employment”. The variety, quality and price of housing is an obvious factor and one which Elephant and Castle – currently the cheapest residential location in zone one – is well placed to exploit. For those with children, it’s no shock to find that the state of local schools is also crucial. Perhaps unsurprisingly transport links, good restaurants and bars, health wellbeing and fitness facilities, great local retail ranging from dry-cleaners to boutiques and quirky one-off experiences such as markets also feature on the checklist. To this end, the new look Elephant and Castle will include a swimming pool, polyclinic, daily markets covering everything from furniture to fashion, independent restauranteurs and retailers, parks and public spaces, everyday amenities like convenience stores, barber shops and greengrocers and a new transport hub. Boyes reveals that the aim is to

avoid the homogeneity that has descended on the nation’s high streets. “I’ve said we don’t want or need a department store,” he says, “we are hoping to attract as many individual and locally orientated enterprises as possible.” That’s a view shared by Southwark Council. “Elephant is a special, character-filled place and its regeneration should and shall reflect this,” says Stephen McDonald Southwark Council’s strategic director of major projects. Happily, that’s not all the two sides agree on – both say their partnership is working well, characterised by dialogue and lively weekly meetings. The next step is for the pair to agree on financing, planning and phasing and to sign a regeneration agreement, a move expected by early 2009. Together they must reach a contractual position with Transport for London – a crucial milestone – to allow planning applications to be lodged before the end of next year and work to transform the Elephant to begin in earnest. But what about the economic downturn? “Central areas are recession proof,” says Boyes and the developers ploughing more than £500 million of their own cash into Elephant and Castle appear to agree with him. “One key to getting a project right is to stay true to your dreams, don’t lower specification or alter long-term goals because of short-term trends.”

made little or no impact. In 2002, previous regeneration proposals fell apart when developer Southwark Land Regeneration and Southwark Council failed to agree on commercial and financial terms. It was back to the drawing board and it was agreed “there could be no more false starts”. Thankfully, there hasn’t been. After working with a multidisciplinary team of experts, led by Make Architects, the council produced a Development Framework. Endorsed in February 2004, it detailed exactly what

would be created at the Elephant and, crucially, how that would be delivered. Make’s masterplan offers a holistic approach to regeneration. At its heart is reconnection – providing alternatives to the busy road network, pedestrian subways and maze-like housing estates that currently diminish the area’s cohesion. The resulting procurement process saw seven developers shortlisted. That number was reduced to three, then two and finally one when Lend Lease emerged victorious.

A short history of Elephant and Castle Once known as south London’s West End, Elephant and Castle began its decline following extensive bomb damage during the Second World War. Planners in the 1960s rebuilt the area and designed an enormous gyratory system, a two km labyrinth of subways and a large enclosed shopping mall. Because of the way Elephant and Castle was constructed, the area has been unable to evolve and has sunk into disrepair. Small scale improvements, such as the retiling of the subways and repainting of the shopping centre, have

Southwark Issue Seven


Southwark’s heading back to school

Southwark’s schools, like much of the borough itself, are undergoing a remarkable transformation. In total, 16 primaries, secondaries and academies are at different stages of rebuild or refurbishment, while two brand new secondary schools will also be added to that number – by 2014 – under the Southwark Schools for the Future (SSF) programme. Twelve of these will be built by a Local Education Partner (LEP), being selected by Southwark Council as Southwark magazine went to print. Two consortia have been short-listed – Mouchel Babcock Education and Transform Schools (led by Balfour Beatty) – with bidders being assessed on “education transformation, sustainability, social inclusion, value for money and building design”. Three academies are also being rebuilt and three primary schools are undergoing major works. By mid-2009 work on the first LEP projects, St Michael’s Catholic School and Tuke School, for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties, is scheduled to be under way. Work has already started on Walworth Academy’s new building. Sponsored by ARK Schools and designed by BDP, more than 1,100 pupils should

