Thursday, June 13, 2013

Development at former Mulberry Business Park (13/AP/1429)

Photograph from the London Docklands
For those interested in the development plans for the Harmsworth Quays and Leisure Park site here's the Southwark Council summary of the Planning Proposal (the photograph right is the architect's model for how it will appear, taken from the London's Docklands blog):

Reference 13/AP/1429
Redevelopment of the former Mulberry Business park to provide buildings of between 4 and 9 storeys (maximum height 42.85m AOD), comprising 770 student bedrooms with related living/kitchen and communal spaces (sui generis); 33 affordable residential units (Class C3); 610sqm retail uses (Classes A1, A2,A3); 322sqm health centre (Class D1); 75sqm area of retail (Classes A1, A2, A3) or alternate non-residential institutional use (Class D1); 4,490sqm offices (Class B1); associated car parking, cycle parking and landscaped public realm; new vehicular and pedestrian access/egress and associated works (This application represents a departure from Policy 32 'Proposals sites' of the adopted Canada Water Area Action Plan owing to the land uses not being consistent with the designations for proposals site CW AAP 9)

For anyone familiar with Greenland Dock, the tallest building along its perimeter (Tavistock Tower), next to the the Moby Dick pub, is seven storeys high, so if you look at it and imagine an extra two floors on top of that that's roughly what is being proposed for the tallest buildings at the new development.

That's a lot of building, and it's not clear from this whether there will be enough parking to supply the entire development.  What worries me on an ongoing basis about developments on Rotherhithe peninsula is that the road infrastructure from Deptford to Bermondsey is creaking at the seams as it is - and we only have three ways off the peninsula.

The official Kings College London / Canada Water development exhibition website is at:

To see what all the Classes mean (A1, A2, sui generis, etc) see the Planning Portal website at

One of the useful things about the Southwark Council website is that you can easily do a search for planning proposals on the Southwark Website at:


Deptford Dame said...

Looks like someone just went to their kitchen cupboard and emptied all the cereal boxes, drew windows on the side and arranged them in lines. That's definitely a family-size Cornflakes box at the front. As regards parking I guess they will not provide much as it's student accommodation, but even if they did, there are tight restrictions now as to the ratios you are allowed to have. In theory it's supposed to dissuade car ownership but as everyone knows, in practice it usually means extra cars on street parking, and the introduction of controlled parking zones where previously there were none.
I see from the description that the application breaches the council's land use strategy, presumably because it is yet another case of employment land being lost?

Andie said...

Loved the cereal box analogy - so spot on! Not a pointy top in sight. Yes, the parking theory is that everyone will use bicycles but even when I was at university in Halls for my first year back in the 80s, we had a good sized carpark. And whilst anyone brave enough to cycle into London along the Bermondsey roads has my respect for their eye-poppingly raw courage, I'm not sure that everyone will want to brave the bus lanes. The proximity of Canada Water and the 381 bus service helps, of course, but I still worry that the need for parking has been seriously underestimated.