May 2019 - Current Planning Applications

If you could support objections to the two planning applications below that would be great!

1. Former NatWest Bank - 290 Walworth Rd and 2 & 6 Carter Place (19/AP/0442)

This is an important site on the Walworth Road and the location of the former NatWest Bank at the corner of Carter Place. This development includes 2 and 6 Carter Place (Carter Place used to run all the way west through to the Beehive PH on Penrose St). While neglected, these are some of the oldest buildings in our area and also lie within the Walworth Road Conservation Area.

Below is what the site looks likes (pic taken in 2012 when the bank was still open):

...and this is what is proposed:

If you would like to object, then here is our quick guide:

1. Go to:

and enter 19/AP/0442 in the search box (you can see all of the documents associated with the application here).

2. Go to the box "Make a comment", enter your personal details (these are not displayed publicly by Southwark Council when they show the comment itself). Our suggested themes for objecting are as follows - if you could make these sound a bit personal then all the better!

a. The Impact on the Walworth Road Conservation Area. The adopted Conservation Area Appraisal identifies the NatWest building as significant and describes it (in conjunction with the Barclays Bank building at 256-260 Walworth Road) as “The two purpose-built bank buildings dating from the late 19th to early 20th century are notable contributors to the character of this part of the conservation area". 

The significance of the NatWest Bank architecture is destroyed by the removal of the pitched roof and by the proposal which completely swamps and overpowers the existing building.

The two cottages on Carter Place are marked on the 1840 Daines Map, a hand-drawn surveyed map of Walworth. Although altered on the interior and used as the offices for the bank, the fabric is mid-C18th and worthy of retention.

Overall this proposed development causes substantial harm to the Walworth Road Conservation Area.

b. Gross Overdevelopment. The gross overdevelopment proposed means that important architectural features of the building such as the roof are lost and the building is dwarfed by the proposed extension. This development proposes flats that are inappropriate for inhabitation with for example single aspect dark studio dwellings at basement and ground level. The lightwell into the basement flat is surrounded by bedrooms at ground floor level and living area at basement level. This means that the ligthwell is open to misuse - throwing rubbish into it will land outside the living room of the flat. Bedrooms at street level will have to have their curtains permanently drawn as passersby will be able to look into the bedrooms directly.

c. Design Quality. The horizontal emphasis in the design proposal means that the bank building becomes dwarfed and this is not an appropriate treatment of the building. There is a lack of proper amenity for the eight flats and no precedent for usable balconies overlooking the Walworth Road. The design fails to animate the street frontage of Carter Place. There will only be one entrance off it into the flats; other openings will be bin stores and lighting voids to the basement flats. This will lead to anti-social behaviour and further reduction in the quality of this important walking route between the Walworth Road and the communities and estates of West Walworth.

The full WS objection to this application appears in the file below:

2. The Leather Warehouse - Vinegar Yard, just off St Thomas St and in the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area (19/AP/0404).

Not in our area but we agreed at our last WS meeting to support the Bermondsey Village Action Group and Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum in trying to object to the destruction of one of the last remaining pieces of Victorian commercial architecture in the St Thomas St area west of Bermondsey Street. This is particuarly sad given the enormous public campaign in 2017 that managed to persuade Southwark Council in the New Southwark Plan to "retain and enhance" the warehouse. As the images below show, what is proposed is some distance from "retain and enhance".

The warehouse is a highly distinctive example of local Victorian history and industry and almost all of this is lost in this facade retention. While the most obvious loss is the exterior, destroyed too would be a characterful interior including a rare hydraulic chain and derrick hoist system. If redeveloped sympathetically the warehouse would be ideal to meet the demand for refurbished warehouse space as studio offices.

The current building is shown below:

The treatment proposed in the planning application is shown below:

If you would like to object, the planning application reference is 19/AP/0404 and below is a flyer that BVAG and OBVF have produced suggesting some grounds on which you might like to object. There is a clever QR code on the document that takes you straight to the planning website if you are able to make use of that.

Some of the themes that you might like use to object include:

1. This development is contrary to the New Southwark Plan designation and does not retain and enhance a building which was identified as making a positive contribution to the area and which is an unlisted heritage asset and this development would result in its destruction.

2. This development does not enhance and retain the historically significant and original interior of the Leather Warehouse and instead proposes its total demolition including its hydraulic chain and derrick hoist.

3. The Leather Warehouse sits in the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area and this development of in excess of 15 storeys will cause substantial harm to the Conservation Area which comprises mostly Victorian buildings of 4-5 floors or less. The proposed materials are out of keeping with those which characterise the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area.


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