Southwark Issue Seven

be enjoying its state-of-the-art surroundings in 2010. The rest of the schools will be completed in phases over the next six years. Councillor Lisa Rajan, Southwark Council’s executive member for children’s services and education says: “[It] will benefit all of our students, teachers and the wider community enormously. The secondary programme will dramatically improve the physical environment of our schools and this will be complemented by the most up-to-date technology and resources.” But it’s not just secondary schools that are being rebuilt – three primaries are also getting the makeover treatment: the Michael Faraday School on the Aylesbury Estate, the Eveline Lowe School and Southwark Park School, both in Bermondsey. Following a competition in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), SMC Alsop, HKR Architects/John Pardey Architects and Birds Portchmouth Russum were chosen to design the schools. RIBA praised the winning entries saying each carried unique challenges and opportunities pointing out that Michael Faraday is in the heart of the Aylesbury Estate and will be one of the first new developments delivered; Eveline Lowe is on a split site housed between a 1967 Grade II listed building and an Edwardian building; while Southwark Park is a Victorian Grade II listed building which must expand “in a way that celebrates its heritage”. SMC Alsop’s project director Jonathan Leah is full of praise for the process: “This kind of competition is really to be commended – it enabled the team to explore initial ideas, needs and dreams with the pupils and staff to produce a design

that reflects their concerns and aspirations”. The SSF secondary programme is set to cost more than £220 million But it will certainly be money well spent. The borough’s exam results are improving, with 47% of pupils now gaining five or more A*-C grades at GCSE level, but still sit below the national average. More than a third of pupils qualify for free meals compared with 16% countrywide, while some of Southwark’s schools have 50% of children speaking English as a second language. Of course, educational attainment depends on a wide range of factors and no-one is claiming that new school buildings are a cure-all, however a report published last year by the Teacher Support Network and the British Council for School Environments found that a third of teachers believe they can’t work effectively because of the poor design of their schools and almost 90% said the school environment has an influence on pupil behaviour. So it’s clear that physical changes can have a real impact, but SSF is also looking at other ways to improve pupils’ learning – whether that is virtual teaching or kids starting at different times of the day. It’s all up for grabs. And through consultation, teachers, parents and the pupils themselves will be involved in shaping the education system of the future. The community will also benefit from the largest investment in the borough’s schools for 50 years. It’s hoped the new facilities will be used in the evenings and on weekends for a range of activities such as yoga, amateur dramatics or IT classes. Soon, everyone in Southwark could be heading off to school with a smile.


Top Will Alsop’s Michael Faraday Primary School. Centre The Eveline Lowe Primary School. Bottom Southwark Primary School.

Schools for the future

Delivering development

Below Southwark’s proposed Shard.

Vital, but not necessarily in a headlinegrabbing way, development control is at the heart of regeneration. Alex Aspinall investigates


It may not get much attention, almost dealing as much with what doesn’t happen as much as what does, but development control is at the very heart of urban regeneration. As the means of managing land under a local government’s authority, the development control office sees all building proposals to ensure they adhere to the guidelines for regeneration mapped out in the area’s development framework. Development control has much more of an impact in people’s lives than many would imagine. Gary Rice, head of development control at Southwark Council, accepts that the public has little reason to understand the role played by development control. “But, on a bigger scale, people are aware of the impacts of planning,” he says. “The main role of development control is to get the right developments in the right places. But planning has shifted somewhat in recent years from using policies to tightly control what

Delivering development


people can and cannot do to being more flexible.” Such changes have also been noted from outside the confines of the department. Paul Henry is a partner at planning consultancy firm DP9. His company has developed a very successful working relationship with Southwark’s development control team, having worked on several projects in the borough. The latest will see the creation of 596 riverside apartments at Chambers Wharf, which Henry says will be one of London’s greenest residential developments. “The procedure now has a much greater focus on pre-application discussion, which benefits both the applicant and the planning authority,” says Henry. “Work at the pre-application stage both makes it clear for the developer what the planning authority needs to achieve and gives the planning department an opportunity to understand the commercial and design pressures on the development of a site.” Getting a proposed scheme through the development control stage is a collaborative process between landowners, developers, planners and architects, within the frameworks set by the area’s development plan, which

