Bottling plant saved from potential demolition after being added to Old Kent Road conservation area

20 August 2019

A former bottling plant in Ossary Road, near the Asda superstore on Old Kent Road, has been saved from potential demolition after it was added to the Glengall Road Conversation Area by Southwark Council.

The council approved a recommendation to extend the Glengall Road Conservation Area boundary to include the former Bottling Factory at 12 Ossory Road in May 2019.

Since its inclusion within the Conservation Area, the freehold interest of the botting factory has been purchased by Fabrix Capital who intend to refurbish it to provide creative office and maker space.

Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Growth, Development and Planning, said:  "The vision for the Old Kent Road is to build on its unique creative character, a place where industry can thrive alongside new homes and quality open spaces.

“The loss of this previously undesignated heritage asset would have been detrimental to the whole Old Kent Road area, which over time has lost the vast majority of its industrial heritage.

“At Southwark we believe it is important to protect and retain the remaining traces of this heritage wherever possible. And now that the building is within the boundaries of the conservation area, I am thrilled it looks like it will be refurbished and remain part of the Old Kent Road area.”

The building dates back to the late 19th Century when glass and stoneware ginger beer bottlers J Mills & Sons occupied it.  The property operated as a bottling factory for nearly 100 years before being succeeded by a furniture manufacturer. One of its most recent occupiers was the Christ Embassy church.

The earliest part of this complex of buildings dates from 1895, with the main part of the former factory completed by 1914. It was also extended again post WWII. The factory is built from characteristic London yellow stock brick, with polished brick quoins, natural slate roof and large prominent gable to the east elevation, facing a cobbled yard and entrance from Ossory Road. The building retains some original Crittal style warehouse fenestration, timber hoist doors and chimneys. A small range of ancillary buildings remains opposite the main factory to the east.

The building is a legible reminder of the dense industrial development that would have lined the Grand Surrey Canal and occupied its hinterland, and is one the few remaining examples of the relationship between residential streets and industrial development from this time. 

Page last updated: 21 August 2019

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