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Destroying the character of Bermondsey Street

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Friday 1 July 2011 6.09am
Orione,

I agree that St Thomas Street could be either / both a connector or a destination with respect to Bermondsey St.

Simon Bevan is the Head of Planning for Southwark. As such he would not have a project to present as his project. Can you tell me more about the project you are referring to?

At this time there is no specific plan that I know of for St Thomas Street other than the London Bridge Station rebuild. The construction work will force a number of things including a change to the traffic flow and the possible compulsory purchase of land for the construction vehicles during the six (6) year project. The details for the project have not been released in the full sense as the planning application has not been submitted.
Friday 1 July 2011 6.27am
Hi John I actually have some recent info. I will be away for 4 days but I will get in touch with you as I come back.
However during the last meeting held at BVAG the design he presented for St ThomasS st was pretty dull. The scenario is that next to the Shard there will be the entrance to the station (east of the shard) and then all arches will be closed with panels and windows as they will be the back walls of TFL storages/offices. I found it disgraceful for the area which will be left as a dead section. This in my view is clashing with the opportunity of having the Shard on one side and bermondsey on the other. And actually creates a vacuum between the 2.

Sorry I am on a plane ready to take off. I rushed this post but keep in touch.
Friday 1 July 2011 2.22pm
Orione,

Do get in touch when you are back and you have some time to meet.

Based on what you wrote above I suspect what was being presented was related to the station rebuild.

For those who are interested, here is a link to the main page for the station project. It has some artist impressions for the new concourse. From one of the images I would say the arches are not closed as much as they are windows from the interior to the street so light and views are possible. The arches are being used as the new station rather than other uses.

It is still rather early in the process as no plans have been formally released. I heard they would be out this week but I have not see anything. Maybe others know more.
Friday 1 July 2011 2.57pm
John_Corey wrote:
Orione,
Simon Bevan is the Head of Planning for Southwark. As such he would not have a project to present as his project. Can you tell me more about the project you are referring to?

John, I think the presentation on the London Bridge re-development, referred to above as connected with Simon Bevan, was at the BVAG Forum back in May, when Chris Drabble, as 'Senior Sponsor' of the LB Project ran through the concepts of the scheme. The thread relating to it can be found here
Friday 1 July 2011 3.25pm
John_Corey wrote:
From one of the images I would say the arches are not closed as much as they are windows from the interior to the street so light and views are possible. The arches are being used as the new station rather than other uses.

The image is of Tooley Street. Hopefully it will be the same for St Thomas St.
Friday 1 July 2011 4.43pm
Post from France... Allez London SE1!
what Janefs says is correct. In time and place when it happened. The updated timetable I have is however from Southwark office. Unfortunately the plan for st Thomas's is some kind of second league. But if you say it can be mended that would be fabulous. Will be in touch next week. Many Wishes.
Friday 1 July 2011 6.26pm
beetroot wrote:
John_Corey wrote:
From one of the images I would say the arches are not closed as much as they are windows from the interior to the street so light and views are possible. The arches are being used as the new station rather than other uses.

The image is of Tooley Street. Hopefully it will be the same for St Thomas St.

There are images representing both streets. You have to click to the next page to see St Thomas Street. Here is the direct link that shows three images (2 from outside, one an interior photo).
Monday 4 July 2011 2.08pm
Late to this, but....

If we look (just) over the river, Do the tall buildings around it make Leadenhall Market any less lovely and any less thriving a place?

Or is the big difference that fewer people live around the Leadenhall Market area?

Personally,we've got two huge great tower blocks on our estate, which have been there for nearly 50 years... and Guys has been around for donkeys'. Towers are part of the history of our area now!
Monday 4 July 2011 2.28pm
Tall buildings IMHO have many merits and a good one is always of benefit...but the location of tall buildings is very different from the building itself...something I have argued about previously.

The tall buildings you refer to are part of the wider area for sure, but they are all to the West of Weston Street which creates a noticable divide between the 2 sub areas.

Does Guy's Tower work well as a hospital...I don't know. The 2 tall buildings on the Kipling estate are, I am told, some of the most desired housing Southwark Council has and therfore I can only presume these do work well. All 3 buildings seem to work well with their surroundings too...Guy's as a working building in an area with good transport links and a lot of allied services in the other buildings, and the 2 Kilping buildings because whilst they offer dense housing they are not crowded out with dense housing all around them.

Some of the tall buildings suggested for St Thomas Street would be overcrowding and that is where the problem lies. It is difficult sometimes to separte the concepts of a tall building itself and that of the builing in-situ but in this case I think it is right to look at both issues. The Quill, for example, is deemed to not be in the conservation area by it being built before that area was designated...it does not mean the site should not be incoporated into the area and with that it would be very difficult to aregue its planning merits.

Other tall buildings along St Thomas Street (namely the 3 sisters for 1) simply wont fit...not in the physical sense...the buildings will get a footprint, but the flats within will have to be extreemley small and with that the numbers of people coming into the immediate area very large...to make them work finacially. Does this mean they will work for the area?

The new White Cube gallery is not seeking to extend the current building very much and should manage to complement the immediate area, both physically and intellectually, but the plan for very crowded housing in the site was thrown out a couple of years ago. Now we really need some more locally useful shops, as long as there are enough people willing to support them....a problem many communities have. The ever increasing dining offer is great, but maybe a butchers or deli would be nice too.
Monday 4 July 2011 7.15pm
As there was never a proposal for the 3 towers it is hard to say what they might have offered in terms of space or density. We can speculate as long as we recognize it is speculation not tied to any specific reality.

As to the mix of shops or other things in the area. One way to have a voice in the planning guidelines is to engage with the effort to develop a neighborhood plan. You can find out a bit more at the Facebook page YourBermondsey. The URL is in my signature.

Once argument for higher density is it is more or less a requirement to make mass transit work well. Concentrating housing and places of work in the shadow of a major transportation hub, London Bridge station, does help reduce the need for cars or other options. On the flip side, density can trigger issues when it comes to delivering goods and services each day. I am told that was the key aspect that stopped the prior project proposed for the site where the White Cube is developing their latest facility.
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