Queens Road 4 update
Queens Road 4 - Public FAQs
What are you planning?
Our proposals are for a new modern building to form part of the council’s office campus on Queens Road Peckham. This would bring together a range of frontline services, including housing and children’s services. The project is known as Queens Road 4 (QR4), referring to its place within the council’s existing Queens Road campus.
Where is the site?
The site is located at 128-148 Asylum Road, Peckham. It occupies a prominent location close to the junction of Queens Road and Asylum Road with frontages on both streets.
Who owns the site?
The site is owned by Southwark Council.
Why does the council need a new building?
Our housing solutions service and services for children and families are currently located in old, out of date and unsuitable buildings across the borough that are no longer appropriate for service delivery. Building a dedicated customer facing space and associated staff offices at 128-148 Asylum Road Peckham (QR4) allows the council to provide appropriate accommodation for these vital front-line services in a well-connected location at the heart of the community. QR4 is being custom-built and designed so that the space supports the vital work that the council delivers.
Services moving into the building are intrinsically linked, with users often accessing a number of different functions across both housing and children's services. Bringing together associated teams onto a single site offers the benefit of increased knowledge sharing and collaboration as well as providing staff with access to modern and more efficient ways of working.
The development would also reduce costs and free up the existing sites for important uses like new council homes.
Why is the building best located on Queens Road? What advantages does this site offer over other locations?
The existing council buildings on Queens Road primarily accommodate staff who spend a significant amount of time dealing face to face with service users often in their homes and elsewhere in the community.
128-148 Asylum Road (QR4) is council owned and has been identified as the ‘best fit’ for the delivery of the remaining targeted services who are still located in sub-standard buildings across the borough. The site has been deemed the most suitable and affordable due to its size, proximity to the existing council buildings on Queens Road, good transport links and central location in the borough.
The council have conducted a number of reviews, including assessment of all other available development sites across the borough. These reviews concluded that no other suitable council owned sites were available.
What is currently on the site?
Previously the building on the site was leased to a charity, the Camden Society, who ran a day centre for adults with learning disabilities. All service users were individually assessed and supported to find alternative services and day centre provision where appropriate. The council worked with the charity to broaden their offer and ensure service users’ needs could be met by high-quality services at other centres in the borough, including the council-run purpose built Southwark Resource Centre, and the Camden Society-run Riverside day centre. All the service users have now moved on, the day centre has closed, and the site has been cleared ready for a new development.
Why couldn’t you keep the day centre?
The building did not comply with up-to-date standards for a day centre and was unsuitable for delivering modern methods of care.
The charity that ran the day centre had a lease with the council that had come to an end and due to its poor state of repair the building would have required significant investment to bring it up to a good standard. With space available at other high quality centres locally, a decision was made that bringing the centre up to the standard required would not have been a good use of council resources.
Which services would be delivered from this new building?
The services that would be located in the new building include:
- the multi-agency safeguarding hub;
- services for looked after children and;
- support for young people not in education, employment or training
Where are the services currently located?
7 Talfourd Place, Peckham, SE15, 5NW
Children Looked After and Fostering
Curlew House (Not public Facing)
Children Looked After and Fostering
Sumner House, Peckham, SE15, 5QS
A&I, Safeguarding, MASH
25 Bournemouth Road, Peckham, SE15 4UJ
What is happening to the buildings being emptied?
By bringing staff and services together in two centres (Tooley Street and Queens Road, Peckham), the council would be able to make savings by reducing the number of properties it has to run and maintain whilst allowing buildings that are no longer fit for purpose to be redeveloped.
The redevelopment of Sumner House and Bournemouth Road are both integral in enabling the ongoing regeneration of the Peckham area. The proposed future use of the remaining buildings at Talfourd Place, Curlew House and St Mary’s road is yet to be confirmed.
Operation and building use
How many people would be working from the building?
For the majority of staff moving into QR4 a lot of time is already spent out of the office, in meetings or out in the community on visits, with the council operating a flexible working methodology. Staffing figures have also been revised and reviewed with a new total of 518, a 15% reduction on staffing figures previously reported. Due to flexible working arrangements and the nature of the work carried out by staff in the building (working out in the community and in people’s homes), a maximum of approximately 300 employees would be based at the new Queens Road office on any given weekday.
Apart from members of staff, who would be coming to the offices?
