Over 700 people have signed a petition calling on Southwark Council to save a historic Bermondsey factory building and rethink its planning policy.
Earlier this month, the council approved plans to demolish the 143-year-old Tin Box Factory on Tanner Street and replace it with an eight-storey metal-clad Network Rail building.
However, Bermondsey resident Kristina Mansbridge has launched a campaign to protect the historic landmark and is urging the council to review its criteria when deciding to demolish Victorian and Edwardian buildings.
She said: “I just don’t understand the council’s attitude and their lack of imagination. They want to knock down buildings full of history and replace them with bland, boring buildings.
“I walk past the building every day on my way to work but only realised it was to be demolished and replaced with a metal monstrosity when I saw a councillor Tweet about it. I’m really disappointed and angry, the building represents Bermondsey’s industrial past and history.”
Kristina set up an online petition and also collected signatures at Maltby Street Market last week, in total securing some 700 names. She is also urging supporters to discuss the issue on social media using #SaveBermondsey.
She said: “I’m very passionate about this. There is just no coherent plan to make the area beautiful. Obviously development needs to take place but there must be a way to incorporate and preserve beautiful, historic buildings.
“I come from Gothenburg and there are a lot of similarities with Bermondsey. But we are losing the beauty and I am very angry. I just don’t understand the thinking.”
Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “This building was not listed or in a conservation area, and the decision made by the planning committee took into account its existing condition.
“No objections were raised to its loss at the time. The planning committee agreed that the new building is of appropriate use and design. As there was a full and thorough consideration of these issues there is no reason to reverse the decision.”
Sign the online petition by visiting http://chn.ge/1Jg5CPv and join the discussion online using #SaveBermondsey.
People who want to help with the petitioning can email Kristina at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet her via @BermondseyVoice.