BY TOBY PORTER
Residents are being asked to comment on plans that could see the regeneration of one of Europe’s longest roads to create a new town.
People are being encouraged to have their say on how the Old Kent Road could look as the town hall opens its latest round of public consultation.
Proposals to create a own centre along the Old Kent Road would include:
- 20,000 homes, 7,000 of which will be affordable – about two-thirds of those will be social rented and the rest intermediate rents
- 10,000 jobs
- A further education college
- Three Tube stations on the Bakerloo line extension
- A health centre
- A major cultural attraction
- Parks and green spaces
- A secondary school, two primary schools and expansions to nine existing primary school in the area.
The consultation plan also proposes a large scale mixed use development and the potential for a local lettings scheme, to ensure a proportion of the new homes will be prioritised for residents in housing need, which has never been done on this scale.
Councillor Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “We know we need to be ambitious if we want to meet the need for more housing in London, while at the same time increasing employment opportunities and designing new neighbourhoods that deliver new open spaces, community facilities, improvements to air quality and a shift to sustainable travel like walking and cycling.
“The Old Kent Road Area Action Plan meets all this, effectively building a new town in central London, delivered by re-designating industrial land to mixed use.
“The proposals do not affect existing housing land. We have already spent a long time speaking to people about the plans and hearing what their main concerns and priorities are, and we are continuing to develop the plan to ensure it delivers maximum benefit to existing residents.
“This revised version has taken into account issues raised in earlier consultations, especially around traffic congestion, pollution and tall buildings.
“The latest version provides greater clarity as to the scale and location of tall buildings, with building heights stepping down towards existing residential neighbourhoods.
“It also includes more green spaces and introduces measures to reduce traffic such as promoting car-free development.
“We also recognise the importance of business and industry in the Old Kent Road, contributing to the local economy and playing a key part in the servicing of central London, and have included more detail in our policies about providing affordable workspace, particularly to encourage rents suitable for the continuation of existing businesses as well as workspace providers which manage space on a non-profit basis to support small businesses and start-ups.
“We are very keen for people to give us their views on the revised proposals and I would encourage people from all over the borough, but particularly those who live or work in the area to take part in the consultation.”
Thousands have signed a petition calling for a Tube station on the Bakerloo line extension at Bricklayers’ Arms, with Transport for London (TfL) to decide shortly.
TfL has held a public consultation on extending the Bakerloo line from the Elephant & Castle to Lewisham.
The consultation closed in April 2017 and TfL asked for people’s opinions on sites for new stations, but so far has only proposed stations near Tesco Old Kent Road and near Toys’R’Us.
But campaigners say Tesco is too far from the Elephant & Castle for many people and little use for many around Tower Bridge Road and in Walworth.
They claim current plans would probably mean a ventilation shaft will be built at Bricklayers’ Arms – all the disruption that a major construction project brings but with no station.
Homes and businesses along the street are now selling for millions – and plots along the route are now estimated to be worth a total of £354million, according to research from online casino Casumo.com
That means the Old Kent Road is no longer Monopoly’s bargain buy, with skyrocketing land prices valuing it at hundreds of millions. Land prices in the Old Kent Road, which is the longest road on the board, used to be the least expensive. but are now worth an estimated £354million – placing it 16th on the list of the streets on the game board.
People can see the proposed documents and reply to the consultation on the council’s website at www.southwark.gov.uk/oldkentroad-consultation or call into one of the drop-in sessions to see the plans and chat to council staff.
Drop in sessions will be taking place on:
Tuesday, February 6, from 4.30pm to 8.30pm at The Drawing Room,
Unit 8 Rich Estate, 46 Willow Walk, SE1 5SF.
Wednesday, March 7, from 4.30pm to 8.30pm at Christ Church Peckham,
676-680 Old Kent Road, SE15 1JF.
The consultation ends on March 21, 2018.