Southwark Street: new office block approved

Plans for a new office block at the corner of Southwark Street and Southwark Bridge Road have been approved by Southwark councillors.

Southwark Street: new office block approved
The existing building

The scheme by developer CLI Dartriver - designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands - was considered by a Southwark Council planning committee on Tuesday evening.

Planning officer Gemma Parry explained that the existing building occupies an L-shaped plot at the corner of Southwark Bridge Road and Southwark Street, backing on to the Peabody Southwark Street Estate.

The existing six-storey building is currently vacant but was previously used as a disaster recovery centre.

The proposed development will have an eight-storey element on Southwark Street and six-storey block on Southwark Bridge Road.

Ms Parry said that Southwark planners welcomed the "uplift in high quality employment floorspace," adding: "We believe that there is high standard of urban design and architecture, which is acceptable in townscape and heritage contexts."

The fate of the stone pediment - from the United Friendly Insurance Company headquarters that previously stood on the site - preserved on the Southwark Bridge Road side of the current block is unclear.

Neil Thompson from CLI Dartriver told councillors: "In economic terms the building can support almost 3 per cent of Southwark's 20-year jobs target, generating an additional £3 million of local spending annually."

Planning committee chair Cllr Richard Livingstone said he had "some reservations" about the development - including its impact on daylight and sunlight to residents of the Peabody Estate.

He added: "I do think it's not great having abandoned buildings in such a key location in the central business zone, and it would bring some life and some much-needed jobs."

The committee resolved unanimously to grant planning permission.

The proposed new building
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