There would be a range of people who would be coming to the offices as is the case with all local authority offices. These could include:
- staff from partner organisations e.g. NHS, police
- members of the community seeking housing support
- young people in the council’s care
- young people being supported into education, training or work
- young people or families with appointments to see staff in Social Care services
- foster parents
How many service users would access the building on a daily basis?
Visitor numbers to all of the council’s sites constantly vary depending on demand. The public facing spaces at QR4 are being designed to accommodate an average of 250 service users per day. This is in line with the current numbers that currently access our services. The council is constantly improving its processes and procedures in an effort to make it easier for the community to access services while reducing the number of multiple visits.
What are the opening hours of the building for both staff and service users?
Core staff opening hours at QR4 would be 7am-7pm Monday to Friday. The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the only team in the building that works regularly on a Saturday (7am-7pm). For all other staff, requests to work outside these principal hours would be granted on a case by case basis, only when it is completely necessary.
Public Opening hours for the building have not yet been finalised, however, we expect the main public entrance to be open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. In order to deliver our services as per the current provision there would be some instances when public access is required outside these hours, including at the weekends. This access would be limited and facilitated on an invitation only basis.
How does the co-location of a variety of services in one building practically work?
While the main reception area is shared, the key work that each service provides would remain distinctly separate. The reception therefore would work on a triage system, with a variety of different waiting areas designed to best suit the needs and requirements of the users who access those services. A separate second entrance has also been asked for in the design brief so that duel access is available for use in sensitive situations. The ground floor of the building would be the main public space and house the reception as well as a range of semi-public meeting and interview rooms. Southwark is not the first council to adopt a co-location delivery model for front line core services. Examples of other London boroughs include:
- over five years ago Brent Council consolidated its civic, public and administrative functions onto one site at the Brent Civic Centre - these services include Adoption, Fostering, Youth Offending and Housing
- Ealing Council currently delivers Fostering, Adoption and Youth Offending from a single locality at Perceval House in Uxbridge
- Croydon Council provide another example of service co-location, with a number of services provided from Access Croydon in Bernard Wetherill House
How is safety being designed into the new building?
To ensure that safety is being designed into the new building the design team are working to ensure that the safety of users, staff and the surrounding community is prioritised throughout. This includes enlisting a Metropolitan Police Design Advisor to review the designs, ensuring that core principles have been adhered to and that the building design reduces the vulnerability of people and property to crime in the built environment.
There's a dedicated working group that is looking at service delivery from the public facing areas of the building. This group incorporates colleagues from Health & Safety and Facilities Management and is analysing the requirements for security and the customer service team as well as the integration of security measures. The security personnel and customer service team would work across the building at all public facing receptions and areas to ensure an integrated and joined up approach. Staff working in the council’s targeted services are experts in their field and are provided with training and support to deal with difficult situations and de-escalate. Risk assessments are regularly completed to ensure the safety of service users, staff and the community.
The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and Duty teams would also be located in the building. These teams are key first responders with co-location increasing the ability to respond to incidents and or volatile situations safely and securely.
What companies have been appointed to deliver the design and build, and how were they appointed?
The new design team is led by the architects Allies and Morrison who have been appointed by Wernicks Buildings Ltd. They've been appointed under a Design and Build two stage contract. Allies and Morrison have been contracted for both the design stages and construction phase, which should ensure that the design intent is achieved in the finished building as they would be overseeing this for the contractor.
They'll also move ahead with the space planning, internal and external design for the new building and would be developing the current design, building on the important work undertaken to gather staff and service user requirements for the space. Allies and Morrison are not directly contracted by Southwark Council.
The council is experienced in the use of design and build contracts and knows how to ensure quality throughout the design, procurement and construction stages.
What would the development look like, including size and materials used?
In response to feedback gathered during two rounds of public consultation, and as part of responding to this, a new design team has been appointed and are reviewing the brief for the project before re-starting the design process.
The proposed façades have been developed to reflect the architectural hierarchy and plot widths of the neighbouring terraced properties. Like the existing development along Asylum Road, the organisation of the new façade includes two floors of generous and elegant windows above a distinct base, with less significant windows at the top. Similarly, the proportion, location and rhythm of openings within the brick surface creates two-window-wide pairings, with crisp metalwork linings providing a richness of detail which echoes the way that the existing windows are picked out in stone or painted white.
