The site of the two-storey Leathermarket JMB office, at 26 Leathermarket Street, was identified in our 2018 Estate Improvement Plan as having the potential to provide new affordable homes for local residents. The Estate Improvement Plan, which was produced by Leathermarket JMB and Leathermarket CBS in consultation with over 500 local residents on the JMB estates, suggested that a taller building could be built on this site.
A design competition was held in Autumn 2020 to select an architect for the site, and dMFK were selected from the shortlisted architects based on the initial concept design ideas they submitted.
We then held an initial stage of neighbourhood consultation in December 2020 and January 2021 focused on different massing types (building shapes and heights) for the site.
We received feedback from 60 individuals during the first stage of consultation, and the most commonly-received feedback was concern about the height of all three massing options presented.
dMFK architects then revised designs in line with the feedback received. This leaflet shows the latest updated designs, which are 5 and 7 storeys high (reduced from 5-6 and 10-11 storeys, as previously presented). Consultation on these updated designs took place in May and June 2021.
During the second stage of consultation we received 54 responses, with many expressing support for building much-needed new Council homes. Approximately half of the respondents at this stage indicated that they were still concerned about the height of the proposals, even at the reduced height of 5- and 7-storeys. Other commonly-received feedback at this stage included concerns about overshadowing to the park, potential for anti-social behaviour in the undercroft access to the park, and other impacts on the playground (such as noise and overlooking). Details of the overshadowing impacts to the park were published as part of this stage of consultations (see consultation boards from June 2021), and concerns about the undercroft access are being addressed through design details at Stage 3. Feedback was also received about the potential loss of historic doors and artwork on the flank of 22 Leathermarket Street, which are being addressed as part of the Stage 3 design consultation. Some respondents emphasised that the designs should match the character of the conservation area – design details such as brickwork colours are being presented for feedback as part of the Stage 3 design consultation.
The Design Brief
As part of the design competition to select an architect for the site, shortlisted architects were asked to respond to a broad initial brief incorporating:
• New homes: provide new Council homes to help meet local housing need, with a starting position to consider 40 homes
• Office and community space: re-provide space for the existing Leathermarket JMB office and existing community meeting space, reducing the amount of back office space (recognising that the current back office space is used inefficiently)
• Basic site considerations: respond to key features of the site and surroundings, including
• the height and proximity of surrounding buildings
• the adjacent play area
• the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area
What Happens Next?
Feedback from second stage of neighbourhood consultation is summarised above. As of Autumn 2021, we are consulting with neighbours on design details – click here to view the latest consultation leaflet on design details. Click here to view the consultation boards for the November 2021 consultation on design details.