The youth offending service will no longer be moved into new council offices near Queens Road Peckham – but the mega office block will still go ahead despite years of lobbying from residents.
Southwark Council originally planned new office block on Asylum Road to house a range of existing services under one roof, saying current offices were no longer up to scratch.
Particular cause for concern was the council’s plan to relocate the youth offending service from its current base in East Dulwich Road.
The News understands schools in the area were wary of the plans and their potential to have rival gang members crossing paths.
As the News has reported, the initial design from 2018 ignited an outcry from residents who feared being overshadowed during the day and brightly lit at night by the office, and the security issues presented by planting a busy office with frontline services on a residential street.
Two years later residents and the council are still locked in a stalemate over revised proposals and fears over security, crime, and a “monster” sized building.
Directly next to the current building site is the “dream home” self-built by two architects, John O’Shea and Richa Mukhia – now plastered with graffiti on one side.
They told the News back in 2018: “We are not against a council development on the site, but we are very much against overdevelopment and the design which is being proposed.”
The council has promised black-out blinds will be used in the evenings to avoid excess light pollution, and believes as people will likely to be travelling to the area “against the flow” during rush hour there will not be a significant impact at Queens Road Peckham.
Kieron Williams, Tooley Street’s cabinet member for housing and modernisation, said: “The council has consulted with the local community and partner organisations over several years on the proposals, and although we completely understand some residents’ concerns, we are confident that the carefully designed building will bring advantages for the local area, for Southwark residents, and for our staff.
“The design has evolved over time to take on board local concerns, resulting in a smaller, more sympathetic building that impacts far less on neighbouring homes.
“It is really important to us to get this right, so that we deliver a building that local people can be proud of, as well as providing a modern and welcoming environment for residents needing to access vital frontline services.”