The building is clad in textured pale buff brickwork set above a smooth matt white brick at ground floor level. To the rear, a perforated metal screen system has been developed which creates texture whilst also protecting neighbouring properties from overlooking.
What is the design approach to minimalize loss of daylight and reducing over shadowing?
The design team has be updated and developed further the daylight/sunlight surveys and models for this. The design team has been guided by the planning regulations/requirements but are mindful of the need to ensure that the mass, height and position of the building is such that it does not significantly compromise the light to adjacent properties. As such, the height, scale and massing relates to that of neighbouring properties and has been carefully considered to minimise overlooking and maintain good daylight and sunlight.
How is the building being designed to ensure that adjacent properties are not overlooked?
The design team has been guided by the planning regulations/requirements concerning overlooking. The scheme has been redesigned and the architects have taken this into consideration. If necessary there are measures that can be used to minimise any overlooking of adjoining properties, by using trees and options around window screens or using obscured glazing.
We know some local residents have some concerns regarding overlooking and we have listened to those concerns and have factored them into the new design.
Is there any outdoor space being incorporated into the design?
The design brief incorporates provision of some green space that relates to the surrounding gardens and helps to improve the look and feel of the building. Some services have specialist requirements (relating to outdoor spaces) that are vital to the users they support. The council is currently looking at ways to incorporate an outdoor area, for use by service users, into the designs.
Would the building be built to high environmental standards?
The design team are working to a BREEAM “excellent” rating for this building. It's one of the highest sustainability ratings possible for a building of this type and its features would include:
- photovoltaic panels (solar or PVs) on the roof
- batteries to store the energy from the PVs to use in the building first before exporting spare energy to the grid
- a ‘green’ roof would provide habitats for bees and insects, give shelter to a range of small invertebrates and reduce rainwater run off rates.
- a SUDS drainage system would cater for surface water to prevent flooding of the drainage system
- mechanical service plant and components would be specified to reduce energy, waste and pollution
- a grey water recycling system would also be used to minimise water use
- sustainable materials and manufacturing methods would be at the forefront in specifying the works, for example: LED external lighting; time controllers; ethically sourced materials; use of materials produced from recycled content; recycled waste materials to be used where possible
Did the designs go to the Southwark Design Review Panel, and how does the Panel operate?
The Southwark Design Review Panel (DRP) is an independent advisory panel set up by the Planning Committee in 2006 to advise it on matters relating to architectural design ad urban design.
The DRP reviews proposals mainly at pre-application stage where the focus of is to seek improvements to the schemes they review. The findings of the Panel are published when a planning application is received and reported to the Planning Committee when they make their decision.
All pre-application correspondence with the Planning Department, including the DRP Report, are confidential and are only published when a valid application is received. The DRP Review is not a public meeting.
We presented to the DRP in June 2019 and September 2019.
Where would the plant room be located?
Our current proposals include a plant room located in a ground floor space next to the London & Brighton apartments, as well as some roof top plant room space located toward the northern side of the building. We are confident that these spaces won’t cause any disturbance to local residents. The roof top equipment is virtually silent running and the area would be surrounded by acoustic screening to further ensure that no noise is transmitted beyond the building. Noise surveys have been carried out as part of the proposal and would be submitted for review as part of the planning application.
What kind of materials are you planning to use for the building?
Allies & Morrison are well known for their use of natural materials including brickwork, stone and metal and the building would reflect the existing buildings materials.
What is the planning process followed in relation to gaining permission for the development?
The planning process is set out in the Statement of Community Involvement:
- pages 9 and 10 set out the decision maker
- page 13 sets out the basic process
- page 21 sets out how we take responses into account
The reports that go to the decision maker about planning applications set out the process taken and the issues considered with an evaluation.
How is the building going to be constructed?
It is our intention to deliver the main elements of the building by using off site construction methods, which would consist of a steel frame structure, floors, internal walls, vertical circulation, mechanical and electrical installations, fixtures and fittings and the internal linings for the external walls and windows.
The onsite works would cover the ground works and foundations, the external cladding of the building (brick or stone) and the utilities connection.
This form of construction has a minimal site presence and is faster to deliver than more traditional methods. Other advantages are that it is less noisy and requires less labour on the site.
How long would the construction process take?
The building would be largely constructed off-site in a factory which would minimise the amount of construction time required on site. Off-site construction typically reduces the build process by at least one third compared to a traditional build. We therefore anticipate that the on-site construction time would be up to 12 months. The working hours would be Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturdays 8am to 1pm. The site would be closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. If any road closures are required during the construction process, they would be undertaken with appropriate advance warning and would be kept to an absolute minimum.
