The New Southwark Plan: Area Vision for Camberwell

The New Southwark Plan is Southwark’s strategy for regeneration across the borough up to 2033. The plan has been in development for a few years now, with much of the work to date covering the future of the borough as a whole. This week saw the release of the Area Visions and Site Allocations [PDF] — details of the development opportunities in each major area.

We, of course, only care about Camberwell.

In total, the plan for Camberwell offers the potential for some 1,920 new homes, many new or repurposed small business units, and even a few new public open spaces.

Central to the plan is the reopening of Camberwell Station. There’s a lot of residential development in the rest of the plan, so avoiding congestion on existing services is necessary. The plan says that a feasibility review with TfL is still ongoing, although it wasn’t mentioned in the most recent business plan [PDF], and I’ve heard they’re ‘lukewarm’ on the idea.

Photo by Megan Whewell.

The area around the station would be much regenerated. There could be 395 new homes on light industrial land near Warner Road, and the site currently occupied by the Royal Mail sorting office and the Camberwell Bus Garage (both would probably be retained in some form). Directly opposite the new station entrance there’s proposed to be a new public space surrounded by shops, cafes, or bars.

The railway arches around the station would be ‘transformed into a vibrant cluster’ of businesses including ‘leisure, retail and employment uses’. This is part of Southwark’s broader plan for the Low Line, a series of walking routes that follow the principal railway lines through the borough. In our case, they would go from here to Bankside, via the Walworth Road and Elephant & Castle. This would create many new spaces for small businesses in the area.

The Abellio Bus Garage, on the north side of Camberwell New Road, has also been marked as suitable for redevelopment, with scope for 325 new homes and a small public space near Camberwell Road. There’s a question mark over whether this and the main bus garage would remain, but I’d imagine they would in some form — I don’t know where else all the buses would go.

Two local business parks in the area are mentioned. The Valmar Trading Estate, off Valmar Road, should keep half of its small business floorspace along with some 80 new homes. But it’s the Burgess Business Park that could see the biggest changes, with almost 500 new homes on the site — although, somehow, expanding the footprint of small business space available.

Very big changes could be afoot in the very centre of Camberwell, as Butterfly Walk and the Morrison’s car park area are up for redevelopment. While shops and a supermarket should be retained, some 340 new homes and a 2,000m² new public space could be built there.

As well as the area around Camberwell Station Road, there are two other main regions marked as suitable for development. The first is along Camberwell Road, around Wyndham Road / Bowyer Place, where the Iceland site and the Wesson Mead precinct (where Zeret Kitchen sits) could support some 160 new homes between them. The other area is to the east, around Lomond Grove, which could see some 115 new homes.

I should be clear at this point that this is all just Southwark’s preferred option, and the plan may not come to pass in this way. That said, it’s interesting to see where their current thinking lies. If you’re interested in knowing more I suggest you look through the document yourself, and perhaps consider keeping an eye on the forthcoming public consultation.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

12 thoughts on “The New Southwark Plan: Area Vision for Camberwell”

  1. Good post, Peter. Pretty much a long-term view, but you have to start somewhere.

    There’s a lot of residential development underway in Camberwell, especially in what I think you’d call North Camberwell around Benhill Road and Havil Street. I guess these are the result of a 10-year plan formulated back in the day.

  2. Yes it is a plan but they have failed yet to run the ideas past the people who own the buildings …like Butterfly Walk and dont see any new schools , doctors surgeries , bus services to service all these people . Someone was writing this on drugs …its just fantasy . I live in the building that is surrounded by the 5 year building site and we will fight them to the death

  3. @Bea Don’t panic. It’s more of a wish list. It’s more of a contingency and a starting point if these places do come up for redevelopment.

    It’s also at the consultation stage so if you have any thoughts, now is the time to get in there!

    On another point, Camberwell Magistrates Court is likely to be closed if the “consultation” that just finished is anything to go by. If you haven’t been there, go and check it out. The mural in the main lobby is amazing. It should be listed, and I do think there is an opportunity for some public use instead.

  4. Two new shops have opened on Denmark Hill right next to each other. One at 47, a ‘pop up’ selling various objects; the other, what looks like a cafe called Mono (not sure this is actually open yet).

  5. That is very mono, Peter. You go in, they ask black or white? You say in a dull, robotically even tone:

    “No, mono. I want mono. Give me mono.”

    There are 40 different toxins in coffee, it really is remarkable stuff. I’ve noticed there are five full points before “Etc.” in the sign for the fancy goods shop on Denmark Hill, thus:


    Passing Noodles City by the Green, I notice it is hard to say. Noodles, new “s”, city. It should really be “Noodle City” but after all that fuss about changing it from “Noodels” maybe it’s OK, and we should merely pronounce it “Noodleses’ City”.

    Troubel is with being pernickety and particular, pedantic, a stickler and an apostrophe fiddler, is that you turn your back these days in Camberwell to consider the question of some cedilla — and a whole block of luxury apartments has been released behind you.

    Well, people must live somewhere, why not Camberwell? It is a wonderful part of London.

    Let us not forget as the rugger approaches and England face Wales in Cardiff that our name means “Well where the Welsh live,” the Welsh being the original English, called “Welsh” by the incoming Germans.

    1. Hello! Does anyone remember me? I’m still here! Just off Southampton Way, still neither here nor there, kinda SE5 and kinda Se15! So glad you’re still blogging Peter! And that you guys are still posting Monkeycat and Dagmar! I have two little girls now, and have just published my first volume of poetry. X

    1. completely agree about bins. It’s a kerbside waste management strategy that’s needed. Perhaps even a pavementwide one.

  6. Amanda Fuller, of course we remember you. Thank you for bringing two girls into the world and into Camberwell. Where can we see your poetry?

  7. Great to see investment and new ideas coming to Camberwell.
    Hope suggested plans to re-open Camberwell train station goes ahead.
    The suggestion of new small business opportunities will hopefully enable local people not only the ability to set up a business but also to gain employment. I am reading a lot of proposals on the Southwark web site and hope all suggestions are given the go ahead.. Incl new cycle and walking / pedestrian ways, making access easier and safer.

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