Greystar secures enhancement planning at Bermondsey BTR

Southwark Council has approved Greystar’s enhanced planning application, which will deliver new Build to Rent housing.

Concept image of the updated plans for Greystar's Bermondsey Biscuit Factory scheme | BTR News
Concept image of the updated plans for Greystar's Bermondsey Biscuit Factory scheme.

Investor, developer, and manager Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC has secured planning approval from Southwark Council for amendments to its Build to Rent development at the former Peek Freans biscuit factory site in Bermondsey, South London.

The amendments build on the established design principles of the scheme, as carried out by KPF on behalf of Grosvenor. The update includes the delivery of an additional 88 homes, bringing the total to 1,624 new homes in a critically undersupplied area, alongside increasing the number of homes for social rent.

The site will create a new community in the heart of Zone 2 in London, incorporating new homes for a range of rents, play areas, cultural and retail spaces, and proximity to the local transport links. The new school building for Charter School Bermondsey was completed in January 2024, which has enabled on-site works to start.

Greystar has announced its dedication to working with the local businesses, residents, and community groups to ensure the benefits of the development are realised for the wider area. This includes driving footfall to the existing town centre and providing training and employment opportunities. 

“Our scheme in Bermondsey has been purpose-designed with renters in mind, leveraging our 30 years of experience providing high-quality homes for occupiers around the world. London is facing an acute shortage of homes, and by delivering new, purpose-built rental homes in town centre locations, we can help to alleviate this pressure while putting disused, brownfield land to use as much-needed new housing stock. This is a significant milestone for our development at the historic biscuit factory, which promises to deliver a thriving new community in the heart of the UK’s capital city.”

Dan Thompson, Managing Director – Development, Greystar

The developer’s proposal followed extensive consultations with community stakeholders, and includes the provision of increased affordable housing, the addition of second staircases in buildings, improvements to safety and security throughout the site, and updated building and unit layouts to comply with the latest regulations.

The scheme will also enhance the public spaces, including a 115% increase in play areas and 75 additional trees. The initial plans for the Bermondsey Biscuit Factory site were approved by the GLA in February 2020 and designated that the site would be entirely Build to Rent.

Greystar acquired the site in September 2022, and works have already started. The development will be professionally managed by the developer once complete, including an on-site team that will support and advise residents.

Greystar appointed HTA as the masterplan and landscape architect, and the buildings have been designed by a combination of HTA, Hawkins Brown and Arney Fender Katsalidis.

“HTA, Hawkins\Brown and AFK have formed a strong collaboration on The Bermondsey Project to protect and enhance the key principles that were successfully established by KPF in the original consent, while creating the opportunity for more affordable homes, increased play provision and significant carbon savings across this exciting scheme. 

“Alongside delivering new homes, workspace, retail and community spaces, a key priority for us was to increase the public realm and improve urban greening to open up the site and improve connectivity, all while reflecting the site’s industrial heritage.”

Colin Ainger, Partner, HTA Design