How would you reduce the impact on the local community while construction is taking place?
We recognise that this process would cause some disruption for residents, but we are committed to minimising the impact wherever possible. For example, we are proposing to construct the building offsite, using a methodology known as ‘modular design’. This has many benefits in environmental terms where reduced construction programmes and minimal site disruption are desirable. Importantly, it limits the impact of noise and dust during the construction process on local residents.
Throughout the construction process, residents’ liaison meetings would be held to keep the neighbours informed of works. Once the contractor is appointed to construct the building, we would arrange further meetings with residents to introduce the contractors and answer any queries you may have directly with them.
Intended approach for maintaining security for neighbouring properties between demolition and construction?
The front of the site is protected by a 2.4 m high steel fence and the rest of the site is protected by a solid 2.4 m high hoarding. The locked gates are secured with solid concrete blocks to prevent squatting and/or flytipping.
There's also a temporary fence in place to protect any remaining trees and drains. This is located in front of the garden walls and this again would be an additional fence for any unwanted visitors to get through, this type of fence is called heras fencing and is approximately 1.8 m high and is a steel mesh.
Local impact - neighborhood amenity
How would light spill be mitigated once the building is operational?
To reduce light pollution coming from QR4, out of hours working would be restricted to certain areas and staff would be instructed to use the black-out blinds during evening work to prevent light pollution.
How is light pollution at the existing Queens Road campus managed?
Most of the existing Queens Road campus is not in operation during the evenings. Security teams check the buildings after they have been vacated and turn off all lights until the morning. There are only two exceptions to this, which are as follows:
The 3rd floor of Queens Road 1 is used at night by the Noise Team, Enforcement and out of hours social workers. This floor has blackout binds in use on all windows facing the residents that are pulled down and checked by the security team as part of their rounds every evening. They are usually left down over the weekend and raised again on Monday morning.
The ground floor of Queens Road 3 is in operation out of hours and also has black out blinds.
Following enquires from residents into our procedures, we have reminded security staff about the importance of checking the blackout blinds, especially during the winter months.
How much noise would be generated once the building is operational (both people and plant) and how would this be mitigated?
This would be controlled by the planning regulations and would be set as part of the planning permission process that the building would have to meet. This can cover areas such as opening hours and use of external areas. This would be developed as the design proceeds and a separate statement on this has to be submitted as part of the planning submission in order for the development to be granted approval.
How many pollutants would the building generate?
There is no information that we hold regarding potential air pollution from the proposed design. It is proposed that the building is powered by electrical means only, so there would be no noxious gases emitted from the proposed building. The designs for the building are currently undergoing redesign and once this is complete then we would be in a position to comment on the sustainability.
Have you considered the impact on bats and other wildlife of your proposals?
An ecological appraisal, arboricultural assessment and bat roosting assessment have been carried out on the site and found that no habitats of principal importance were present within the site boundaries.
The independent ’The Ecology Consultancy' carried out a survey of the site to check for bats, as part of the bat roosting assessment and did not record any bats emerging from the building or signs of bats roosting in the buildings. The consultants made a number of recommendations as to how the new building could be enhanced to encourage bat habitats and these have been fed in to our proposals (such as green roofs, bat boxes/tubes and sensitive lighting, etc.).
During the demolition work a qualified ecologist checked all the trees and other habitats to make sure that birds were not being disturbed.
There were lots of trees on the site before the demolition - what was your method and rationale for removal?
The arboricultural assessment report for the Queens Road Day Centre can be accessed via the planning portal on our website. Find out more information about Ecology Consultancy, who completed the Arboricultural Survey and Impact Assessment.
The tree surgeons who undertook the works on site are experienced and had their tree felling plans agreed by the council’s tree officer. We also had an independent arboriculturalist on site ensuring that the trees were removed safely and that the remaining trees are left undamaged by the demolition work.
We made every effort to retain as many trees as possible on site. However, in order to safely undertake the demolition of the former buildings on the site, we had to remove 10 (category B and C) trees. To reduce the impact of this loss of trees, we propose to plant replacement trees on the west and east boundaries. As part of the redesign of the scheme we are reviewing the tree removal numbers.
Would mature trees be planted to screen the Kings Grove boundary?
