Friars Close: Revitalising the estate and providing better homes

Find the latest information on proposals to redevelop Friars Close and Burrell Street in Southwark, London.

In this section you can find the latest information on proposals to redevelop Friars Close and Burrell Street in Southwark, London.

Latest News

Planning update
April 2024

Southwark Council have advised that the review of the planning documents has taken longer than expected and because of the elections in May, the next planning committee will be held in early Summer. We will provide the new date once this is confirmed by Southwark Council.

Subject to receiving planning by this date, we will be supporting residents with their moves later this year. We will continue to keep everyone updated about the planning process.

Our latest update
February 2024

Earlier this month, we held an event with our construction partners, Mount Anvil and our housing colleagues where we provided residents living at Friars Close and Burrell Street with the latest programme update.

Planning update
Southwark Council is currently considering the planning application, and we are working towards a planning committee date in April. We will continue to keep everyone updated on the status of the application.

Blackfriars Settlement
At the event, we also had a special guest from Blackfriars Settlement, a local charitable organisation that are looking to occupy the ground floor community spaces in the new development, who talked about the great work they do in the local community.

It was great to see so many residents attending the event and engaging in the Q&A session following the presentation. A copy of the information presented at the event and a transcript of the questions asked by residents is available on our website. We will continue to provide regular updates whilst Southwark planners consider the plans.

Thank you for coming along to our event
November 2023

Following the submission of the amended planning application to Southwark Council in September, we held an engagement event with our joint venture partners, Mount Anvil this month where we shared a copy of the submitted plans with residents and also provided them with a programme update.

Kalmars, the estate agents we appointed to identify suitable temporary accommodation for residents whilst the new homes are built, were also on hand to answer questions and support residents around their property search.

Southwark is considering the plans and we anticipate a decision will be made in the spring. Subject to receiving planning by this date, we will be supporting residents with their moves in the summer, to allow site enabling works to start.

What we have been doing since we last met
September 2023

This month, Riverside and Mount Anvil held two public events at The Africa Centre, where we shared more detail on the programme timeline and the scheme amendments, following the launch of a consultation by the Government on new fire safety measures. The latest amendments will ensure that the redeveloped scheme will conform with the upcoming fire safety requirements.

We are pleased to say that this month we have submitted the amended application for planning. Southwark will consider the plans and, over the coming months, we will continue to keep residents updated about the status of the planning application.

It was great to see you at our latest event
June 2023

Thanks to the residents who came along to our event last month to discuss the latest update on the redevelopment of Friars Close. This was an opportunity for the team to share the latest project update and answer questions about the next steps in the redevelopment of Friars Close and Burrell Street.

How to access the information from the event
You can view a copy of the event presentation here, and read the answers to the questions asked at the event in the FAQ section.

In response to the feedback received following the event, we have also put together a factsheet which summarises some of the details shared at the event.

Our commitments to you
Rent levels will stay the same and residents will not change because of the redevelopment; and you will keep the same security of tenure.

Residents who wish to move off temporarily while we rebuild the block, have a guaranteed right to return to a permanent home. You can find our commitments here.

Thank you for filling in our decant survey
April 2023

We want to thank everyone for filling in our decant survey. The information provided is very important as it will help us identify your individual needs and circumstances before we begin the temporary move process, once planning permission has been secured.

Design amendments
As you know, Riverside and Mount Anvil submitted proposals the planning application for Friars Close and Burrell Street in December last year. Since then, in response to the government’s new guidance on high-rise buildings in England, we have had to make minor amendments to the design proposals of the tallest block by increasing its width to accommodate a second fire escape staircase.

We can assure you, however, that these amendments will have little to no impact to the design of your new homes, and the promises we made to you about your home choices during the consultation period will remain.

Resident event
We are holding an event in early May to introduce you to Kalmars, who Riverside appointed to identify suitable temporary accommodation for you while we build your new homes. We will also be discussing the process and timeline of moving out of your existing home, into your temporary homes, and back into your new home.

Along with staff from Riverside’s regen and housing teams, and the estate agents from Kalmars, your Independent Tenant Advisor will be there to answer any questions that you may have. Following this event, Riverside and Mount Anvil will be holding two events to share the updated drawings with you and the local community.

Updated timeline
The planning application will need to be updated to reflect these amendments and this will unfortunately delay the progress of meeting with the planning committee. Since there are no committee meetings in August, we anticipate our next planning committee date to be September 2023, this means that you will not be required to move out of your homes until Winter 2023. We apologies for this delay and we will continue to keep you updated about the next steps.

We are submitting the planning application
December 2022

We are submitting the planning application for Friars Close and Burrell Street this month. Southwark Council will then discuss whether they want the plans to go ahead; this will take place at a Planning Committee meeting by May 2023. Over the coming months, we will be in touch with you about how you can further show your support and give the plans the best chance of obtaining planning permission.

Thank you for joining us at the Night Walk
We hope you enjoyed the night walk with lighting consultant, Light Follows Behaviour, that you attended in November. The consultant gathered some useful feedback from you around lighting strategy, which will inform the design of the new scheme.

