Lancaster Street Properties

Lancaster Street, Southwark

We advised on the redevelopment potential of the old Colorama warehouses in Lancaster Street, Southwark, with a view to changing the site of two vacant industrial warehouses into residential accommodation. In corroboration with Alan Camp Architects and the client, we were able to create a scheme for the site which responded to Council policy and the context of the surrounding area.

The planning application was submitted following the production of a detailed marketing report, detailed pre-application discussions with the Council and a public exhibition, all of which Planning Potential co-ordinated.

The site comprised two vacant industrial warehouses located within a primarily residential area which is mixed in character ranging from converted historic properties through to new-build residential developments. As the Council had not allocated the site for alternative use we had to fully justify the loss of an employment site. In conjunction with local agents Kalmars, we submitted a detailed marketing report which set out the marketing activity associated with the buildings and the absence of any interest in them from commercial users.

The planning submission also included a detailed viability assessment that sought to justify an affordable housing contribution below the Council’s policy requirement of at least 35%. Through detailed discussions and negotiations with the local authority we were able to justify the provision of 39 flats in total, with 21% affordable housing across the site.

The local community considered the original warehouses were of architectural merit and should be retained, and a local society arranged a petition to try to prevent the buildings from being demolished. To support the application Planning Potential arranged a heritage assessment which confirmed the buildings were of limited architectural and heritage value based on a detailed history search. The Council agreed with the findings of this report.

Despite a number of objections to the scheme, Planning Potential managed to overcome all concerns and achieved a positive outcome at Planning Committee. We also managed to successfully negotiate the S106 Agreement with the Council in a very short timescale.

Since gaining planning permission the scheme was acquired by A2Dominion, one of the largest social housing providers in London. The Group offers high-quality sustainable homes for sale, shared ownership and private rent. In conjunction with the Council’s housing team and A2Dominion, we were subsequently able to secure consent to subdivide one of the largest flats to provide two smaller affordable flats. This was achieved through a S73 application that was dealt with during the build programme and consented before marketing commenced.

Summary of achievements

  • Initial assessment of site prospects
  • Pre-application advice
  • Providing planning policy advice and preparing the Planning Statement
  • Project managing the consultant team
  • On-going liaison and contact with the planning authority
  • S106 Advice