We would be unable to plant mature trees due to the sewer that runs underneath the site. However, we are reviewing landscaping options to find other suitable solutions.
What is included in the Transport Assessment? How are local views be captured in the document?
A Transport Assessment is provided as part of the planning application and considers the impact of a development/building on the area in which it is located. This assessment estimates how the development could change the likely number of trips to and from the site by walking, cycling, public transport and driving, and journeys that use more than one mode of transport. This assessment includes all journeys for staff, visitors and servicing / delivery trips associated with the new building. It also provides information on the existing local road network and focuses on traffic, parking and road safety (e.g. traffic collisions within the last 5 years), including information about parking restrictions, crossings, street lighting, car club usage and pedestrian traffic as well as existing cycling infrastructure, cycle storage and public transport provision (bus, rail and underground).
Following assessment of the data, suggestions are made as part of the assessment to mitigate traffic and transport impacts of the proposed development.
A Servicing and Delivery Management Plan is also included which outlines how deliveries, servicing and refuse traffic would be managed to and from the site. A Construction Management Plan is also prepared which outlines how construction traffic would be reduced and managed for the development.
The Transport Assessment would be prepared by independent consultants appointed by the developer (in this case the Council). The Transport Assessment would be updated during the planning application as the design changes.
The Transport Assessment consultants would be expected to undertake community engagement to gain a better understanding of local issues and concerns. This would help them to develop appropriate measures to reduce the impact of the development.
What is the council doing in addition to the above?
The project includes a dedicated piece of work in place which focuses on promotion of sustainable travel and incentivising staff to commute to the offices by bicycle, foot, bus, train or tube. To encourage sustainable transport usage, the council already offers all staff the option of an interest free season ticket loan along with a cycle to work scheme. There is also a plan in place to collect survey data to establish work journeys and how these are currently being completed. This piece of work would allow us to develop and implement reasonable alternatives (such as pool cars) for any employees needing to travel for work.
What would the impact be on the local public transport network?
We have carefully considered the impact of our proposals on the local public transport network and would continue to do so as part of the planning process, with a Transport Assessment prepared as part of the planning submission. The site’s excellent transport links is one of the reasons Queens Road is such a good location to site a council building. It makes it easily accessible to most residents and staff.
There are many bus routes that cover the area (it is anticipated these would be the primary means of access for residents visiting the proposed building) as well as marked cycle routes along Queens Road. We are aiming to double the number of secure cycle parking bays required under current planning policy and to provide shower facilities onsite to encourage members of staff to travel by bike. Our proposals are in line with both the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to maximise developments around transport hubs, and the council’s commitment to reduce car use and the pollution it creates.
What is the current capacity of Queens Road Station?
The organisations responsible for the operation of the station are Network Rail as landlord and Southern Railway (Govia Thameslink Railway) who run the trains. The council does not hold any information on station capacity, and generally, as a rule, the train company only holds capacity figures per service, which takes into account individual train services and does not summarise station capacity as a whole. Station capacity studies in general are only completed prior to a major upgrade investment or for major London stations (such as London Bridge) where station surveys are also completed on a more regular basis. We're exploring whether station capacity was recorded at Queens Road prior to the step free upgrade in 2013/14.
Have you considered the impact of increased footfall at Queens Road station?
We understand that there are local concerns about this issue and are carrying out specific discussions, to look at the impact on the station. We've engaged with our Transport Policy team and will continue to work with them closely throughout both the design and planning process.
We'd like to reassure residents that the general pattern of travel to the new building should not impact significantly on rush hour services from the station. Staff and service users coming to and from the new building in rush hour would be travelling against the main flow.
As the building is a work destination rather than a home location we do not anticipate a noticeable impact on peak services into London, with staff and service users who utilise the rail network exiting at Queens Road. They're not adding to additional waiting footfall to the platform during peak times. Additionally, there are many bus routes that cover the area, which we anticipate would be the primary means of residents visiting the proposed building. Additionally, there are cycle routes with well-marked lanes along Queens Road.
As part of the programme, would you be making any infrastructure improvements to Queens Road Station?
The organisations responsible for the operation of the station are Network Rail as landlord and Southern Railway (Govia Thameslink Railway) who run the trains. Queens Road Station underwent improvements in 2013/14 which saw, step free improvements and subsequently implementation of ticket barriers and additional covered waiting areas along the platform.
