Southwark scheme replaces previous proposals by Allies & Morrison

A £195m net zero carbon scheme designed by Bennetts Associates at a 1950s printworks near the Tate Modern has been recommended for approval.

Landsec’s Timber Square scheme, for a site at 25 Lavington Street, comprises two buildings of 10 and 15 storeys and features 370,000sq ft of mixed-use space, including 350,000sq ft of grade A offices, affordable workspace, roof terraces and improved public realm.

It replaces a previous proposal by Allies and Morrison, which is based on neighbouring Southwark Street.

That scheme, for a 10-storey commercial building along with three residential blocks of eight, 13 and 21 storeys, was ditched after Landsec bought the site from previous developer Gaterule in 2018.

Timber Square, which was sent in for planning in March, has now been recommended for approval with a decision due to be made by Southwark council at the start of next month.

In a report filed earlier this week, local planners said: “Redevelopment of the site to provide new retail, leisure space and a significant uplift in high quality, modern office space is welcomed and the improved connectivity and public realm will be beneficial to the local area. The range of uses being proposed is in line with development plan policy aspirations to improve the area and maximise the number of jobs.”

Lang O’Rourke has signed a pre-construction services agreement for the job and said much of the scheme will be manufactured offsite at its Explore factory in the East Midlands.

Timber Square will retain around 90% of the existing building and use a hybrid steel frame and CLT timber structure, which the contractor said will reduce embodied carbon, construction traffic, demolition waste and local air pollution. Low carbon and recycled materials will also be used across the development. All floors will have access to terraces and roof gardens.

The existing printworks building dates back to 1959 and was used by magazine publisher IPC which was based in Seifert’s nearby King’s Reach Tower for nearly three decades before moving to Allies & Morrison’s Blue Fin Building on Southwark Street in 2007. But the site, designed by Ellis, Clarke & Gallannaugh, has since been turned into office space for the TSB Bank.

No start date has been confirmed.