Plans for council building in Queen’s Road, Peckham could be scrapped

A controversial town hall office building plan could be scrapped after seven years of rows with residents.

Southwark council has confirmed it has written to residents in Queen’s Road, Peckham, saying work has been paused while it considered other options.

The idea for building – known as Queen’s Road 4 – was first floated in 2013, aiming to create new office space for front line children’s and housing support staff.

The latest scheme was due to go to the council’s planning committee this month and, if approved, opened in 2022.

An existing council building on the site, opposite Queen’s Road railway station, was demolished to make way for the block.

Town hall officers also changed some of the plans amid fears gangs would mix in the area.

But a cash black hole caused by lockdown have forced a rethink.

Councillor Kieron Williams, the cabinet member for modernisation, said: “The need for many council services has risen substantially whist at the same time our income from business rates, council tax and almost all other sources has fallen.

“Given the huge impact of Covid-19 on our communities and the council, it is right that we pause to reconsider how best we can deliver essential services to residents in safe and welcoming surroundings.

“We will be looking at other options for the Queen’s Road site and will continue to work with residents to develop any new proposals.”

Residents nearby said they would be hemmed in and overshadowed by the building, just yards from their windows, which they say will cut most of their natural light during the day and will be lit up at night.

The current building, a former day centre for disabled people, is no longer in use, and town hall chiefs want the proposed new structure to become offices for staff dealing with homeless people and vulnerable children.

These services are currently located in six buildings across Southwark, many of which the council said are old.

The council went through two consultation processes with the public, lasting about a month, in 2018.

Pictured top: Southwark council’s offices in Tooley Street

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