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Old Kent Road: Southwark wins ‘best masterplan’ prize

Southwark Council's 20-year plan to build 20,000 new homes along the Old Kent Road has been named 'best masterplan or area strategy' at the New London Awards.

The plan covers an area from New Kent Road in the west to the borough boundary with Lewisham in the east and is closely tied to plans for a Bakerloo line extension.

Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, development and planning, said he was "very pleased" by the win for the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan "which is very much still a work in progress but shows that the council is showing a level of creativity and innovation that has been picked up by experts in the field".

Following two rounds of consultation, the council says that a further 'submission version' of the plan will be published early next year before an examination-in-public in front of a planning inspector.

The most recent draft version runs to more than 150 pages and 141mb.

Mark Brearley – who runs manufacturing firm Kaymet and leads the Vital OKR campaign that has consistently challenged the council's handling of the project – said: "It is shocking indeed that there are people out there who really think that the word 'best' should be used to describe the Old Kent Road AAP."

He warned that the plan "threatens to snuff out thousands of jobs and to stifle future flourishing; indeed the plan's grim effects are already being felt in the area.

"It is certainly not a good plan, and its preparation was not fair nor lawful."

Even before the area action plan is formally approved, major developments of hundreds of homes in towers up to 48 storeys high are already being proposed on sites such as the Cantium Retail Park (B&Q) and the Southernwood Retail Park (Argos).

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