South London job designed by KPF

Four firms are in the running to build one of first phases at Grosvenor’s £500m build-to-rent scheme in Bermondsey on the site of an old biscuit factory, Building understands.

The south London scheme was given the green light earlier this year after the project was called in and taken over by the mayor of London last May.

The 1,548 homes development on the site of an old Peek Freans biscuit factory has since increased the amount of affordable housing after it was turned down for planning by Southwark council last year.

Balfour Beatty and Multiplex, the remaining two bidders for Qatari Diar’s £400m scheme to turn the former US embassy in London into a luxury hotel, are believed to have been joined on the shortlist by Mace and Wates.

The £90m job being bid involves turning the former biscuit factory building into a mix of retail, cultural and community space at ground floor, with office and residential above.

Keltbray has been on site since the summer carrying out demolition and enabling works for the first phase.

The first phase also involves building a 600-place secondary school which is due to be completed in September 2023. The school, designed by Cotrell & Vermuelen, is not part of the deal Balfour Beatty and the three others are bidding. The overall first phase is due to complete in late 2027.

Plans for the entire development were first submitted to Southwark in autumn 2017 but thrown out when the council said the development, designed by KPF, failed “to provide the maximum reasonable amount of affordable housing and the affordable housing offered would be at a cost which would not be affordable to those in greatest housing need”.

The level was then increased from 27.5% to 35%, meeting the council’s minimum requirement threshold. Deputy mayor Jules Pipe approved the plans in February.

The Bermondsey scheme, which Grosvenor have been working on for the past seven years, will also have new play and public spaces, pedestrian routes and 150,000ft² of employment space.

Others working on the deal include QS Tower 8, project manager Gardiner & Theobald, civil engineer Arup and structural engineer WSP. The consulting arm of Mace was hired to provide a construction management plan for the masterplan.