Tuesday 25 May – Letter from Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council

Thursday 20 May – New consultation announced

New SPD consultation period announcement by Council Leader, Peter John, reported in Southwark News

Bermondsey Street residents will get a second chance to give their views on a controversial planning document associated with proposals to build three new sky-scrapers behind the Shard.

Full article here:


Where does your candidate stand?

To help with the problem of finding a good reason to vote we present the positions of some key candidates.

Whilst all eyes were on the bigger prize in Downing Street, the local Council Election has brought about a potentially helpful change for the BSTowers campaign.

The Liberal Democrats lost their 8-year control of Southwark Council to Labour, who now hold 35 of the 63 seats.  This result toppled Nick Stanton as leader of the Council, which is now led by Peter John.

Since – for reasons unclear – Nick Stanton was committed to facilitating the Sellar high-rise scheme in Bermondsey Street (see “Election candidates” – Nick Stanton) the change of leadership can only be for the better in this respect.

We should waste no time in letting Mr John know where we stand on the Council’s lack of consultation over its high-rise proposals for Bermondsey Village.

Members are urged to write to Peter John calling for local consultation.  For ease, the following letter is downloadable for members to amend or just sign, address and date.

Mr Peter John
Leader of the Council
Southwark Council
160-162 Tooley Street


Dear Mr John

I welcome the change of leadership in Southwark Council.  In particular I was most concerned at the expressed position of your predecessor, Mr Nick Stanton, regarding high-rise developments in Bermondsey Village in the following respects:

(1)         He responded to a question about high-rise developments published on the BSTOWERS.COM blog that, on a kind of domino theory, the Shard should lead to high-rise development the length of St Thomas Street.  Since St Thomas Street meets Bermondsey St, so the high-rise should stand at the junction and thus in Bermondsey Street itself.  He did not explain where the domino theory would stop or why.  I believe it is crucial that high-rise development is not allowed to run out of control with adverse effects on local communities.  It is clear that the current draft SPD lacks coherence or any rationale in this respect and appears to create a high building zone for no purpose other than accommodating a particular developer’s ambitions.  Please will you state clearly whether you support high-rise buildings in Bermondsey Street or not?

(2)         I and many others registered objections to the draft SPD’s proposed high-rise zone being extended along St Thomas Street and into Bermondsey Street as soon as we were aware of the proposal.  Your predecessor would not endorse the demand that our objections should be counted and not, as the planners argued, ruled out of time.  Do you accept that our objections should be counted – and recorded on the Council web site – in the same way as the few that were received following the Council’s own extremely limited consultation – of which I had no way of being aware before it was closed?

(3)         I know of nobody other than Mr Stanton who was prepared to contend that the consultation on the proposed high-rise zone in the draft SPD was adequate.  (Even the planners themselves have not presently made such a claim.)  Do you endorse the calls for a proper period of consultation on the draft SPD whereby local people can be genuinely aware of what is proposed and given an opportunity to express their opinions?

Yours sincerely

Please click the link for the letter here:

Peter John Letter

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