Any request to make station improvements would have to go through the Network Rail National Stations Improvement Programme and due to the nature of the future movement (against flows) there is likely to be no notable effect on capacity and thus a very limited business case for improvements.
Would this office generate a lot more traffic?
Staff members working at the new office would be encouraged to travel to and from work using sustainable methods of transport. The site is very well served by public transport with Queens Road Station just 50 metres away. The station provides frequent services to London Bridge and Clapham Junction with connections to the underground and other national rail services. The planned Bakerloo Line Extension would be sited at the northern end of Asylum Road approximately 800 metres away. Queens Road is also served by numerous bus services which include the 36, 136, 171, 177, 436, N89, N136, N171, P12 and P13. Additionally, there are cycle routes with well-marked lanes along Queens Road and we are including 84 secure cycle bays and shower facilities onsite to encourage members of staff to travel by bike.
Southwark Council’s Transport Policy team started consulting on its Draft Movement Plan on 5 November 2018, with one of its key aims being to reduce traffic across the borough. The consultation phase closes on 18 February 2019.
How would the building be managed (Facilities Management) and what are the expected usage numbers for the following deliveries, security, handyperson, maintenance, cleaning, etc.?
The council already services the three existing buildings on Queen’s Road as a campus and streamlines deliveries accordingly. When the Queens Road 4 site is operational this campus delivery solution would be extended. There is no expected net increase in the number of vehicles attending the campus. For example, waste would be collected across the campus on the same day with the same vehicle.
Would there be parking provided?
There would be no onsite general parking provision at the Queens Road 4 site. There would however be provision for disabled parking as well as pick up/ drop off and delivery bays. The council does have off-street parking facilities as part of the existing Queens Road campus and the use of this would be reviewed. The council would also be looking at local opportunities for off-street provision for electric pool cars, subject to the availability of supporting electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Have you considered impact on local parking, and what are the council’s plans to mitigate this?
We understand that parking pressure in the Queens Road area is high, with the proximity to Queens Road station, the presence of the Queens Road council offices and the absence of any Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) all contributing to the problem.
The council is currently reviewing ways in which to alleviate the pressure on parking across the Queens Road area. This work would involve a review of parking and ensure that an enhanced period of robust monitoring and enforcement is implemented to ensure that staff permits are being used within their designated guidance.
Alongside this work a council wide staff travel plan is also being developed which aims to promote and facilitate sustainable travel, to avoid additional pressure on local parking.
The site has been chosen because of its excellent transport links, and therefore our current proposals for the new building do not include parking for staff, who would be encouraged to use public transport to travel to and from work.
Would implementation of a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) be revisited?
A public consultation was conducted in January 2017 to establish whether a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) should be implemented in the local area, however according to the Queen’s Road Parking Study Report (published June 2017), the consultation found that the majority of residents did not have a parking problem and did not want a parking zone to be implemented.
It was concluded that a CPZ would not be implemented. However, in light of the new development and requests from local residents, the council is exploring the viability of reviewing the case for implementation of a CPZ in the area.
A CPZ would not only stop staff and visitors parking in the area surrounding the Queens Road council offices but would allow implementation of a staff exclusion zone, which could place restrictions on council permit use within the zone.
Explain how community safety would be managed once the building is operational?
All services moving into the building have risk assessments tailored to the activities they carry out. These risk assessments are regularly reviewed and for any new or ad hoc activities specific risk assessments are created. There are processes already in place, across the services relocating, to ensure safe passage for service users as they enter and exit the building. The detailed security arrangements for the building are currently being developed, however it is planned that Queens Road 4 would have dedicated onsite security with all council buildings on Queens Road managed as a campus.
Colleagues across services relocating are working closely with the project team for the new building to ensure the proposals are robust and safe. Part of that work is looking at what other councils have achieved with the bringing together of new services in one place, and the evidence shows that such a move has been really successful.
We are also in the process of arranging a dedicated focus group to include the QR4 project team, Assistant Director of Family Help and Youth Justice, as well as colleagues in Community Safety. This group would aim to work towards assessing the effect of the development on community safety.
Health and wellbeing
How is the council considering the impact of the development on the health and wellbeing of the local community?