Southwark Issue Seven

can often be time consuming and complicated. A professional approach can do a great deal in testing times, according to Gary Rice. “Mutual respect and professionalism are important in forging good relationships,” he says. “We are not always going to agree with the people putting applications in. But we are going to make sure it is a transparent process for everyone.” These sentiments are echoed by Henry. “There is no simple way of achieving planning permission,” he says. “It is now a very technical process, and often very political. There are a number of often conflicting interests, and key to securing consent is understanding what these factors are and working with them. An element of compromise is often inevitable for a number of parties involved. An

adversarial approach is not really conducive to getting the best results, and is best left to the public inquiry room. “In fostering good relations with development control teams it is essential to understand the factors that influence planners, having a full understanding of the policy context in which they are working, knowing the pressure they are under from local members and objectors, knowing the procedural system they are working within and appreciating resource constraints. It’s also not a bad idea to be amenable.” Planning in advance is also vital in ensuring developments are given the best possible chance in the development control minefield, as development frameworks are mapped-

There is no simple way of achieving planning permission. It is a very technical process and often very political

Left Possible additions to the Southwark waterfront.

Below High quality design is the key to success.


out years in advance of foundations being laid. The ongoing redevelopment of Elephant and Castle is among the largest regeneration projects in the borough, and indeed the country. And the success on the ground owes its existence to work carried out several years ago. “Forward planning is absolutely key,” says Gary Rice. “You can see that developments are taking place very quickly, with the Richard Rogers scheme coming forward. We first saw plans for that scheme about two-and-a-half years ago, probably about the average amount of time.” Southwark-based architect Panter Hudspith has been heavily involved with the regeneration of Elephant and Castle. Partner Simon Hudspith believes its success was made possible because of the work put in well before the builders moved in. “One of the most important things with the way Southwark has handled the regeneration of Elephant and Castle is to do with setting a vision. The early work done by the regeneration team, how they set a series of aspirations and set a series of goals that would form the basis of a masterplan, was very good.

It makes everyone’s job easier if there is a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve.” Development control departments around the country are making important decisions about the shapes our cities will take. But few will deal with as many high-profile, large-scale projects as the team in Southwark. The south bank of the Thames is bristling with skyline-defining developments, and the coming years will see even more progress in what must be one of the nation’s most dynamic and successful regeneration areas. Three such projects are coming forward to transform London’s skyline. Numbers one and 20 Blackfrairs Road, and the futuristic London Bridge Tower, are three obvious examples of the citydefining projects in the pipeline which stand out both for the impact they will make on the areas around the Thames and their innovative design. The more significant a proposed development, the stronger the pressure to ensure the correct decisions are made. But do the team approach proposals for larger-scale projects any differently than the more bread-andbutter applications? “The principles are the same

regardless of the size of the development in question – whether it is the right development in the right place,” says Rice. “That basic principle never changes. There are different constraints when dealing with larger-scale projects. Someone doing an extension into their rear garden isn’t going to have the same impact on policy or an area as a tall building. The difference is scale.” As Hudspith reflects, Southwark’s development control department has done a pretty good job, dealing with appropriate scale, as well as quality. “The things that have been built so far show a real commitment to raise the bar in Southwark,” he says. “We have found, in the projects that we have been involved in, that the standards they are looking for are extremely high.”

Delivering development

Small steps to a visible difference 34

With local luminaries such as Zandra Rhodes helping to brighten the borough, Southwark has no shortage of artistic talent to draw from, as Ali Jones discovers

Southwark Issue Six

Below Poured Lines by Peckham artist Ian Davenport.

35 Artistic projects, while small compared to major regeneration schemes, are making a visible difference to people’s lives, raising local pride and provoking interest from around the country. Significant art projects dotted throughout Southwark are rapidly making an impression on residents and visitors alike. Artistic enclaves add to the visual interest already established by landmark buildings such as the magnificent Tate Modern and Will Alsop’s pioneering library.

Antonia Simpson, a principal project officer at Southwark Council, confirms this impression. “All the feedback we get is very positive,” she says. “The bigger schemes are very impressive but they take a long time to deliver. With the smaller schemes, you do see the results on the ground sooner. People take pride in the area and visitors start understanding how the area works.” Although parts of Peckham still struggle against a reputation for crime and unwelcoming housing estates,

there’s now a whole lot more to SE15. Eye-catching art schemes are now part of its very fabric. From being just the corner of Peckham that you pass through on the way to East Dulwich, the Bellenden Renewal Area now has its own identity. The area consists of five streets that run between Peckham Rye and East Dulwich railway station. It was declared a renewal zone in 1997 and a 10-year project plan was drawn up to improve homes and the environment,

Left and below Public art and impressive design lift the spirit and the streetscape.

