Looking north on Ilderton Road, image credit Stich Architects.

Builders Merchant Proposes 179 New Flats Above Southwark Flagship Store

Plans submitted by Twenty Twenty Ilderton Wharf Limited and SGBD Property Holdings Limited (Jewsons property holdings), for the demolition of the existing Jewson hardware store for a mixed-use development comprising parts; 9, 23, and 25 stories above the ground to provide new replacement builders merchants.

The nationwide chain of builders merchants is proposing to pivot away from a system whereby its central urban sites store large amounts of building materials, to one where they provide a greater amount of information services such as quantity surveying, design, and consultation alongside a degree of ancillary storage and sales, within mixed-use residential schemes. This will be a flagship for the retailer with over 500 branches across the UK, a testbed for its new company model.

The 0.36-hectare site is situated on the eastern side of the Ilderton Road and to the north of Surrey Canal Road in the authority of the London Borough of Southwark and the Old Kent Road Ward.

In regards to public transport accessibility, South Bermondsey with a 15-minute frequency to London Bridge is 600m north of the site with a bus service to Surrey Quays.

The site currently has a Public Transport Access Level (PTAL) rating of 2, this is expected to rise further with the eventual building of New Bermondsey served by the London Overground and a possible extension of the Bakerloo Line.

However, the Mayor of London has warned back in December that the £3.1bn extensions from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham may not go ahead as Transport for London lacks the sufficient money to progress the scheme.

The proposed scheme, image credit Stitch Architects.

During the period of pre-application, the scheme has been reduced in height from 14 to 9 floors for block A and Block B from 28 floors to parts 23 and 25 stories.

This corresponds to a reduction in the number of new homes from 202 to 170 alongside an increase in the number of family-sized homes within the scheme from 16% to 20.6% (including 21 3-bedrooms and 14 4-bedroom homes).

The residential segment of this scheme provides, 40.3% affordable housing by habitable room, including 25.3% “social rent” and 15% “intermediate tenures”.

Consequently, this equates to 35 new homes for Social Rent, 26 for Intermediate which is often Shared Ownership, and 109 for the private market.

With the exception of two on-site disabled parking spaces the scheme will be car-free, this is alongside 328 cycle spaces (322 long stay and 6 short stay spaces).

Ariel view from the north in emerging context, image credit Stich Architects.

The site’s location within an Opportunity Area, a “tall building” is considered to be acceptable in principle. Whilst the adopted development plan does not specifically identify the site as suitable for a tall building, the emerging Old Kent Road Area Action Plan (OKRAAP) states that “there is scope for taller buildings on the east side of Ilderton Road” and a “Tier 2” building (defined as between 16 and 20 floors).

Whilst the proposed height exceeds the Tier 2 threshold, it is considered to be acceptable for the following reasons. Firstly site which is within the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area is to see considerable redevelopment with numerous tall buildings. This includes 79-161 Ilderton Road and 227-255 Ilderton Road as well as the recently approved masterplan at New Bermondsey to the east of the site.

The proposed scheme has a density of 499 dwellings or 1,486 habitable rooms per hectare when measured using the GLA’s formula for mixed-use developments.

Finally, whilst there are no statutory designated sites for nature conservation within 2km of the site. The site is, however, located immediately west of the Senegal Railway Brough Grade II site of Intrest of Nature Conservation (SINC), which has the potential to support a range of species including reptiles, nesting birds, and foraging/commuting bats, however, this is significantly impacted by railway activity.

The scheme also includes the addition of sensitive lighting along the boundary with the SINC, as well as the bird and bat boxes and insect hotels that in conjunction with the proposed planting and landscaping, could potentially provide a net gain in biodiversity and Urban Greening Factor score of 0.37. This supplemented by a BREEAM Pre-Assessment relates to the proposed commercial workspace and demonstrates a likely BREEAM score of over 70% (“Excellent”) under the current design proposals.