More social housing and second staircases added to South London development 

Revised plans for a build-to-rent development on the site of a former biscuit factory in south London have been approved by Southwark council. 

Developer Greystar, which bought the site from Grosvenor Estates in October 2022, has made a series of changes to a planning consent obtained by the previous owner. 

Greystar Bermondsey scheme - street view (4)

Source: Project Mango/Greystar

How the proposed scheme will look

Under the new plans, the total number of homes will be increased from 1,536 to 1,624, with the number of homes for social rent also increasing to 338 in total. 

The changes will also see the scheme’s fire strategy enhanced, with a second staircase core added to each of the two buildings in the development, while the urban greening factory has also been increased with a greater number of trees proposed. 

Planning officers noted that there had also been some negative changes to the scheme, with the quality of some market housing reduced on the original design, including more single aspect units and fewer balconies.  

Grosvenor’s initial plans for the 5.4ha site, which lies between a rail line and Clements Road, have had a difficult planning history.  

Initially submitted in 2017, the scheme was rejected by the local council on the basis that it did not supply enough affordable housing.  

It was subsequently approved by the Greater London Authority in 2020 after changes to the application.   

Grosvenor has already made some progress on the scheme, including the construction of a new secondary school which was part of the original plans.  

Demolition and preparatory earthworks have also taken place across large parts of the site. 

While KPF was responsible for the designs drawn up for Grosvenor, there are three architects working on Greystar’s team.  

HTA worked on the masterplan and landscapes, while the buildings have been designed by a combination of HTA, Hawkins Brown and Arney Fender Katsalidis. 

>> Also read: London Plan review says Khan’s strategy ‘frustrates brownfield delivery’

>> London contractors battling to fill order books as orders slip, Aecom report warns 

Dan Thompson, managing director of development at Greystar, said: “Our scheme in Bermondsey has been purpose-designed with renters in mind, leveraging our 30 years of experience providing high-quality homes for occupiers around the world.  

“London in particular is facing an acute shortage of homes, and by delivering new, purpose-built rental homes in town centre locations, we can help to alleviate this pressure while putting disused, brownfield land to use as much-needed new housing stock.”