Background: the area today

The former gasworks dominates this part of Old Kent Road.

A large part of this site is occupied by Southwark’s Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) and the New Cross Electricity Substation. The remaining gasholders are no longer used to store gas.

There’s a mix of medium and large industrial units between Verney Road and Old Kent Road which accommodate around 57 businesses and 1,600 jobs.

The Canal Grove Cottages provide a reminder of the area’s heritage and the mature trees, around the cottages, create a lovely setting which is visible up and down Old Kent Road. However, because of the area’s industrial heritage around the former canal and gasworks, there isn’t much open space here and there are no north-south routes between St James’s Road and Ilderton Road.

The north side of Old Kent Road is very fragmented. Bomb damage and road widening led to the demolition and replacement of Georgian and Victorian terraces with large retail stores. However, one Georgian house survives, as well as some later Edwardian commercial buildings.

The south side of Old Kent Road has a much more established frontage which features some handsome buildings, including Christ Church, the former Livesey Museum and the Royal London buildings.

The plan

This area will be transformed into a mixed new neighbourhood with a diverse range of uses. 

Although its character will change, it will continue to provide lots of jobs in a range of business spaces, including standalone industrial buildings; large warehouses (integrated into mixed use buildings) and small and medium sized industrial spaces and offices. 

There will also be new parks, a secondary school, an indoor sports hall and potentially a health hub. All of which, when combined with better access to the shops and services on Old Kent Road and a short walk to the proposed new tube station, will ensure the area is a great place to live and work.

The scale of development will have a central London character.

Like much of London, there will be contrasts between big and small and old and new to help create a rich and varied character. The buildings and landscape that stay, such as the Canal Grove cottages and their surrounding trees and cobbled road, the Royal London Buildings and the gasometer will all help to shape the area’s changing identity.

The Surrey Canal Park will pass through here and new neighbourhoods will be created along its route; creating new jobs, new homes and a new secondary school.