Southwark council accuses developer of carrying out illegal work at £200m housing scheme near Tower Bridge

Southwark council plans to take Berkeley Homes to the High Court over proposals for a £200m housing scheme near Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge

The South London council is taking action against the developer because it claims the company illegally erected hoardings and carried out works without consent on Potters Fields coach park.

The council, which owns half the plot, rejected a planning application to build 386 flats within a cluster of tall building on the four acre site because it said it wanted a major cultural centre on Potters Fields.

But John Prescott, then deputy prime minister, granted permission after an appeal in 2006.

Southwark maintains it will not sell its land to Berkeley because the development will not include cultural facilities.

At last year’s Labour conference Ken Livingstone accused the Liberal Democrat-run council of using the arts centre as an excuse to delay development and threatened to use a compulsory purchase order to make it sell.