Plans Submitted for Massive Wandsworth Gasworks Scheme

30-storey tower part of development with containing over 600 flats

A visualisation of the planned buildings on the current gasholder siteA A visualisation of the planned buildings on the current gasholder site. Picture: SGN Mitheridge Ltd

February 28, 2023

Plans have been submitted for a massive development at the old gasholder site near Armoury Way and Swandon Way which will see 646 new flats developed in buildings up to 30 storeys high.

Wandsworth Gasworks proposal is for a mix of tenures including senior living, build-to-rent with a target of 35% for affordable units. The scheme also includes up to 6,488 sqm workspace and ground floor commercial units.

The site is bounded by the A3 dual carriageway, the River Wandle and the rail viaduct to the north. As a former gasworks and canal basin there is significant below ground contamination.

The plan includes a range of building heights from 10 storeys through to the tallest at 30 storeys which will still be lower than the 36 storey building in the Ram Brewery development.

The application has been made by SGN Mitheridge Ltd which is a joint venture between SGN Place and funds managed by Mitheridge Capital Management. The landowner SGN (formerly Southern Gas Networks and Scotland Gas Networks) is the gas distribution network for the south of England and Scotland, maintaining a network that supplies 5.9 million homes and businesses. The plans are being submitted on a hybrid basis with detailed designs for part of the scheme included with outline proposals for areas to be developed later.

The first part of the project to be developed will be the standalone 30-storey tower on Plot A1 which has been designed by Carmody Groarke Architects as well as the gasholder Plot B by MAX Architects.

The tallest tower in the development would be 30 storeys high.
The tallest tower in the development would be 30 storeys high. Picture: SGN Mitheridge Ltd

The tallest tower is situated on north-west corner of the site where the rail line and River Wandle meet. It will be linked to the rest of the scheme by a new footbridge.

Plot B will references the old gasholder with its circular form and metallic cladding. The gasholder has been a local landmark for over 60 years and, although it has now been demolished, the remaining piled structures and the hole beneath it will be used in the plans. The large plot consists of three tower elements which are 15 storeys in height all based around a central circular garden at ground floor. This garden would be enclosed by a podium structure which contains a mix of uses from cinema to leisure. The buildings face Swandon Way to the east.

The site as it is currently. Picture: SGN Mitheridge Ltd

The designs for the other two plots A2 and A3, which make up the affordable elements of the scheme are only submitted as outline proposals at this stage.

Plot A2 sits alongside the River Wandle and the planned park space and will be taken up by a rectangular building of 11 storeys. Plot A3 will contain two rectangular blocks of 10 and 11 storeys with a setback linking element. The anticipated entrances face onto the central pedestrian route of Kingfisher Street which runs from the river park space towards Old York Road.

The planned affordable housing will sit next to the tall tower. Picture: SGN Mitheridge Ltd

The project would aim to reshape the local area with a new 200 metre linear park and new crossings for the River Wandle. It is also proposed to provide a new hub for the local music industry in specially constructed buildings and the development would include a cinema.

The project includes the relocation of the gas governor and must retain the existing Head House in the south-west corner.

SGN Place says that there is a high cost to dismantling and land remediation on its former gasworks sites and this has to be met by their development and disposal. This reduces the overall cost to customers.

Simon Reilly, Commercial Director of SGN, “Together, we’re committed to turning the former gasworks into much-needed housing for the Wandsworth community, including a significant proportion of affordable homes.”

The company says that it has been working with creative businesses and charities that are being displaced by the commencement of Phase 2 of the Ram Brewery development - namely Backyard Cinema and Neko/Kyoto Music. It is providing temporary ‘incubation’ space to allow them to move into the scheme when it is completed. Backyard Cinema has secured the use of the Downing owned site to the south of the development on a temporary basis. A new permanent home would be for the cinema in the project with two screens.

It is also proposed to create a music campus at the development with ground floor space being targeted at the music industry anchored by space taken by Neko Music. It is also planned to hold discussions with Domino Records which is currently in the existing Delta Business Park.

The hole left by the gasholder would be used to create a garden space. Picture: SGN Mitheridge Ltd

A new footbridge over the River Wandle is being touted as a key public benefit of the proposals. Step free and designed for pedestrians and cyclists, it will provide a link not just for residents of the new buildings but for anyone living in the area giving easier access to the train station and the town centre. The developer says that it is working with the Environment Agency to ensure that the structure has no impact on the river wall.

You can see more details of the plans and make comments on them on the Wandsworth Council web site.

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