More than 1,500 homes and new school set for former biscuit factory

The site of a former biscuit factory in Southwark is set to be transformed into more than 1,500 homes and new buildings for a local secondary school under plans approved today by the Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe.

All of the 1,548 new homes to be built as part of the redevelopment of the Biscuit Factory and Bermondsey Campus in Southwark will be for the rental market – of which 35 per cent will be affordable housing, including homes at social rent levels.

The plans also include new facilities for the Compass Secondary School, as well as flexible commercial space – including affordable workspaces – and two new pedestrian routes through nearby railway arches.

Southwark Council refused permission for the scheme in February 2019, saying the plans would not deliver enough affordable housing and that the homes would not be of sufficient quality.

The Mayor saw the application last May and decided to take it over to subject it to further scrutiny. Since his intervention, the number of homes has been increased from 1,342 homes to 1,548 and the level of affordable housing has been boosted from 27.5 per cent to 35 per cent.

Of the affordable homes, 342 will be offered at discount market rent (a level of rent significantly below the market average) and 140 at social rent levels (for tenants referred via local authority).

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The site has the potential to deliver more than 1,500 new homes in an area of London with a high demand for affordable housing, close to transport links and central London.

“It will also provide new facilities for a secondary school which is currently housed in dated buildings.

“Overall, it would make a significant contribution towards the regeneration of this part of Bermondsey. Having considered all the evidence available to me, I have decided to approve this application.”