A mere 35 homes - eight of them for social rent - are now proposed for the Transport for London-owned site in Southwark Street where Mayor of London Sadiq Khan once claimed that 120 homes could be built.
Within days of taking office as Mayor in 2016, Sadiq Khan visited the Landmark Court site in Southwark Street – an open yard owned by Transport for London and used for parking and storage – for a photo opportunity to launch his plans to use public land to help tackle the capital's housing crisis.
The Mayor's office issued a press release on that day describing the Southwark Street site as "land [Mr Khan] believes is ripe for using to build at least 120 new homes".
The press release continued: "Sadiq Khan has pledged to build new homes on land owned by City Hall, including Transport for London land, and intends to fast-track scores of sites, like Landmark Court, that are suitable for development, but not utilised by the previous mayor."
The number of homes proposed at Landmark Court has fluctuated since that point, dropping to 80 by the summer of 2017 when Triangle Housing Developments – a consortium of U+I and Notting Hill Housing – was selected as TfL's development partner.
Living Bankside (formerly Bankside Residents' Forum) tried to persuade Southwark Council and TfL to explore the options for a community-led project to build affordable housing on the site, inspired by the efforts of Coin Street Community Builders and Leathermarket Community Benefit Society elsewhere in SE1.
As recently as last October, U+I was proposing "up to 100 new homes in a range of sizes and tenures".
This weekend the latest designs were shown at a public consultation, and the number of homes proposed has dropped to just 35, including eight for social rent and four for discounted sale.
Since the last public consultation in the autumn, the proposed heights of the buildings have also been reduced, with the tallest element being 10 storeys near the junction of Southwark Street and Redcross Way.
U+I now describes the scheme as comprising "around 18,000 sq m of new office space, plus retail, cafes, restaurants and workspace facilitating up to 1,500 jobs".
The new buildings have been designed by Allies & Morrison. A planning application is expected to be submitted shortly.
Crossbones Garden – on the site of the paupers' graveyard excavated in the 1990s during work on the Jubilee line extension – will be retained and upgraded as part of the scheme.
• The display panels exhibited at the consultation event can be viewed at www.landmarkcourtsouthwark.co.uk
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