36 tackling crime and low employment on the way. All of this was done with the full involvement of the local community including residents, retailers and local artists. The thinking behind the redesign was to create a sense of identity for the neighbourhood. Everything from the lampposts to bollards have been designed by local artists. Pay a visit today and you will see bollards designed by Anthony Gormley, who is a local artist. Gormley offered to design the bollards in Bellenden Road – which he nicknamed “the penis, the egg, the peg and the snowman” – for free. Street lights were designed by artist Tom Philips and bus stops by Southwark resident Zandra Rhodes. The Wildlife Garden gates on Marsden Road and all the gates on houses on Bellenden Road have been designed by Heather Burrell. In a nutshell, this little enclave of Peckham has been transformed. And that’s just in Peckham. Now there’s so much going on in Southwark that visitors are likely to see new work every time they visit. Councils from across the country have come to admire the view in Southwark – and it works both ways.

Southwark Issue Seven

“We don’t take inspiration from anywhere in particular, although we have been to places like Newcastle, Birmingham and Brighton for ideas,” says Simpson. “What we are finding is that people are coming to us for inspiration - we’ve had people coming from all over the country to see what we’re doing.” In the Bankside area, many artworks have become tourist attractions. Take the Poured Lines artwork by Turner Prize-nominated artist Ian Davenport. At forty-eight metres long and three metres high, it is one of the largest pieces of public art in London. Running along the wall of a tunnel below a Victorian railway bridge that crosses the river to Blackfriars Station, it has transformed a busy public space. The artwork was commissioned by Southwark Council and Land Securities, and funded by the Arts Council. “People do question investment being made but realise the importance of these outdoor areas in their lives, in this instance, we turned a bridge that was dark and oppressive into a bright, friendly open space. A lot of people really love it, the testament being that it hasn’t been covered in graffiti and damaged. “The important thing often is that projects like this do evoke a reaction. Things like the Poured Lines project by Ian Davenport people, either love or hate,” says Simpson. She explains: “We are doing a lot of work with bridges and tunnels. Often we do a basic clean-up job and then think what we can do to give it an identity. We want to create places and make them memorable. People are seeing the difference that small projects can make in improving an area. We work with a lot of different people, so we can be working with artists or just with our team. Either way, we have to make sure that the whole picture works.”


People are seeing the difference small projects can make in improving an area Nearby, just around the corner from the Tate Modern, is the Monument to the Unknown Artist, a six-metre high animatronic sculpture that mimics body movements. So if you throw your arms in the air with joy, put your hands on your head in despair or shake your fist at the world, this super-sized bronze figure will respond to you in a playful manner. Many tourists, commuters and residents are often spotted trying to catch the sculpture out. It’s typical of a Southwark art scheme - it’s innovative and it’s different. More mundane schemes can brighten an area, too. The council has reviewed, refurbished and replaced signs, identifying main routes and better ways of moving visitors through the north of the borough to encourage them to walk further than they had planned. As Simon Branch, a community warden in the Borough and Bankside areas, says: “The new signs have made a big difference and it’s much easier for visitors to find their way around, so we have far fewer people in Bankside getting lost and asking for directions.” Because the signs have a purpose, no one can accuse the council of wasting money. And because residents have

been consulted at every step, there has been minimal vandalism. An unusual colour-changing lighting scheme for Southwark Street became an attraction less than a month after it was switched on at the beginning of August. It also acts as an informal clock – the lights change slowly from a shower of different colours to a wall of solid colour on the hour and half hour. “People are stopping and taking photos continually,” says Simpson. The project was designed, developed and installed by the council following the refurbishment of two bridges on Southwark Street in 2006. The scheme has no permanent name yet. “We always try and make a project different – not for the sake of it – but we think ‘is there anything else we can do to make this special?’,” says Simpson. “We’re calling this scheme Smarties at the moment because of the coloured lights, but it is open to interpretation.” The recent refurbishment of The Cut – to be one of the greenest and cleanest streets in London – has been heralded a great success, and has been shortlisted for the London Planning awards for best project to protect communities. Running from Southwark tube station to Waterloo Road, The Cut has an array of shops, bars and restaurants, as well as the Old Vic, the Young Vic and the newly refurbished National Theatre Annexe. “This was opened by Kevin Spacey,” says Simpson. “Admittedly it was difficult to meet the needs of everyone while trying to pull all the requirements together. We had a grand scheme to begin with that we had to adjust along the way but everyone is thrilled with the end product. We’ve widened the pavements, put trees in and tidied up fencing. It’s a different place.” Southwark Council worked with the Cross River Partnership, the London Borough of Lambeth and Transport for London to improve The Cut.

