Plans for a tall office block to be built on the site of the Vinegar Yard market next to London Bridge station have been amended following consultation.

The tower is aimed at being part of the Life Science & Innovation District around London Bridge being promoted by Guys Hospital and the local councils, and the upper levels are expected to be mainly leased to medical research.

Proposed office tower (c) CIT/KPF architects

The lower floors are to be the usual retail and cafe mix, but plans for an underground music venue has been cancelled following feedback from local residents concerned about noise.

Balancing that though, an old warehouse building at the back of the site will be retained and turned into a multipurpose venue. Sitting next to the Horseshoe Inn pub means it will probably face fewer problems with noise complaints. An advantage of removing the music venue basement, which would have stretched under the pavement, is that they can plant larger trees on the corner of the site where the music venue would have gone.

Some modest design changes are proposed to the main tower with additional planting on side balconies, and some commercial changes have also been proposed such as offering affordable workspace to local businesses.

The plans will however eventually see the market and food stalls at Vinegar Yard closing. They were always intended to be a temporary feature of the area, although having been there for more years than originally intended, they feel more permanent now.

It will also mean the end for the train carriage being attacked by giant ants.


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  1. Barnaby Green says:

    Whilst interested to see what benefits the new development will offer to more than just the developer (the medical facilities for example, hopefully not reduced to tokenistic) it a pity to lose Vinegar Yard as it’s become an established meeting point for many. Whilst cycling in the area my wife and I stopped off for refreshment (burger/beer)and it – then on my radar – made a good meeting place to take a friends teenagers to give the illusion that I’m cool(!). Sad also to hear – as a musician – that plans for a potential addition to London’s fast-dwindling music venues dropped though tbf, if I a local resident living in audible proximity I might be concerned – there didn’t seem to be dwellings too close though. Perhaps as part of plans another location local but better sited for music could be considered. As a biker I’m wondering what will be happening to the ants, part-constructed from motorcycle petrol tanks, a really fun installation. I did also notice the interesting Victorian or older warehouse behind VY with the dock doors and winch. In a perfect world I’d be having that, running a bar and music venue from the lower decks, the ants crawling over the outside and my Triumph idling out the front ready for a Sunday ride…(must get a lottery ticket!)

  2. Nathaniel Tiberius Winstone says:

    I have huge concerns about these proposals. To date the giant ants have been content to attack the train carriage. Removal of the carriage could anger the ants and cause them to attack the wider city. No impact analysis appears to have been made.

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