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Huge New 39-Storey Block Approved in Southwark

Posted by Ross Jones-Morris in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Southwark Council have approved plans for a 905-bed, 39-storey student block at a site next to London Bridge Station and Guy's Hospital.

The approval comes after permission for a 31 storey site was granted in 2011. However the site was acquired by Greystar in 2017, for an undisclosed fee and is currently occupied by an office building called Capital House.

Rents in the newly approved block will be very much toward the higher end of the market, with annual costs ranging from £14,000 to £22,000. Two planning committee members - Councillor Hamish McCallum and Councillor Cleo Soanes - raised concerns about this pricing however, with the former calling the pricing 'insane' and the latter saying she was 'shocked and appalled'.

The proposal has been a source of further controversy too, with councillor Damian O'Brien warning that the tower would be "a blight on the townscape of St Thomas Street" and that it "sets a very unwelcome precedent for the other three applications which will follow".

Greystar's David Rothwell defended the plans saying that they had been very responsive to feedback during the creation of the scheme, and have made several adjustments to the plans to make them more amenable to local residents. He also pointed to the fact that they increased their contribution to affordable housing in the borough during the process.