Looking ahead, Simpson says more work is needed to extend the benefits of Bankside further south into the borough. She also says there is a need for more public art throughout the borough and for small creative schemes to be extended to areas such as Elephant and Castle. Bankside’s urban park is a good example of a scheme making an area more pleasant; it is a programme of works to improve the public realm and landscaping in the area. The idea is to create a network of green connections between the emerging developments in Bankside and the existing open spaces across Southwark. All plans rely on the backing of local communities for success. “We really involve the community in all the decision-making,” Simpson explains. “The local residents are very involved – we even have a scheme called Project Banks where people can put forward ideas. Council officers go to meetings and present as well as other consultation activities. We use local organisations so people are quite on board with what’s going on and are very supportive. “They are seeing the area change and a lot of people are really seeing the benefits – with new business coming in, job creation and environmental improvements.”

Small schemes being planned • A Tate Modern ‘playground’ • The creation of a planted arch • Widening of Flat Iron Square • Improvements and landscaping along Redcross Way • Transformation of the Great Suffolk Street arches

Small projects

On Southwark: Sokari Douglas Camp CBE 38

Southwark Issue Seven

Art is playing an increasingly important role in the regeneration of urban spaces, and Southwark is no exception. We spoke to local resident, and acclaimed sculptor, Sokari Douglas Camp CBE about art and life in her ever-changing borough What attracted you to Southwark? I’ve been based in Southwark for about 20 years, and was initially attracted to the area by a cheap studio. I was living in West London and I used pedals and tubes to get to Southwark. Since I have been living here I have seen a lot of change, with many areas becoming quite gentrified. Southwark is much better off now than it was before. What is the best thing about Southwark? Its location. We are so central here. What is strange though, is that we seem invisible at the same time. We are not the City, we are not Oxford Street, yet we are right in the middle of the city. I think this is a wonderful thing. It is what the city should be about, convenience and being able to live in the city. What are cities for? They are supposed to be for people. A lot of cities are designed with offices and shops as the most important, and the people are stuck out in the suburbs. That isn’t very ecologically friendly. Because of where it is, Southwark, by accident, is quite modern because it is right in the thick of it. Have you been inspired by your time in Southwark? Yes, definitely. I am very conscious of the people in Southwark. It is one of those places, and I suppose every area in London is a bit like this, where, depending on what is happening in the world, different people move in. I had the opportunity to try and design a street in Peckham. I think it had a Bangladeshi community 20

years ago, but it has now turned into an African street. We have Puerto Ricans, people from Sierra Leone, West Africans... a real mixture. It is always changing. You cannot become stagnant here because it is always changing.

Do you value the role art can play in regeneration projects? It is a positive element of regenerating an area. Art can add humour to the project. Regeneration is a huge thing, especially with what some people are going through in the area at the moment. Having art involved does help. Is it important to have art accessible in the public domain? Yes, because there is art all around us. I feel that art should be easily accessible. People sometimes feel very worried about stepping into the Tate or going to the National Gallery. There are all

Left Sword Fish Masquerade at Hanover Park, Peckham.

these huge steps and sometimes there are guards outside and you think ‘is it alright for me to come in?’ Public art gives access to a wider audience. People can become inspired by things they may not have otherwise seen. I come from Nigeria, where there weren’t galleries that kept you out. Art was expressed out in the open because it was a warmer climate. We had crowds gathering to watch entertainment. We were used to a far more panoramic view, looking around at the people and the buildings, watching the performance. It was a much more open discipline of expression than here. I have always enjoyed that element of being outside. What are you working on at the moment? I am working towards a show at Central St Martin’s about people in wars, made up of little sculptures. There are a lot of West African women, dressed in the kit they dress in – vibrant cloth and head ties. There you are minding your own business, walking up your road and there is a huge splash of colour as someone minces past and you think, ‘where can you be going?’. My little sculptures are garish like this. I am making 20 of them for the show. I feel the need to make positive, beautiful things right now, the vibe in London at the moment is just so bad. I feel like a Buddhist - if I chant good things, good things might come. .

