Southwark Council has purchased a huge area of industrial land by Old Kent Road for £15m.
The 2.5 acre patch at 709 Old Kent Road – nearly the size of two football pitches – will be used by the council for occupational depots.
The sale was made by City & Provincial Properties PLC, with advice from Bermondsey-based firm Kalmars.
The land sits next to the huge Veolia recycling centre, and is occupied by three tall, circular gas holders.
Cllr Fiona Colley, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for finance, performance and modernisation, said: “The council’s property portfolio provides a vital source of income. We have made a number of purchases this year that will, overall, bring in an extra £2m of income per year to help fund essential council services.
“As part of the council’s property portfolio we have invested in this part of Old Kent Road, which not only increases our land ownership stake in this new regeneration area but also has the potential to help us relocate some facilities in the short term, should we need to. Eventually it can be brought forward for redevelopment as part of the wider Old Kent Road development programme.”
Richard Kalmar, managing director of Kalmars and chair of the Southwark Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is an important site for the transformation of Old Kent Road area.
“Historically it was used for a smelly and dirty use by the South Metropolitan Gas Company when the area developed as heavy factories around the Surrey Canal.
“While in the long-term the site has potential for redevelopment and regeneration, Southwark’s purchase will enable it to bring together a number of operational depots and teams, from around the borough, in one location. City & Provincial have sorted out this complicated site enabling its sale – for the benefit of Southwark, and its residents, through improved efficiency.”