Second time lucky for architect on contentious Grosvenor project

CGI - RST - North Yard - cropped and zoomed to show ground floor only

The North Yard of the residential development

Planning consent has finally been granted to Grosvenor’s £500m build-to-rent scheme in Bermondsey, south London, on the site of an old biscuit factory.

The project, designed by KPF, will feature around 1,548 homes.

The developer hopes to get building work underway “as soon as possible”, with a summertime start likely once a contractor has been appointed.

It submitted its initial plans for the scheme to Southwark council in November 2017 after appointing KPF in 2016. Grosvenor bought the site in 2013 and hired Karakuseciv Carson to work on the masterplan in 2015. Cottrell & Vermeulen designed a 600-place secondary school for the site.

KPF’s initial plans were thrown out in February last year when the council said of the development that it failed “to provide the maximum reasonable amount of affordable housing and the affordable housing offered would be at a cost which would not be affordable to those in greatest housing need”.

After the application was called in and taken over by the mayor of London in May 2019 changes were made to the amount of affordable housing and deputy mayor Jules Pipe approved the plans.

The level of affordable housing has been increased from 26% to 35%, which technically meets the local council’s minimum requirement threshold.

The development on the site of an old Peek Freans biscuit factory will now include around 482 affordable homes, of which 342 will be offered at discount market rent and 140 at social rent levels. Private cars will be banned from the site once it is completed

The Bermondsey scheme, which Grosvenor has been working on for the past seven years, will also have new play and public spaces, pedestrian routes and 150,000sq ft of employment space.

The first phase of the development will include 359 rental homes, a new 600 pupil secondary school and 8,155ft² of employment space.

Pipe said he believed the scheme would make a significant contribution towards the regeneration of the area. 

The site’s previous landowner, Workspace, appointed AHMM to work on a masterplan in 2010.