Since August 2020 CIT has worked with our architects KPF to make focused adjustments to the proposals while maintaining the positive aspects of the scheme.

The changes we have made respond positively to the concerns raised at Southwark’s Planning Committee in June 2020, as well as the requirements of the Greater London Authority following its recovery by the Mayor of London in August 2020. (You can find out more about the planning history of the site on the Background page.)

We have also used this time to work closely with Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to tailor the building to their needs and the emerging requirements of the new SC1 Life Science & Innovation District. As a result, our building is now designed for NHS clinical or research and development uses, meeting the Trust’s design standards for healthy and flexible buildings.

There have been several iterations to the scheme, which are summarised below. These respond to the planning history of the scheme and the feedback we have received.

    May 2021 Scheme Update

    In May 2021 CIT presented a set of focused adjustments to the scheme. These responded to the reason for refusal as well as the written and verbal feedback received prior to and at the Planning Committee hearing. We made a series of updates to the proposals that fully and positively addressed those concerns, as outlined below:

    1. Respecting the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area. We pulled the proposed buildings back out of the Conservation Area, so there was no new massing in this area. We also preserved and enhanced the historic Warehouse on Fenning Street.
    2. Keeping and converting the Warehouse into a community focused use with ground floor retail space and a flexible community event space at the first floor. This replaced the music venue with a more flexible use that complemented the affordable workspace.
    3. Create a new urban garden at the east end of site, replacing the pavilion and music venue entrance. We made the basement smaller enabling new trees to be planted. Overall, the total amount of public open space was preserved and consolidated at the eastern end of the site.
    4. Remove the music venue and pavilion at the eastern end of the site, addressing concerns from local people that this would have had an adverse impact on local amenity and be a source of noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour. Removing this area of basement will also allow new trees and greenery to be planted.
    5. Provide 10% of the floor space of the building as affordable workspace which meets Southwark Council’s policy requirements. In addition, CIT is proposing heavily discounted affordable workspace for proposed occupation by Southwark Studios, who will bring artists and creativity to the site, and further innovative affordable space will be designed and provided for life science start-ups in a high quality mezzanine workspace. 
    6. Design improvements to the massing, architecture and materials so that the adjusted building responds more sensitively to the adjacent context, including the London Bridge railway arches and the nearby Conservation Area buildings.
    7. A more sustainable building. The adjusted proposals now exceed current Greater London Authority targets with a commitment to achieve net zero operational carbon.
    8. Designed with Guy’s St Thomas’ NHS Trust for NHS medical or research & development uses – meeting the Trust’s new standards for healthy and flexible buildings, including increased floor to floor heights, a more rigid structure and provision of far more systems to support the proposed health uses.
    9. A clear view of sky between the Vinegar Yard buildings and the proposed Edge scheme to the west.
    10. Reinstating Vinegar Yard. The design puts back a public space where the historic yard used to sit, keeping this important historical reference alive.
    11. Vertical greening of the building. We have created large areas for planting on recessed balconies up the sides of the building, taking all opportunities to add greenery.

    November 2021 Scheme Update

    Following our first community update in May 2021, we reflected on the feedback received and have decided to make some further updates to the scheme in response. These further adjustments are summarised below and a more detailed presentation can be found on the Downloads page.

    1. An even stronger commitment to support the NHS or the new SC1 life science and innovation district. We have updated the uses inside the building so that levels one to ten are dedicated to either medical (use class D1) or research and development use (use class B1(b)). We are proposing that  first refusal on this dual use space is offered to Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
    2. Reductions in the massing of the building since the last community update. We have reduced part of the building by two storeys at the eastern end of the site. This creates a more attractive set of cascading green terraces, with more opportunities for planting and improves important views of the building from Bermondsey Street in particular.
    3. Improving the entrance to the affordable workspace. We have maintained a secondary east-west walking route along the south side of our building, parallel to St Thomas Street. We have improved the connection to the affordable workspace entrance so that it aligns with this walking route, enhancing its prominence and permeability.
    4. A more active and open ground floor. We have added big new entrance doors on the north and south side of the building and made the shop frontage at the eastern end of the site bigger. Together these changes improve accessibility and natural surveillance of the area