The council is working closely with the architects and directly affected residents to ensure that the physical structure (and the effect on light, overlooking etc.) does not negatively impact on the health and wellbeing of the local community
The project is also working closely with the council’s public health leads, the local community and other internal and external specialists to take into account the health status and needs of the local population and the barriers to improving health and well-being. We understand that some local residents have concerns relating to community deterioration and fear of crime associated with the new development however based on the current location of services relocating to the building we do not anticipate that there would be an impact on the safety and wellbeing of the local community.
The proposals would enable the council to improve the level of service it provides for Southwark residents by providing staff and service users with a better building and working environment. This would also deliver benefits to the local area, improving the vitality and viability of the existing local centre and bringing increased trade to local businesses.
Interdependencies with other developments
How would reopening the Wood Dene site affect Queens Road Peckham train station?
The Wood Dene housing estate comprised 320 dwellings. A planning application was approved in 2013 for 333 dwellings (after the improvements to the Overground train services at Queens Road) which is an increase of 13 dwellings.
The Transport Assessment for the Wood Dene development calculated that it would create a negligible increase in peak hour rail trips. Please see the Figure 1 below from the Wood Dene Transport Assessment which shows the small number of additional train trips to and from Queens Road during the rush hour (am and pm peaks).
Figure 1: Forecast peak hour rail trip generation created by the Wood Dene development.
AM Peak (07:30-08:30)
PM Peak (17:00-18:00)
Source: Extracted from Table 6.3 (page 20): Peak Hour Residential Trips - Modal Split - Wood Dene Transport Assessment (March 2013), prepared by Mayer Brown.
We do however understand the site has been vacant for a significant amount of time and that demand on Queens Road station has increased significantly over the last 10 years.
When the planning officers and transport planning team review and make assessments on the application for QR4 they would do so whilst taking into account all the developments in the area.
TfL and Network Rail would also be asked to review the application, with the council engaging with both parties to establish possible impacts. In addition, the utilities network would be reviewed as part of the submission process and we expect to have to build a new electric sub-station.
What are the benefits of this to the community?
The proposals would enable the council to improve the level of service it provides for Southwark residents by providing staff and service users with a better building and working environment. This would also deliver benefits to the local area, improving the vitality and viability of the existing local centre. Members of staff working on the site are likely to frequent local businesses, which would benefit from an increase in trade and consequentially make them more viable.
What activity is currently happening onsite?
The design team has carried out surveying works between February and March 2019. This work included noise surveys and ground investigations. The ground surveys undertaken included trial pits, boreholes and trenches to ascertain the ground conditions, which would assist with developing any foundation design.
There is currently no activity planned on site but we will notify residents if any works are due to be undertaken.
When would the new office open?
As the scheme is being redesigned it is forecast that the building would be complete for summer 2021. This is dependent on the project gaining planning permission in early 2020.
Consultation and engagement
How are we consulting with local people?
The council has completed four rounds of engagement;
In January 2018 we wrote to residents and businesses located within a 250 m radius of the Queens Road site, asking for their views on our proposals. We held a consultation meeting for residents in the direct vicinity and invited anyone with an interest to a public exhibition, and wrote to local stakeholders and community groups who have previously expressed an interest in planning locally. We also published all the consultation materials on our website for anyone who couldn’t make it along to the exhibition. We then updated the proposals to reflect residents’ comments and consulted on a second phase of the proposals in February 2018.
The new architects, Allies and Morrison, were appointed in May 2018 to re-develop the designs, building on the important work already undertaken to feed in staff, service user and local resident requirements. Allies & Morrison are very experienced in this type of development as well as in working with local communities and have been fully informed of and reviewed the consultation feedback.
In April 2019, we met with residents to present initial designs for the updated scheme and collect feedback on the proposals. Materials from these sessions, as well as a summary of the comments made, are available on the consultation website.
We held a final stage of engagement in September 2019 where we presented the detailed proposals for the site, with revisions made based on the earlier feedback received.
These events have provided residents with the opportunity to view and give feedback on the revised design before the planning application is submitted in late summer 2019. The council will continue to engage with local residents and businesses throughout the lifecycle of the project, including conducting regular drop in sessions to provide updates. We are working hard to ensure that public engagement remains a priority throughout and that the new building enhances and contributes positively to the local environment.
Will the architects be visiting resident’s homes to see how the development would affect them?
Yes, this offer is available to residents who are directly affected by the development, in which their property boundary borders the development site. If you'd like to organise a home visit from the architects, email Queens.Road@southwark.gov.uk, stating your name, contact phone numbers and address.
Page last updated: 13 June 2023