Blackfriars approval unlocks £43.5m cashpot

Thu 11 October 2012, 12:55 pm

Southwark Council has approved plans to for a 50-floor tower block on Blackfriars Road, unlocking a potential £43.5 million cashpot of related funding to spend on other projects.

Berkeley Group’s tweaked proposals for the Ian Simpson-designed Beetham Tower were this week approved by the authority’s planning committee, along with a six-storey hotel and a four-storey retail and leisure building.

The scheme originally won approval five years ago, but Berkeley bought the site from Beetham and Mirax and sought to change the tower-block’s use from hotel to residential, a move endorsed by Southwark planners.

The tower, now called 1 Blackfriars, will have 274 apartments and a 32nd floor “sky lounge” viewing gallery available for hire at reduced rates for local residents.

Southwark Council said that the approval would bring with it £6.6 million in Section 106 money, a £5.5 million viewing lounge, £2.5 million in Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy contributions, and £29 million in offset affordable housing - equating to some 180 new homes.

Council leader Peter John said the combined £43.5 million in funding was “an incredible amount of money” that underscored the benefits of working proactively with private developers to drive forward investment.

"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," he said.

"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."