A former sorting office and crown court annexe on Swan Street are to be redeveloped as housing under a scheme led by the Corporation of Trinity House.
The Corporation of Trinity House – the organisation which runs lighthouses around the coasts of England and Wales – has teamed up with Galliard Homes, Acorn Property Group and Otterlo London to redevelop the site at the corner of Harper Road and Swan Street.
Trinity House acquired the land it owns in Newington in 1661 from merchant Christopher Merrick for £1,694 on condition that it was held in trust "for Relieving comforting Easing & Maintaining of the poor Aged Sick Maimed Weak and decayed Seamen and Mariners of this Kingdom, their Wives children and Widowes where most need was".
Income from the estate – controversially rebranded as 'Trinity Village' in 2008 – helps to fund the charity's other activities.
Architects Haworth Tompkins have been appointed to design apartments and mews houses for the Swan Street site.
"This is the 500th anniversary of the founding of Trinity House and in this year of reflection we are especially anxious to maintain investment in our estate for the years to come," said Commander Graham Hockley, clerk to the trustees of Trinity House.
"This transaction has been designed to create a long term income stream for our charitable activities and we look forward to delivering a new building of which we can all be proud of."
Stephen Conway, chief executive of Galliard Homes, said: "This is a rare and exciting opportunity to bring forward an exemplar residential development on this historic estate.
"Trinity Village is a hidden oasis with distinctive architecture surrounded by urban bustle. I look forward to demonstrating the consortium's mix of experience and skill in mastering complex urban situations and placemaking."
The current buildings on the site include the former annexe to Inner London Crown Court. The plot was formerly occupied by the Southwark Court of Requests, built in 1824.
The legislation which set up the court – the Southwark and East Brixton Court of Requests Act 1806 – was repealed in 2012.
The consortium hopes to complete the redevelopment scheme by 2017.