Berkeley Homes’ £11m pledge towards affordable housing elsewhere in Borough helps secure approval

Berkeley Homes’ controversial One Tower Bridge scheme has got the go-ahead from the London Borough of Southwark.

The project, which involves plans for 400 homes, including 43 affordable units, a boutique hotel and a cultural centre is located on derelict land at Potters Fields.

Since Berkeley argued that the profit margin on the project was insufficient to increase the number of affordable homes on the site, an agreement was made with the Council that it would invest a further £10.5m towards such schemes elsewhere in the Borough.

Councillor Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I am pleased that planning approval has been granted that will transform this wasteland that has blighted the most historic part of the borough for so many years.

“This is good news not only for the north of the borough, but the 10 million pounds that we have secured to bring forward other affordable housing schemes will potentially bring benefits to all communities in Southwark.”

However, the scheme has been the subject of criticism from CABE, which last year said that it didn’t believe it would present a “powerful enough presence that can hold its own in the string of major cultural buildings along the South Bank.”

The agency went on to say: “We are nervous that the cultural space might become, for example, commercial floor space, and hope that the cultural use will be safeguarded.”

However, a statement from the Council argued that the scheme would deliver a cultural space of “regional/national/international significance”.

Berkeley Homes was unavailable for comment.