On Tuesday 18 October, Snapdragon Consulting, in conjunction with Rolfe Judd, assembled an expert panel of speakers, including Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes, to discuss the future of development in Southwark, one of London’s busiest boroughs.
The discussion was opened up by Snapdragon Consulting’s Managing Director, Rebekah Paczek, who outlined the current regeneration areas being brought forward by Southwark and the political context within which these regeneration plans sit. One of these regeneration areas, the Old Kent Road, dominated much of the discussion, as attendees debated exactly how to deliver the 20,000 new homes and 5,000 additional jobs the council would like to see in the local area.
Sean Tickle and Euan MacGillivray, Directors at Rolfe Judd, set out the planning and design context in the borough and talked about the schemes they are currently working on in the Old Kent Road and beyond. Density, heights, and good design were among the issues both speakers talked about. The role of placemaking in areas like the Old Kent Road also featured in their contributions.
They were followed by Richard Kalmar, Managing Director of KALMARs and Chairman of the Southwark Chamber of Commerce, who charted the change in the borough over the previous three decades and the prospects for development in the coming decades. He also mused on the impact of Brexit in the local area and outlined why he felt Southwark was resilient to the fallout from the monumental decision taken in June 2016.
Our penultimate speaker was Angus Boag, Development Director at Workspace Group, who opened up his remarks by charting the company’s investment in Southwark, through its six Business Centres in the borough. London’s new and growing companies seem to like Southwark, he argued, and this was evidenced by recent deals for space at Workspace centres in the borough, such as Mozilla’s move to The Metal Box in London Bridge.
Our final speaker, Councillor Mark Williams, provided the council view on development and regeneration in Southwark. The council, he said, is ambitious in terms of the level of new jobs and new homes it wishes to see across the borough. He stressed the importance of developers working in collaboration with local communities and the council to bring forward planning applications, and finished his remarks by challenging audience members engaged in projects in the Old Kent Road to think about how development in the area can enhance the lives of existing communities and accommodate existing businesses in the area.
The message from the session was clear: Southwark is a borough to watch in the coming decades, and there are plenty of opportunities for developers to bring forward well-designed planning applications, with the support of the council and local councils. We will watch to see how that unfolds.
Snapdragon Consulting are a Southwark based Built Environment communications consultancy. We are proud members of the Southwark Chamber of Commerce, and we are working with developers and land owners on projects in the Old Kent Road and across the rest of Southwark.
If you would like to talk to us about a project in the Borough, please call us on 020 3176 4161