On Southwark


Business class 40

More and more companies are moving to Southwark. David Blackman finds out why they are being drawn south of the river Ten years ago Southwark was still feeling the effects of the decline of the docks. Aside from developments such as Butler’s Wharf and the Design Museum there wasn’t much to encourage business here. But now the South Bank’s hinterland is once again humming with the kind of commercial activity last seen when the docks were thriving. While the Tate has grabbed headlines, the key new attraction for businesses is the Jubilee Line extension, which opened nine years ago, and means that Southwark boasts two new high-capacity tube stations at Southwark and Bermondsey, hugely boosting its accessibility to the rest of London. “Transport is now very good, the Jubilee Line has made a huge difference,” says Rupert Cowling, a partner at E A Shaw, one of the area’s most prominent property agents. “It’s an established area in its own right, now the Jubilee Line has been there for nine years,” says Simon Smith, director in Savill’s development team. “It’s been very successful in rebranding itself as a destination. Everybody now recognises the area around the South Bank as an alternative to the West End and the City,” says Michael Hanily, a senior associate at King Sturge. “It’s clear that the area around Southwark tube station has taken a huge leap forward,” he says, name checking Blackfriars’ Alsop Palestra building, located opposite the station, Southwark Issue Seven

which is now the headquarters of the London Development Agency. The change can be seen in the way that office rents have increased in recent years - from just £7 for 8sq ft in the mid 1990s to £40-plus now. Even during the boom downturn of the start of the decade, headline rents only dropped back to £25, reflecting its maturing status as an employment location. “Alongside all of the physical change happening is a further increase in the partnership working and business to business trading with emerging clusters of businesses. With Business Improvement Districts taking hold, a

diverse business base and developing local supply chain opportunities, Southwark is an attractive destination for trading partnerships and commercial growth on top of the good design of floor space,” says Andy Scott, economic development manager at Southwark Council. And what about today’s downturn? Stone says the Jubilee Line has given the area an edge over competing City fringe areas. “The market will suffer like anywhere else, but the northern City fringe is suffering more than Southwark because it’s more difficult to get to Farringdon, for example, and there’s not a lot of availability.”

Left The Scoop offers the perfect venue for a picnic lunch.

This picture The Design Museum, on South Bank since 1989.


Right It’s not all about office space, public realm is key.


People recognise now that it’s a funky part of town. There are a lot of shiny office buildings, but there’s also a lot of social housing

Southwark Issue Seven

Typical of the new firms relocating to the South Bank is design company Sprout, which has taken the second floor of Bramley Properties’ recently refurbished Bermondsey Square office building. Sprout, which has recently launched a home recycling organiser called ‘Binvention’, was based in Hoxton, just north of the City, until its recent move to the 675sq ft floor on a five-year lease at £20 per sq ft, together with 330sq ft of adjoining workshop space at £8 per sq ft, which will be used to prototype its designs. These are relatively affordable rents compared to those on offer in the City of London and the West End. “It’s still seen as a good alternative to the City. Although rents are coming off the boil, it’s still half the price,” says Cowling. On top of its transport links and relatively affordable rents, the area benefits from increasingly good facilities. “Even five years ago, there was nothing like the number of restaurants down there, or shops. There’s a lot more life,” says Smith.

