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FREEPOST SE1919/14

New Southwark Plan
Planning Policy
Chief Executive’s Department
London SE1P 5EX
16 June 2017
New Southwark Plan - Area Visions and Site Allocations NSP53

Dear Sirs

By means of an exhibition hosted by a local community group I have come to know of the
Council’s proposals to designate the area at the junction of Bermondsey Street and St
Thomas Street, as well as adjacent parts of St Thomas Street, as a high-rise development
zone.

Firstly, I would say that as someone who works in the area I am dismayed that this radical
intervention into the environment could be the subject of such an underpublicised
consultation process.

As to the proposal itself, it appears that the Council is looking to accommodate specific
private developers by earmarking sites in their ownership for exceptionally high density and
environmentally insensitive redevelopment. I strongly object firstly to the view that any
sites in Bermondsey Street are remotely appropriate for high-rise redevelopment. I would
therefore urge the Council to immediately acknowledge that the inclusion of Bermondsey
Street and its Conservation Area to any degree whatsoever in a high-rise zoning exercise is
entirely inappropriate.

Secondly, the area designated NSP53 by the Council is a heritage-sensitive one. Of obvious
importance are the unique Vinegar Yard warehouse and the listed St Thomas Street viaduct
arches by eminent Victorian railway architect Charles Henry Driver. These arches are the
only remaining visible historic element of London Bridge station following the recent loss of
both the listed train shed and the important Southeastern Railway offices on Tooley Street.
Also of heritage value is the Horseshoe pub on Melior Street. All these heritage assets must
be preserved not only as to their fabric but also as to their setting. This obviously makes the
area denoted NSP53 unsuitable for high-rise development.

A further important consideration must be the preservation of an agreeable pedestrian
environment in St Thomas Street. This cannot be achieved with high-rise redevelopment of
the street at any location along its length because of the obvious implications of
overshadowing and wind-tunnelling. In this respect I would add that the Council’s apparent
proposal to collaborate in the facilitation of high-rise development with different developers
in relation to the area designated as NSP52 is equally inappropriate. There is no sound basis
for seeing that area as appropriate for demolition of the existing 7 Storey Becket House.
Similarly the other relevant building in NSP52, Capital House, is already of a height and scale
that should not be exceeded for the same reasons.
I therefore object in the strongest possible terms the Councils proposals of NSP53 as well as
that for NSP52.

Yours Sincerely,

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