Curtain-up for town hall redevelopment

By Jim Dunton - Mon 23 December 2013, 11:00 am

Southwark's former town hall is set to be transformed into a new theatre, café and student-housing scheme after proposals from Alumno Developments were approved by councillors.

Under the proposals, the 1930s façade of the Peckham Road building will be refurbished, while the site to the rear - which currently houses Theatre Peckham - will be redeveloped.

As well as a brand new theatre with a larger auditorium than the existing structure, the scheme will deliver new rehearsal space, 149 student rooms, a common room, a roof terrace, and artists’ studios.

The site will also include new public space to the rear of the building, providing improved access to the Sceaux Gardens estate.

Councillor Fiona Colley, Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration and corporate strategy, said she was delighted that the proposals could now move ahead.

“Like many people I have fond memories of the Camberwell Town Hall and I'm really looking forward to it getting a new lease of life,” she said.

“Southwark is home to three universities and has a thriving student population which helps to make our borough a vibrant and interesting place to live - those students need somewhere affordable to live.

"Purpose-built student accommodation can also help take pressure off the general rental market.

“It's also great news for Theatre Peckham, which can look forward to moving into a larger, modern auditorium, foyer and backstage area and for local artists who will be able to rent space at below market rents."

Alumno managing director David Campbell said the firm was delighted get the green light for the project.

"This is our third development in Southwark and will re-invigorate the town hall, opening its doors to a wide cross-section of the community; We look forward to getting started," he said.

Southwark Council formerly used the town hall as its main offices and council chamber, but most council staff moved have now moved from the town hall into 160 Tooley Street, near London Bridge, or other venues around the borough.