Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Residential development proposed for 'Quill' tower in Southwark

Out-Law News | 10 Nov 2014 | 3:52 pm | 1 min. read

Developer Bilford and property investment company Investream have revealed plans for 119 apartments within a proposed 31-storey tower near London Bridge London Underground station that previously received planning consent for use as a 470-bed student residence.

Southwark Council granted planning permission in 2010 for Bilford's and Investream's proposals to demolish a 10-storey 1960's office building known as Capital House at 40-46 Weston Street and replace it with a 109 m Sparcc Architecture-designed tower known as "the Quill", containing accommodation for 470 students.

Investream has since submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) screening report to the Council, proposing the construction of a 31-storey tower at the site, with the same external design as the tower that received consent under the 2010 permission, internally reconfigured to provide 119 apartments.

The revised scheme would include residential accommodation on the first to 31st floors; retail space, car parking and a plant room on the ground floor; and a bike store, refuse room and further plant at basement level. An area of public space has also been proposed.

The plans would result in the loss of approximately 4,430 square metres of office space, in use by Kings College London for ancillary education support facilities.

The Court of Appeal (CoA) refused a legal challenge to the proposed tower from neighbouring landowner Zurich Assurance in 2012. Zurich had argued that the Council should have been ordered by the secretary of state for communities and local government (SoS) to carry out a full EIA before granting planning permission.

The CoA ruled that the EIA Regulations did not create a duty for the SoS to direct that the proposal was EIA development. The area of the site was less than half a hectare and the proposed development was not likely to have significant effects on the environment, the relevant thresholds for requiring EIA.