These existing attractions will soon be augmented by the Bermondsey Square scheme by regeneration specialist Igloo. The mixed-use development on the site of the historic Bermondsey antiques market features a 60-seat art house cinema, which will be run by Shortwave Cinema, organiser of the local Elefest event. Facilities like these will help to entrench the area’s distinctive character. Smith says the neighbourhood has a gritty texture which the City or Canary Wharf can’t offer. And it’s the kind of environment which particularly appeals to those working in the creative sectors. “People recognise now that it’s a funky part of town. There are a lot of shiny office buildings, but there’s also a lot of social housing.” HLM Architects is just one such ‘creative’ business to have recently relocated to Southwark, earlier this year opening up a new office on the ground floor of 46 Loman Street. For HLM, one of the UK’s biggest commercial architecture practices, the appeal of the Southwark office was the large, open-plan space on offer. The practice was able to concentrate its London offices in a single location, while its larger footprint will enable the team to continue to grow. Chris Liddle, chairman at HLM Architects, says: “The relocation of our London offices supports our commitment to allow our staff to work in open and free environments,

Feeling Blue When IT Service provider DDS moved into the Blue Fin Building, the guest of honour at its launch party was David Cameron. DDS, which provides IT systems for media companies and advertising agencies, had just moved from its old premises in exclusive Mayfair. A spokesman explains why the company crossed the river. “As a company we were looking for least travel disruption for our staff getting to work and accessibility to our clients, so transport links were important. Bankside/Southwark provided these with the main line stations, Jubilee Line and Millennium Bridge across to St Paul’s. “We were looking for a single floorplate or small number of floors, after being in a rabbit warren of a building. The new developments in Southwark provided this. We were also looking for an area that would provide a vibrant interesting environment for our staff. That is

provided by the bars, restaurants and shops along the side of the river, the Cut and Borough Market. The one thing missing is more mainstream shopping. Our staff were used to popping up to Oxford Street at lunchtime. But the retail space in Bankside will hopefully have a good mix in time. “We were also attracted by value for money, with rents being less than West End rents for similar space.” Henry Lawson, DDS’s chief executive sums up the area’s attractions. “We were attracted to Bankside as a lively and up and coming area with a growing number of creative and media-related businesses. Its transport links are a big plus for us now our clients have spread out around London and are no longer concentrated in W1 in the way they were when DDS started out.”

This picture The Scoop holds free evening events perfect for after work.

encouraging the sharing of ideas and allowing our clients and project team partners to join with us in an open design environment. But it’s not just creatives who are making tracks south of the river. A number of blue chip companies have crossed the water on to the Southwark stretch of the South Bank. They include Ernst & Young, one of the so-called ‘big four’ accountancy firms, which has for several years had its UK headquarters at More London, the Foster and Partners designed office development next to the GLA building on the south bank of the Thames. Ernst & Young was recently joined by its arch rival PriceWaterhouse Coopers, which has taken just over 400,000sq ft in another part of More London. And when accountants have decided that a neighbourhood is a safe bet, it is hardly surprising to find big name developers will follow closely behind.

The UK’s biggest listed property company Land Securities has just finished letting its Bankside scheme – the area’s showpiece recent development. And although the Royal Bank of Scotland has delayed its move into the scheme’s two smaller buildings until early 2009, the biggest chunk of space in the development has been occupied by consumer magazine publishing giant IPC Media, owner of such titles as the NME. IPC in fact only moved a short distance from its old offices in a nearby tired 1970s tower block. But the companies to which it is sub-letting its spare space, like IT services provider DDS (see box), have moved from further afield. Other developments in the pipeline include a new scheme on Blackfriars Road by Great Portland Estates and the Sellar Property Group’s Renzo Piano designed ‘Shard of Glass’ at London

VT Communications, a business unit within the bigger VT Group, recently took up the last available space at Bluefin Building. The communications company took the 11,731sq ft of second floor space on a ten-year lease, at a rent of £47 per sq ft (£506 per sq m). A spokesman for the group explains why the company decided to move south of the river from its former base at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He says: “As a FTSE 200 company, we were looking for a suitable location in London to use as a group office and for one of our business units. Bluefin offers us an attractive, spacious location within easy reach of the City and the rest of central London, with the surrounding area offering a pleasant environment and good facilities.”

