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Southwark’s ambitious vision for sustainable development backed by Cabinet

7 December 2021

Southwark Council’s Cabinet has considered and approved the planning blueprint that sets out how development and new infrastructure will benefit local communities across the whole borough for the next 15 years.

Following many years’ work and conversations with residents, community partners and other agencies, the Southwark Plan (2022) provides the framework for the future of the borough. It sets out how each distinct area will flourish while achieving the council’s key objectives – from reducing inequality and tackling the climate emergency to supporting an economy that provides new jobs and works for everyone.

The Plan pulls together all of the council’s planning policies and strategic targets for new homes, new jobs, open space and different types of development, which includes:

  • Meeting the urgent need for more genuinely affordable housing, with 2,500 homes due to be delivered or on-site by May 2022. In addition to the requirement that 35 per cent of new homes within any scheme must be affordable, the Plan introduces a fast-track route for developments delivering 40 per cent social rented and intermediate rent homes
  • Enhancing the natural environment for the benefit of the climate and residents’ wellbeing with 11 hectares of new open space, 22 new sites of importance for nature conservation, and a requirement that all new developments have to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than it was beforehand (known as Biodiversity Net Gain)
  • The creation of 58,000 new jobs, including a green new deal that generates jobs. In terms of developments of a certain size or made up of employment workspace, the Plan outlines the requirement that at least 10 per cent or more of the floorspace must be affordable

Cllr Helen Dennis, cabinet member for climate emergency and sustainable development, said: “The Southwark Plan is one of the most important tools that the council has to shape the future of our communities, whilst also preserving and celebrating our history and heritage.

“High on our list is tackling two urgent priorities – the housing crisis and the climate emergency. The Southwark Plan introduces policies that support the delivery of new homes that people can genuinely afford, including 11,000 new council homes by 2043, while setting targets that get us closer to our ambition to be carbon neutral in the borough by 2030. As we recover from the pandemic, the Plan will help create thousands of new jobs and opportunities to support residents, particularly young people, into work and to help businesses to grow.

“Over the years, Southwark has undergone dramatic changes which we know can sometimes feel unsettling. However, these changes also brought new leisure centres, parks, health centres, cultural venues and youth centres, and transformed our public space with nature, art, and routes for walking and cycling. We will support residents and businesses through change, ensuring that the environment and quality of life do not suffer, but are protected and improved along the way.”

The Area Action Plans for the Aylesbury, Peckham and Nunhead, and Canada Water will be replaced by Area Visions outlined in the Southwark Plan (2022). The next iteration of the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan will follow the adoption of the Plan, and will set out the council’s refreshed vision for new homes, jobs and parks in that part of the borough.

The decision to approve the Southwark Plan (2022) by Cabinet means the report will be considered at Council Assembly for final adoption in February 2022.

Page last updated: 07 December 2021