Public Meeting with Southwark Council summary - Help shape the BFE future planning policy

The meeting with Southwark Council planners was well attended by roughly 80 traders and residents.  Attendees voiced their concerns about:
  • how the Council will protect the character of the site and potential change of use if the site is subject to a development proposal
  • the height of any potential residential development
  • pedestrian and vehicle access
The planners explained that Southwark’s site plan for the Bath Factory Estate (BFE) is a framework policy in progress as part of a wider review of sites in Southwark identified as having development potential.  It in no way suggests that the Council is leading/promoting/initiating any redevelopment.  They stressed that there are no plans to redevelop the estate which have been formulated by the Council, the land owners (Network Rail) or the landlord (May Investments Limited). 
At this stage, it is important that the Council is aware of what the community wants/doesn’t want.  Their document attached here -  nsp_hhnf_consultation_presentation_pw.pptx sets out their understanding of the characteristics of the area but they are keen to learn the ideas of the community, both supportive and opposing.
The consultation on the proposed site allocation presents an opportunity for local stakeholders to contribute towards a strategic vision for the area and the site. A site allocation sets out principles or rules that must be taken into account in the event that a landowner brings a site forward for redevelopment. It is an opportunity to shape the future of the site in a way that complements and integrates into its existing context and could achieve some of the aspirations of local stakeholders. The absence of a site allocation does not preclude any development, it just means development proposals would be assessed against more generic borough-wide policy.
Key points from the attendees:
  • the majority (approximately 96%) would be opposed to any residential higher than 2 floors
  • about 50% would like to see the current businesses and business uses protected
  • nearly everyone would be in favour of opening access on BFE for pedestrian traffic
Deadline for this stage of the consultation closes on 28 April.   See here for details -  If you miss the 28 April deadline, please email as soon as possible.  Southwark are prepared to accept comments until the next consultation stage, when more details will be developed.
With an interest in facilitating engagement between Southwark Council and local businesses and residents, the Herne Hill Forum aims to be involved through the consultation process including development of the plan.