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.
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.