The Quill is a proposed high-rise student residence on Weston Street/St Thomas St. The planning application was re-submitted last month following the applicants withdrawal allegedly due to the height and scale (which hasn’t changed much).

Southwark’s SPD and its high rise building zone in Bermondsey Street and St Thomas Street is at the heart of Sellar’s proposal for their three Shard satellites at the top of Bermondsey Street overlaying the conservation area. If the Quill is approved it will be a stepping-stone for further high-rise in and around the conservation area opening the gateway for other developers to follow suit. The Quill’s own PR agent, Four Communications, state “the Quill will act as a catalyst for further local regeneration, delivering a strategic foothill to sensitively relate to its taller neighbours and emerging clusters”. This is a clear statement of intent and it is obvious that the Quill goes hand in hand with the high-rise zone proposed in the SPD in paving the way for Southwarks high-rise ambitions for the area. If approved it will also make a mockery of the consultation process surrounding the SPD by pre-empting the high-rise issue.

The planning application was released with conflicting information and BVAG have challenged the Council on the dates of the consultation period, which range from 20 days to 38 days. Conflicting consultation notices have also been coincided with the notice of the withdrawal of the previous Quill application (09-AP-2657), even though this occurred many months ago, resulting in an (accidental?) misleading of the statutory consultees.

Our Consultation Café has pictures of the Quill and copies of the elevation drawings. Come along and read up on what you can do to fight the application and what it seeks to bring in its wake.

There are various matters that BVAG is presently investigating in relation to the Quill, its proposers and what role Southwark Council have played in its gestation.

Currently we know the present occupants of the building on Weston Street that the new development would replace, Kings College, have a remaining five years on their lease and say they have neither been invited to negotiate a surrender not to enter any agreement to occupy the fantasy new building.

The owner of the site is a company hidden in Jersey but the promoters of the development, Investream Ltd, say it is an ‘associated’ company. They have agreed to come and talk to BVAG but are not coming up with a date as they said they would. We will be posting a standard objection letter for subscribers to send shortly; meanwhile we recommend subscribers write their own.


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7 Comments

  1. I Sellar says:

    You do realise for around the last ten years the London plan has envisaged a cluster of tall buildings around the eminently sensible idea of clustering around main transport nodes. London Bridge rail and tube stations. There’s nothing new in any proposals in the immediate area.

    Its not going to encroach Bermondsey St and your scare mongering is just that.
    You can argue that a lot of dubious low rise developments on and around Bermondsey St has had a far more effect on the area than what is or isn’t proposed on Weston St

    Southwark are obliged to meet owners and developers of buildings in the area to discuss whatever they are planning. Do you not think that if this 3 spires proposal was a cosy shoo in with Southwark and Sellar if would have been submitted and approved by now. Doesn’t the fact that this has been in pre planning for a long time tell you something. There would have a number of high level meetings with various other bodies and councils in London.

    You are now attacking this new proposal so you can justify your attack on the Sellar proposal. The student tower will eventually replace the decrepit accommodation for Kings College and being practically next door to the Guys tower and the Shard on what is essentially a grotty part of Weston St your arguments are weak.

  2. Russell. says:

    High rise in this locaion will be highly damaging to the prospect of realising the potential of the railway arches on the north side of St Thomas St and the atmosphere of Bermondsey village to the south. There are few argumnets for high-rise and none of them are made out by this proposal which is testimony to nothing more than blind developer greed and opportunism.

  3. Patrick says:

    The idea of “a cluster of tall buildings around main transport nodes” is not in question, but what is in question is how you make that idea work within the existing context of medieval street patterns.
    Clustering does not give developers carte blanche to ride over local conditions without showing adequate research as to how it will actually work.

  4. Re: “Medieval street patterns” it is of course important to consider the impact on local infrastructure before building any major development (high or low rise). But the City also has medieval street patterns and has been able to cope just fine with tall buildings.

  5. John Corey says:

    Just because the streets have a pattern that comes from the middle ages does not mean there is a need to retain the pattern. Most London streets have been changed over the years. Some more than others.

    While retaining a tie to the past can be a positive, it is not an absolute. Sympathetic change and growth might be closer to the real goal.

  6. John Corey says:

    There is a well presented and rather detailed document showing the argument for the Quill. A copy is available for reading on-site in the Consultation Cafe. If you have some time grab something to drink and flip through the document so you can better understand the arguments being made for the development.

    Even if you do not like the project you should try to understand what you are arguing against.

  7. I Sellar says:

    Russell in between all your scaremongering have you even bothered to look into the plans for the area.There are plans to open up the arches so please explain your bizarre notion that building this proposal will somehow stop this?

    I would suggest your great bit rusting tank has more of an effect on the area than this ever will.

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