Two major developments with the potential to transform SE16 have recently got their own websites.
The proposal of a bridge spanning the river Thames between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf has been given recent prominence by mention in HM Treasury’s National Infrastructure Plan 2014. The bridge is proposed to be a cycle and pedestrian bridge between Durrands Park on Rotherhithe Street and the West India Dock Impounding Station in Canary Wharf. The idea has arisen from Sustrans the national charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport. They noted that the growth in population to the east of Tower Bridge had not been met with adequate options for bicycles and pedestrians to cross the river. More bridges are needed and given the huge proposed increase in Rotherhithe’s population in the next ten years, a bridge is needed to reduce the pressure on the Jubilee line. It would also link Rotherhithe to the DLR, Crossrail and Canary Wharf station
The big hurdle is to find a way for river traffic – for example naval vessels, tall ships and cruise liners – to visit the Pool of London between Tower and London Bridges. The proposal looks at several options but regards a vertical lifting bridge design as the most viable. This would involve two towers holding counter-weights at each end of the central span which would lift it above any river traffic. The bridge has been dubbed the Brunel Bridge due to the many connections between this area and Marc and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The bridge has the broad support from the Mayor’s Office, from Southwark Council and from Southwark Cyclists; British Land are taking the proposal into account in their Canada Water Masterplan . No money has yet been promised and Sustrans are planning a design competition for later this year.
Find out more at Brunel Bridge
Once known as Surrey Canal, the area between the rail tracks including The Den, Bolina Road, Stockholm Road and Rollins Street is now renamed ‘New Bermondsey’. It comprises 30 acres of industrial brown-field sites and whilst siting in SE16 postcode, is the northern-most part of the London Borough of Lewisham. Planning permission for the site was granted in 2012. The Council and their development partners Renewal presented a 320-page report to the Greater London Assembly in September last year laying out their plans for New Bermondsey. The development proclaims that it will create 2,400 new homes, 2,000 new jobs, a new Overground station, two new bus routes, community sports facilities, an integrated health centre and revitalised stadium for Millwall Football Club.
The site was first developed when the Grand Surrey Canal arrive in 1807 and became a key industrial and commercial site once the London and Greenwich Railway arrived in 1836. By 1894, Surrey Canal had become predominantly residential with many Victorian terraces packed into the triangular site. Bombed during the Blitz, post-war building filled many gaps but all the Victorian terraces together with all the other homes were cleared in 1970s. At the same time, the Canal itself was filled in and became Surrey Canal Road. It was only in 1992 that the Lions moved to their New Den and took up residence at the centre of the site.
The site has been designated London’s first Youth Zone in June 2014 and in February 2015, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson announced New Bermondsey as one of the GLA’s first Housing Zones. This will allow the development to accelerate delivery by three years. Phase 1 will deliver 261 new high-rise flats above a new home for Hillsong Church, a multi-faith and multi-cultural resources centre, rehearsal space, classrooms, a cafe and a new public square. The detailed plans are still to be drawn up as the architects are still to be announced.
Find out more at New Bermondsey