267-room student block recommended for approval at Old Kent Road KFC

A proposal for 267 student rooms in a new block on the Old Kent Road look set for approval if Southwark planning officer recommendations are followed.

The building tops out at 12-floors and predominantly consists of grey brick with sections of glazed brick in a shade of turquoise. A Southwark Council planning meeting on 21st April is set to decide on the the proposal. The site is occupied by a KFC at present and sits adjacent to Ruby Triangle, which is due to see a number of towers and 1,300 homes.

Ruby Triangle blocks

The block is somewhat shorter than approved blocks either side:

In context

The Old Kent Road is one of the most intriguing parts of London. It’s a real old jumble of out-of-town style retail sheds, remnants of industry, petrol stations and car hire yards alongside various estates encompassing various styles of the past 100 years. Handsome estates site alongside post-war blocks presented black facades to the street.

Courtesy Google. Note wide paving with space for cycle lanes

It’s also an Opportunity Area with a huge amount of proposed and approved new development, yet with no sign of the long-expected Bakerloo Line extension. Central Government refuse to fund and Sadiq Khan’s new manifesto makes it clear it’s not a priority. Despite that, many thousands of new homes and residents are expected here over the next decade

Overview. Site highlighted in red surrounded by new builds

There’s certainly scope in the short term to improve cycling provision, with central reserves lining much of the road that could be removed to free space for cycle lanes:

Courtesy Google

However, we again see that street lighting and trees have been located on the central reservation throughout stretches of the street hindering the creation of cycle lanes:

A small area of greenery is proposed to the rear of the student block site, with the plan stating: “The scheme would provide a 373sqm Pocket Park to the rear of the building that complies with the aspirations of the OKR AAP. The Pocket Park would provide a continuation of the “green chain” linking the new Linear Park on the alignment of the former Surrey Canal with Livesey Park”.

South Bermondsey is the nearest station, though one of the most unwelcoming in London in a somewhat isolated area.

I’ll be keeping a closer eye on the Old Kent Road in future. What happens here doesn’t only impact the immediate area of course. Thousands of new homes and limited transport improvements impact further out beyond Southwark into Lewisham borough and beyond.

Plans can be viewed here.

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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