Bermondsey Square Redevelopment

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Monday 21 March 2005 2.30pm
Following on discussion in the thread "What have they found" I think it important to draw everyone's attention to a ten storey development planned for Bermondsey Square.
Here is an extract from Southwark's on line Register of Planning Applications.
I have not yet managed to speak to Southwark but when I do I will post another message with up to date info.

Application Type: Full Planning Permission

Location: New Caledonian Antiques Market; land bounded by Bermondsey Street, Abbey Street, Tower Bridge Road
Planning Case File Number: TP/29-A
Proposal: Redevelopment of New Caledonian antiques market to provide three new buildings; two of which are positioned around a central public square: Building One (facing Tower Bridge Road and Abbey Street) - part six, part eight and part ten storey building comprising a mix of retail (Class A1), offices (Class B1), arts/leisure, cafe/restaurant uses (Class A3) and 56 flats on upper floors; Building Two (facing Bermondsey Street): seven storeys with market store and cafe/restaurant (Class A3) on ground and first floors with hotel on upper floors and roof top bar ; Building Three (facing Long Walk): part three and part four storeys comprising 13 flats; and Provision of landscaped public square to accommodate 200 market stalls. [Revised Application]
Ward: Chaucer
Community Council: Borough and Bankside
Environmental Impact Assessment Status: Not required by Regs & nothing submitted

Conservation Area: Bermondsey Street

Date Received: 23/12/2004
Date Started: 07/02/2005
Monday 21 March 2005 3.24pm
How nice for the existing properties just accross the road......have the developers informed them yet?....

Ancient Lights? or does that just refer to windows?
Monday 21 March 2005 4.57pm
Oh NO, not more tower blocks, I cant stand it. Dont know if you saw my "slot" (picture and all) in the Southwark News this week, protesting violently against horrible St. George trying to shoe horn in a tower block on our parking lot opposite the Coronet. What ARE we going to do? High density is getting way out of hand.
Tuesday 10 May 2005 4.12pm
Now I'm completely confused. The blurb about the Uban Salon design for the square suggests that the terraces will face south - but the image, with TBR on the left seems to position them facing north and it's difficult to identify the buildings around for accurate orientation. Their web site does not supply any more detail, and looking at the Munkenbeck and Marshall scheme images is equally unhelpful. Why on earth can't architects have the guts to show and communicate their proposals to the public in true context rather than a set of beautifully rendered but ultimately meaningless images presented as if they are works of art and the end in itself.

But don't worry - there's going to be a bingo hall on the ground floor....
Tuesday 10 May 2005 5.46pm
Can anyone say what is different from the previous proposal?

It's a bit rich that the local consultation takes years and years to complete with neighbourhood meetings, hours and hours devoted by Matthew Mason, Richard Thomas, BSAP, English Heritage, CABE, Simon Hughes, a public enquiry with a proper government inspector and everything, then the developer slips in another late revision just before he starts digging up the site.

Shouldn't they be made to stick with the plan that was agreed by the Council Planning department? Or is this just a little fine tuning?

The "ancient lights thing" is not wholly irrelevant, and a daylight survey was performed, but Mendham House and St Mary Magdalene churchyard are more affected than the little victorian houses on south and west sides of the square. Due to the sun being mostly in the south.

Still, there are already some very impressive holes in the square. Quite a contrast with English Heritage's "do not disturb this site - bank it for the next century" policy.
Tuesday 10 May 2005 7.45pm
Bermondsey Square is, for my money, a good example of how not to protect or conserve something that is described as a 'national monument'.

The current dig is, I believe, the 4th such dig and still there is still no definitive and unequivocal understanding of what is down there. The current demand for 'preservation insitu', means that relatively contemporary structures have been left undisturbed over the top of ........who knows what. I understand that traces of a Roman settlement were found at the most southerly edge of the east block but the extent of the settlement is unknown because of the piecemeal nature of the examination.

The developer's plans could be completely overturned if something 'valuable' were to be found in the 'wrong' place because the original scheme was based upon a best guess of what lay beneath the surface. Given that foundations for the new scheme cannot (on EH's instructions) disturb existing remains, if something valuable turns up, the scheme might have to be substantially rejigged.

Maybe EH should have done the archaeology themselves and maybe the European system of insurance should be used where, if remains of truly national significance are found and deserve preservation, then the whole site is excavated and preserved for the public. The insurance is then used to pay off the owners or developers dependent upon their losses.

As it is, we will only ever have partial and/or best guess knowledge based upon the 30% of the jigsaw that we have found. Then the whole lot will be buried under a new building. How much, I wonder, does this kack-handedness cost the taxpayer?



PS No-one seems to complain about the dwarf block that was built on the east side of Bermondsey Square in the late 1980s. That really is a mess.
Wednesday 11 May 2005 9.11am
Are there really dwarfs living in Bermondsey Square?
Wednesday 11 May 2005 12.38pm
I agree with Janefs I cannot work out where exactly they are going to be situated and the do not fit in with the grand design for the whole square
Why a bingo hall-was that a specific local community request? (we don't mind huge horrid buildings as long as we get a bingo hall)

Wasn't we supposed to be getting a cinema or has that gone now?

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