BVAG Meeting Wednesday 15th March

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BVAG Meeting
Current Anti-Social Development Proposals
Wednesday 15 March 6.30pm
 |Globe House | Corner of Bermondsey Street & Crucifix Lane

Our area is again under threat from a variety of anti-social development proposals.  There are currently on the table several at different stages of gestation that threaten the local townscape and public amenity.


The old Ticino Bakery at 176-178 Bermondsey Street
Planning Application ref: 16/AP/4727


This application is aimed with some precision at the kinds of high street chains that we have always worried would soon be targeting Bermondsey St.  From its large 4 500 sq ft of floorspace to its Look-at-Me front elevation it is tailor-made for a chain operator.  It is scheduled to be considered by the Planning Committee on Tuesday 21 March.  We will be making a representations.  It is particularly worrying that the applicants have been able to claim the Council’s conservation officers have told them:  ‘The existing building is considered to be of no historic value. It appears to be of early to mid-20th century construction’  Even the most inexperienced conservation officer should have been able to recognise that this is wrong and the yellow stock bricks of the facade and the derrick date it to the 19th century.  The Head of Conservation has been asked to attend the meeting (but don’t bet on him putting his head above the parapet; he has not responded to several calls and emails).  Another concern is the large basement proposed which,  if allowed, will be hugely disruptive to traffic on Bermondsey St.  It is clear that Southwark’s planners have not taken note of the effects of the basement rush that has blighted Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea where, in generally much more compatible street scales and ground conditions, there are widespread problems with damage and disruption to neighbours.

Combined representations from objectors at planning committee meetings are limited to 3 minutes.  At next week’s meeting we will consider ours.

Tanner St Park / Bermondsey St/Hatchers Mews
Planning Application ref: 17/AP/0469


This application is remarkable for its opacity.  The drawings shown on the A4 poster pinned on the park notice board by an anonymous concerned resident are all that can be found on the Southwark website.  And these could take a while to find themselves as the drawing titles are distinctly unhelpful.  What is clear is that the proposal would radically alter the experience of the park with an enormous change in the sees of enclosure, the overlooking and the loss of sunlight.  What made the planners think that the applicants should not be asked to produce a decent coloured elevation and perspective drawing before the application was put out to consultation is anyone’s guess.  We have invited the planning officer concerned to come and explain – but again, don’t be disappointed if he doesn’t show up; accountability is not a mantra of Southwark’s planners.

London City Mission
Tower Bridge Road
This site is rumoured to be proposed for a 15-story tower.  It is not yet clear whether the planners have given a green light to this audacious ambition – but stranger things have happened.  Concerned next door neighbour and architect, Arthur Timothy, has agreed to come and tell us what he has found out about the proposal and hopefully bring a representative of the London City Mission who own the building.

Guiness Estate

This estate has for some while been facing a proposed two-floor rooftop extension.  It is an obvious opportunity to restore the original roofline of the building whilst adding additional residential accommodation.  Ambitiously and heritage-sensitively approached the proposal could be beyond reproach.  In practice the proposal is likely to be for cheap construction with little regard for reinstatement of the original glory of this landmark estate.  Our researches are ongoing and we will be giving an update at the meeting.

The old Selected Rug Co. 74-84 Long Lane
Spaces Co Living project

long lane plan
One of the few remaining buildings of character on Long Lane was the subject of a consultation last month in relation to a proposal for a ‘co-living’ tower.  The developers (or rather their PR team) were less than transparent about who they are and where they are in the invariable deal with the planners prior to the consultation charade that follows the agreed application.  It was equally far from clear what treatment they are proposing for the existing Rug Co. building (pictured).  Notes to be compared at the meeting.


The Ticino and Tanner St Park applications can be found on the Southwark website under the application references quoted above.  Our followers are urged to see them for themselves and make their own representations but of course to come to the meting to find out more.

All welcome

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