Background: the area today

South Bermondsey is segregated by railway lines and contains industrial sheds and yards with some late 20th century housing surrounding the industrial estates.

South Bermondsey rail station provides a regular, direct service into central London and connects the area with neighbourhoods further afield throughout south east London. Ilderton Road and Rotherhithe New Road provide the main routes for the bus network and for the HGVs that serve the industrial estates.

Between the railway viaducts is the busy Bermondsey Trading Estate. Providing space in warehouses and arches, it hosts a variety of businesses, including metal works; breweries; skilled trades; masonry; food production and distribution as well as a recording studio / rehearsal space and equipment hire. 

Also amongst the sheds and arches is the ‘Bermondsey Dive Under’, a Network Rail project which will improve the efficiency of the train services and open up opportunities for new employment spaces in both Southwark and Lewisham.

To the north is the Rotherhithe Business Estate which has well maintained, relatively modern industrial units and railway arches. The Admiral Hyson Estate to the east and the Galleywall Trading Estate to the north contain several warehouses which are home to printing, logistics and distribution companies. The records archive for the Church of England is also located in the Galleywall Trading Estate. 

The northern face of the viaduct has a continuous run of railway arches along Silwood Street and Raymouth Road. Some of these are recently refurbished while others are older, and most are occupied. To the south are many large arches in poor condition. These are currently used as shelter for construction and building materials by Network Rail and its partners.

The housing is a varied mix, from maisonettes and tower blocks on the post-war Rennie Estate, to 80s and 90s low rise and low density suburban style housing. Some are built on the former Bricklayers Arms railway sidings. Cycle Quietway 1 runs through the housing estates and follows the old railway viaduct across Rotherhithe New Road to South Bermondsey station along to Lewisham and beyond. 

There’s a small parade of shops at South Bermondsey station on Ilderton Road and some shops to the north on Rotherhithe New Road. However there aren’t many shops and services in the area for local residents and workers.

The plan

South Bermondsey will continue to thrive as a centre of employment for a range of industrial and light industrial uses. Additional industrial and warehousing space will be provided  and it will be important to ensure that the right type, size and quality of spaces are provided for the types of businesses which are vital to serving and maintaining central London’s economy.

Our plan encourages more industrial business use through the development of mezzanines and multi-storey schemes and the introduction of small units and basements. We also want to use land more efficiently and get more use out of the same amount of space.

Beyond the employment sites themselves, it’s essential that the local area and infrastructure can support these functions at the same time as providing a pleasant, safe and convenient environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Elsewhere in the borough, we’ve already started work on the Low Line – a new walking route alongside the railway viaducts which connect the neighbourhoods of north Southwark.

This area will remain primarily industrial, so the number of new homes built in South Bermondsey will be limited to infill sites in the surrounding area.

Our plan encourages more industrial business for South Bermondsey. The area will continue to thrive as a centre of employment.