Background: the area today

The north end of Old Kent Road contains the area’s oldest buildings and local shops, services and restaurants, serving a wide range of food. The Thomas a Beckett pub, famous for its boxing gym, overlooks the eastern entrance to Burgess Park, the largest open space and leisure destination in the north of Southwark.

Surrounding residential neighbourhoods are mixed in character with a combination of late 20th century council housing, older Victorian terraces, historic railway buildings and new council homes on Willow Walk. Quietway 1 is a major cycling route running along tree-lined Willow Walk on the northern edge of the industrial estate.

North of Old Kent Road, traditional industry has largely been replaced by high value storage and distribution uses that serve central London (including specialist art storage for the Tate). In recent years, creative businesses have been established in the older industrial sites at the Rich Estate and Crimscott Street; taking advantage of their proximity to central London.

The area has some challenges, for example the retail stores, car parking and the road gyratory on Dunton Road, Humphrey Street and Mandela Way create an unattractive environment, particularly for people walking and cycling. The Mandela Way Estate makes it difficult to cross the area and the high street suffers from air and noise pollution.

The plan

Mandela Way will combine distribution and residential land uses at a scale not seen before in the capital – transforming the area into an integral part of central London.

This will include:

  • new homes around a new park at the centre of the site (Mandela Way Park)
  • a new primary school
  • a mix of new employment spaces

The retail area around Tesco will become a vibrant hub for Old Kent Road.

The new Bakerloo line station proposed for the site, combined with wide pavements and new shops, will help to make this part of Old Kent Road a proper local high street.

No longer dominated by traffic, it will become a destination for pedestrians, with new shops (including a replacement supermarket), leisure facilities, offices and new homes. We will also ensure Burgess Park has a much stronger presence – with improved crossings to connect it to a large square near the new station.

We also want to remove the gyratory road system to create a place that’s much easier and much more attractive to walk around and cycle.

Mandela Way will combine distribution and residential land uses at a scale not seen before in London
Creative businesses are taking advantage of Old Kent Road's central London location.
Creative businesses are taking advantage of Old Kent Road's central London location.