Planning consent granted for luxury new homes in Blackfriars


Friday 12th October 2012

Planners at Southwark Council have given the green light for a 50-storey tower of luxury apartments to be developed in Blackfriars, central London.

Five years after the scheme was first approved, One Blackfriars, designed by Ian Simpson, will feature 274 private apartments but no onsite affordable homes, in accordance with the revised plans, after the developer agreed to contribute £29m for off-site affordable housing.

The initial plans for the riverside development, which was to be called Beetham Tower, included a luxury Jumeirah hotel. But the scheme never went ahead in its original proposed form because Beetham and development partner Mirax ran into financial problems. Consequently, the site was put up for sale and eventually acquired by St George, part of Berkeley Homes.

St George's new project involves the construction of three buildings including the tower.

Aside from new homes, the project will also include a six-storey hotel in Rennie Street with a shop on the corner of Stamford Street.
A community viewing gallery or ‘sky lounge' will also be built on the 32nd floor of the tower, available for hire at reduced rates for local residents and schools.

In total, the council and local residents stand to pocket more than £40m from the development through section 106 money, the viewing lounge and the £29m designed to offset affordable housing in the tower.

The council said it's looking at building the affordable housing itself rather than appointing a housing association.

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: "This is an incredible amount of money and goes to show the great benefits for Southwark's residents in working proactively with private developers to drive forward investment despite a backdrop of recession. It will go some way to deliver homes the capital desperately needs, across all tenures, and will welcome in a further economic boost to the already-thriving borough of Southwark.

"I am particularly pleased to see that the local community will have access to what will be a stunning London landmark and look forward to seeing the sky lounge being put to use by local people and businesses on a regular basis."

Work on the development is expected to get underway during the tail end of next year, subject to the planning application being approved by the Mayor of London, with completion expected by 2018.

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