Riverside office block plan next to Blackfriars Bridge approved

Plans for an 18-storey office block on the Thames Path between Blackfriars road and rail bridges have been approved by Southwark councillors.

Riverside office block plan next to Blackfriars Bridge approved

The scheme won the unanimous backing of Southwark Council's planning committee on Tuesday night.

The proposed building is part of the wider Bankside Yards development that is replacing the former Ludgate House and Sampson House blocks on either side of the Thameslink railway line south of the river.

The northernmost plot, known as BY1, was originally earmarked for a residential tower containing 17 very large luxury riverside apartments.

Instead, an 18-storey office block designed by Make Architects is now proposed.

Councillors heard that the switch away from residential development on this particular riverside plot won't affect the level of affordable housing to be built or funded by the wider Bankside Yards scheme.

Recommending that councillors approve the office proposal, planning officer Dipesh Patel described the Make tower as "an improvement" on the 2014 scheme in design terms. Committee members were more forthright, dubbing the now-shelved residential tower as "hideous".

Dan Clarke of Native Land said the switch from residential to office use was down to "a change in the market".

He said Make had designed "a striking, highly sustainable and energy-efficient building".

Mr Clarke admitted that Native Land would have preferred a taller tower. He told councillors: "To be honest with you, we did try for a higher scheme, there was a healthy debate [with planning officers] and we've settled where we are."

Asked about changing work patterns since the covid-19 pandemic, Mr Clarke said that the new building might suit a "high-end" company looking to downsize its central London presence whilst keeping up prestige. He said: " With this location in the centre of town they can maintain that headquarters address without necessarily the large-scale space needs."

Tags: Southwark, Bankside, Planning & Development, Politics & local government

© 1998-2024 Bankside Press Ltd
Privacy & data protection | Complaints procedure
Member of the Independent Community News Network