Council approves nine-story block of flats overlooking Burgess Park – South London News

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A nine-storey block of flats will be built next to a park despite officials previously raising concerns about the size of the development.

Southwark council approved plans to construct 85 homes on the south side of Burgess Park at a planning meeting on Wednesday.

Council planning officers voiced unease at the size of the apartment block when developers first brought the proposals to them in 2019.

The plans for the industrial site in Parkhouse Street originally included 100 flats for rent in a 10-storey tower – 35 per cent of which would be affordable.

CGI of the planned appartments from Parkhouse StreetCGI of the planned apartments from Parkhouse Street (Picture: Southwark council planning documents)

But councillors voted unanimously to approve the new plans after the developer, Dolphin Square, downsized its proposals for the site in Camberwell.

A total of 85 homes will now be built in a nine-storey block – 40 per cent of which will be available at affordable rents. The remaining 60 per cent will be sold privately.

David Stephenson, from Dolphin Square, said the housing charity had kept its commitment to developing the site, despite the poor reception its 2019 plans received from officials.

He told a Southwark council planning committee: “Since Dolphin acquired this site we’ve remained committed to its development as a high quality, mixed-use, residential and commercial scheme with improvements to the public realm.

“We’ve carefully listened to feedback from council members and officers, members of the public and key stakeholders. We feel we’ve vastly improved the design and aspects of the scheme.

“We’ve moved away from our original proposal of having a build-to-rent scheme to a mix of affordable and 60 per cent private sale. We’ve reduced the overall density and massing of the development from 100 apartments to 85. We’ve reduced the height. All homes now meet or exceed space standards.”

Around 25 per cent, or 21 of the new flats, will be available at social rents, with 13 of the apartments going at affordable rents – which can be up to 80 per cent of market prices.

Despite this, Southwark councillor Richard Livingstone, Labour member for the Old Kent Road, expressed concern that only four of the 21 three-bed flats in the development would be available at social rents.

He said: “If you look at the private sector housing there’s a fair mix between the one, twos and threes.

“Whereas for the social housing, it feels as if it’s weighted towards the ones and twos and there’s only four of the larger three-bed units that are social housing. What we desperately need are larger homes, three bedrooms and more to meet family housing needs in the borough.”

A brick warehouse and two semi-detached 1950s houses will be bulldozed under the plans to redevelop the site on the southern edge of Burgess Park.

Pictured top: CGI of the planned flats from Burgess Park (Picture: Southwark council planning documents)

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