Southwark Council’s Cabinet has approved the purchase of the former Toys R Us site at 760 Old Kent Road, currently home to Lidl supermarket.
Buying this land will help to safeguard the route of the proposed Bakerloo line extension from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham via Old Kent Road.
It also presents an opportunity for the council to build at least 500 new homes and more shops and restaurants.
The Toys R Us site has long been identified as a key location for the Bakerloo line extension. By securing the site for one of potentially three new Tube stations for Old Kent Road, this acquisition brings the prospect of the Bakerloo line extension another step closer.
In the meantime, the site will generate a substantial income for the council – one which which is expected to increase over time, especially when the land is eventually redeveloped.
The site is currently home to a Lidl supermarket, which opened last February. However, under the terms of its lease, Lidl has agreed to vacate the site to enable redevelopment when the time comes.
The purchase of this key site demonstrates that both Southwark Council and TfL remain committed to the prospect of the Bakerloo line extension, including new stations on Old Kent Road.
20,000 new homes
The need to build new homes is at the heart of the council’s plans to regenerate the Old Kent Road area.
At least 9,000 new homes are due to be built in the area by 2035 but – by ensuring the Bakerloo line extension is delivered – the council can increase this total to at least 20,000 new homes (and ensure they are built sooner, too). Out of these 20,000 new homes, 35 per cent (around 7,000) would be affordable housing, including 5,000 at social rent.
TfL would build, own and manage the proposed new Tube station at the Toys R Us site – provisionally known as Asylum station – while the council has retained the rights to development.
By developing above and around the new station, Southwark expects to be able to build at least 500 new homes onsite as well as new shops and restaurants.
The decision to purchase the site was agreed by the council’s Cabinet at a meeting on 20 October 2020.
Read more about the benefits of regenerating Old Kent Road