Bridge station, which could be Western Europe’s tallest building if constructed. Meanwhile, the area’s increasing maturity as a business location has been underlined by UBS’s sale of its 160 Tooley Street building, which has recently been let to Southwark Council on a 25 year lease at £38.50 per sq ft. In a tough market, UBS secured £135 million, generating an initial yield of around 5.25%. Southwark Council’s most recent reports show an increase in B1 floorspace across the borough in 2006/07, compensating several times over for the continuing loss of industrial and warehousing accommodation. Despite the recent wider property downturn, the area appears increasingly well-established as one of London’s key emerging office quarters. “The real challenge is bringing that north Southwark effect further south into the borough,” says King Sturge’s Hanily. Southwark is a long thin borough, which makes it hard to translate the benefits throughout. Hanily argues that the borough must capitalise on its educational assets, like the Camberwell College of Art and Kings College Hospital, to drive jobs growth in the future. Institutions like these should encourage workspace opportunities that will encourage their graduates to stay in the area and start up businesses, he suggests. “We need to look at different niches to drive the regeneration of the south of the borough,” he says. Business destination


Right Chambers Wharf will have views of Tower Bridge.


Coming to a window near you: Chambers Wharf When it comes to riverside living, it doesn’t get much better than living beside the River Thames with views of Britain’s most iconic bridge. And when you consider that it is among the greenest proposed residential schemes in the capital, St Martins’ Chambers Wharf scheme really comes into its own. The development, which will see the creation of 596 new homes along an under-used section of the south bank of the Thames, secured planning permission back in July 2008. The scheme is destined to deliver affordable housing, a plethora of regenerative benefits and an impressive ‘Excellent’ EcoHomes rating. Twenty-first century technology is being used throughout the Ian Simpsondesigned scheme in order for it to deliver on the most testing sustainability targets. On-site electricity generation, ground source heat pumps, solar thermal panels, rainwater harvesting, 13 vertical wind turbines and green and brown roofs are all present in the Chambers Wharf vision. Lindsey Robinson, development Southwark Issue Seven

director at St Martins, says: “Chambers Wharf will provide a new, dramatic architectural element to this important part of the river frontage close to Tower Bridge. The current buildings have largely fallen into disuse and, in replacing them, we are intending to create a development with world-class architecture, which sets standards of quality particularly in the affordable element not previously seen. “In addition, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on sustainable issues in accordance with the company’s corporate social responsibility policy and the resulting potential CO2 savings far exceed current requirements. We believe that Chambers Wharf will be a development of which Southwark and London can be extremely proud.”

Chambers Wharf timeline July 2008: Planning permission secured August 2008-March 2009: Demolition of existing buildings March 2009-2010: Design development and market assessment Summer 2010: Residential scheme works start Summer 2010-2013: Apartments go on sale 2013: Completion Chambers Wharf key facts: n Six new buildings, creating 596 residential units – 189 affordable n A new riverside walkway, with private and public gardens n Commercial and retail units at ground level, fronting Chambers Street n Parking for 656 bicycles, 183 cars and 24 motorcycles n Among the greenest residential developments to be found in London

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The official regeneration magazine of Southwark Council Issue seven Autumn/Winter 2008 Southwark

Bermondsey Square

issue seven

The Shard

Shaping Southwark Regenerating today’s cities isn’t easy. Mace Group is the driving force behind some of the UK’s most ambitious and challenging urban regeneration schemes. We bring a unique culture of control to the complex, multi-agency programmes that area-wide regeneration involves. Regeneration isn’t just about buildings, we engage fully in the social, economic, planning and community issues that go hand in hand with area renewal. Our expert programme, project and development management skills are at work at every stage in the regeneration process – we work as your partners, actively engaging with the local community, public and private sectors from conception to completion.

Mace Group is proud to be making a major contribution to the changing face of Southwark, being heavily involved in some of the largest transformational projects in the borough over the past ten years, including: „ „ „ „ „ „

The Shard The Globe Academy City Hall and the More London Development Ofcom - Riverside House Metropolitan Police - Safer Neighbourhoods Bermondsey Square

We are delighted to have been recently appointed by Southwark Council as project management partners on their consultancy framework, to support the delivery of the borough’s regeneration vision. For further information please contact: Kevin Cowin +44 (0)20 7554 8000 or


Profile for 3Fox International Ltd

Southwark #7  

Physical, social and economic regeneration in the London Borough of Southwark

Southwark #7  

Physical, social and economic regeneration in the London Borough of Southwark