Developer Avanton has acquired the 1.6 hectare site from gas company SGN to build hundreds of new homes and more than 50,000 sqft of light industrial space.
Plans for the Gasholders site are still at an early stage but include the retention of the 48.8-metre high main Grade II listed Victorian gasholder, during the Victorian era the largest in the world, originally A built in 1879-1881 by George Livesey. The gasholder frame will be used as an architectural feature within the gardens and parkland of the new development. Within the skeleton of the gasholder there are plans for gardens, with a pavilion and water features, providing place making for the new development.
The Gasholders site was originally part of the Old Kent Road gasworks, owned by the South Metropolitan Gas Company, and built in 1829-1833 under chairman Thomas Livesey. In 1848 Thomas’s son George joined the company and helped to reconstruct the complex which became the most important gasworks in London, producing a gas supply of 12,520 million cubic feet per annum. The gasworks were nationalised in 1949 and ceased production in 1953 although the gasholders continued to be used for storing gas into the 21st century. Avanton now plans to regenerate the redundant site with a new mixed use scheme.
Avanton now has three development sites on the Old Kent Road, along with the Ruby Triangle site (purchased in July 2017), and the Carpetright site (purchased in March 2019). The three sites can provide £795m worth of new mixed use development including 2,100 new homes as well as commercial premises and leisure facilities.
Alongside the Gasholders site, Avanton has already gained planning permission for 1,152 new homes providing 40% affordable housing and a sports centre on the 1.3 hectare Ruby Triangle site which the developer plans to launch in 2020.
The Carpetright scheme at 651 Old Kent Road is also in the planning system, proposing a further 262 homes.
Avanton managing partner Omer Weingberger: “Avanton’s acquisition of the Gasholders site on Old Kent Road highlights our commitment to investment and regeneration in the London Borough of Southwark. The £230m (GDV) Gasholders scheme will result in a significant contribution to the local community through the provision of homes, a substantial commercial offering and public open space. Our trio of projects will help to spearhead the transformation of Old Kent Road into a new town centre for London. Alongside this there is the planned extension of the Bakerloo Line with two new stations on Old Kent Road.”
Old Kent Road, famously the crappiest part of the Monopoly board, is undergoing a £10.7bn regeneration, supported by a £3.1b investment in upgraded transport facilities, chiefly the new Bakerloo Line Extension.