Young Planners Conference: Tour 5: Borough and Bankside Opportunity Area

Hosted by Better Bankside and LB Southwark

Tour 5 began outside the Globe Theatre near Millennium Bridge on the chilly south bank of the Thames. The group was told how Bankside, originally an industrial area has evolved over the past two decades into a popular tourist destination and attractive walking route. The creation of the Thames Path and relocation of the Tate, along with several major new developments have led to significant improvements in the area.

The tour passed newly opened Blackfriars Station which sits on Blackfriars Bridge, and has the longest photovoltaic roof of any railway station in the world. A stop off in the warm information centre at the 1 Blackfriars Road development site was much appreciated by everyone. The group heard about the negotiation process Southwark went through with the developers who were after a speedy planning decision. The site has approval for a hotel, shopping centre, and 50 story tower block with a communal garden for residents and a cycle concierge service which can only be expected if you are paying £40 million for a penthouse apartment.

The tour then ventured back out into the cold and headed passed the Neo Bankside development over to ancient Borough Market. Somehow no one got lost in the crowds around the tempting market stalls, which as usual were selling an amazing array of delicacies. The tour ended at London Bridge Station under the impressive Shard, hearing about how the tallest building in Western Europe had got planning permission. All in all it was a great tour, which ended with a round of applause for the guides who both did an excellent job.

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