Plans for the £500 million redevelopment of a former biscuit factory in Bermondsey, South London are expected to be submitted to Southwark Council later this month.
Backed by Grosvenor, one of Britain’s biggest property owners, the masterplan for the 12-acre site includes around 1,350 new rental homes, making it one of the capital’s largest build-to-rent developments.
Alongside the new homes, the proposals include 25,000 square metres of new or improved streetscapes and play space, and more than 10,000 square metres of office space.
The original warehouse building on Clements Road will be retained to house cultural and community activities in addition to office space and homes. Residents and the public would get access to the building’s roof terrace where factory workers once enjoyed tea breaks.
At the heart of the site will be a cluster of three tall buildings with an emphasis on food and drink at the ground floor.
The masterplan, designed by architects KPF, includes 10,000 square metres of retail, leisure, community and food facilities, 400 square metres of new public lawns and 140 new planted trees.
Grosvenor, owned by the 26-year-old Duke of Westminster Hugh Grosvenor, owns huge chunks of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods in Mayfair and Belgravia.
It said its first build-to-rent development shows its “commitment to generation rent”.
Several homes will be provided at discounted market rents to try to reach a wider spectrum of people.
Craig McWilliam, chief executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, argued that London’s housing shortage too often creates polarised outcomes.
“We are sharing our ambitions in Bermondsey to meet the needs of many on low and middle incomes who are locked out of London’s housing market” – Craig McWilliam, Grosvenor
The regeneration proposal includes plans to refurbish 165 underused railway arches, which have a current vacancy rate of over 50 per cent.
Network Rail will submit a planning application for the refurbishment of the arches to create a new employment and leisure destination with a range of spaces for light industrial and workspace alongside retail, restaurant and leisure uses.
Katherine Rodgers, development director at Grosvenor, said the company wanted to see a district that is inclusive and physically integrated, with historic buildings retained and new commercial spaces, local amenities and public spaces created.
“We have spent four years getting to know Bermondsey, its people and its communities and want to help knit together the best of Bermondsey with an investment and long-term legacy that generates local opportunities and can respond to changing demand,” she said.