What’s next?
Once the planning application has been validated, Southwark will carry out their own consultation with the local community and will invite you to comment on the plans. We will write to you at a later date to confirm the planning validation number, along with information on how you can submit your comments via their planning portal.

Please get in touch with your Resident Liaison Officer, Jade Adnett on [email protected] if you’re interested in submitting a comment or have any questions about this; alternatively, you can contact your Independent Tenant Advisor, Ray Coyle.

Residents have their say about redevelopment plans in second resident vote
November 2022

Following another round of consultation, we asked you to take part in a second resident vote in October to understand whether you were in support of our redevelopment plans for Friars Close.

We are pleased to announce that 93% of you participated in the vote; 88% of the votes cast were in favour of the new development. All votes were independently collected and verified by our independent tenants’ advisors, Open Communities to provide a fair and transparent process. Thank you for having your say on the future of your estate in the second resident vote.

Over the coming months, we will continue to keep you updated on our ongoing conversations with Southwark Council. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the redevelopment of your estate, please do get in touch via email at [email protected].

Residents share their feedback about emerging design proposals
September 2022

We want to thank everyone who joined the resident event on Saturday 10 September and engaged in discussions with the project team about the emerging design proposals and the next steps for the redevelopment.

We engaged with a total of 18 households living on the estate; and the overall feedback was positive. Our joint venture partner Mount Anvil, the architect Allies and Morrison and the landscape architect Exterior Architecture were also on hand to answer all your questions.

We will consider your feedback in the emerging design proposals and will continue to engage with you ahead of the second resident vote on the proposals which will take place in October.

Resident tour of Mount Anvil’s Silk District development
August 2022

We were delighted with the great turnout on Saturday 23 July for the tour of Mount Anvil’s development, The Silk District, which recently won the Residential Award ‘Development of the Year 2022!’. We would like to say thank you to those that attended the site visit; we hope that you found it useful.

The tour included a walk around the scheme and look inside some social rented homes to give residents a feel for the quality that can be expected as part of Friars Close redevelopment. The tour ended in the podium gardens which many residents told us they loved. We will be looking to incorporate this quality as part of emerging scheme designs.

We look forward to continuing to have engaging discussions with you over the coming weeks about the emerging design proposals and the next steps for the redevelopment, ahead of the second resident vote in October.

Residents say ‘yes’ to proposals in first resident vote
April 2022

We are pleased to announce that more than 70% of you supported the proposals in our first resident vote last month, over the plans for the future of Friars Close. All votes were independently collected and verified by Open Communities to provide a fair and transparent process.

We want to thank you for taking part in the vote, which is key step in helping us ensure that the new homes will meet the needs of you and your family. Your ‘Yes’ votes is also strengthening our future discussions with Southwark planners about the redevelopment of the estate.

The proposed scheme will deliver high quality, energy efficient homes with private outdoor space for everyone. The plans would provide additional affordable homes to the local housing supply. New homes will be provided within the new scheme for all Riverside tenants living on the estate, with their rent and tenancy terms protected.

Over the coming months, we will hold a series of resident design workshops, which will allow you to get involved and help shape the design proposals. We will also arrange a site visit to one of Mount Anvil’s other developments for you to get a feel for how your new home and community might look and feel.

Once the design has further progressed, we will hold a second stage vote in Autumn, which we hope will further strengthen our planning application with Southwark Council.

Residents at Southwark learn more about upcoming redevelopment as the first resident vote opens
March 2022

Last week Riverside and joint venture partners, Mount Anvil, held a resident drop-in event to discuss the next steps for submitting a planning application to Southwark council.

Residents at Friars Close and Burrell Street, Southwark, had the opportunity to ask the project team questions, have a chat, and enjoy some tea, coffee and cake, ahead of the first resident vote, which opened on Monday 14 March.

The vote will help Riverside and Mount Anvil demonstrate resident support for the redevelopment to the planners at Southwark Council. Once the design has further progressed, residents will be asked again if they support the design proposal through a second vote.

Ray Coyle, the Independent Tenant Advisor at Friars Close and Burrell St, will oversee the voting process. He will ensure that all votes cast will be independently collected and verified to provide a fair and transparent process.

Residents at Southwark learn more about upcoming Redevelopment Scheme
February 2022

Residents at Friars Close and Burrell St in Southwark were invited to an engagement event to discuss the upcoming redevelopment of their homes, while enjoying a slice or two of pizza!

This was the second event to be held with our joint venture construction partners, Mount Anvil.
At the event, the project team from Riverside, Mount Anvil and ITA, Open Communities, consulted with residents to understand what is most important to them during the redevelopment. Discussions were also had on how the development team and residents can work together to secure planning permission.

The event had a great turnout with 75% of households in attendance. Out of the residents surveyed, 85% agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to redevelop Friars Close and a majority of residents felt that the event was helpful or very helpful.

Next Steps
Riverside and Mount Anvil, will continue to consult with residents in the lead up to a resident vote which is due to take place this March, residents will be asked to vote on if they support the redevelopment. A second stage vote will then take place ahead the planning application submission, where we will ask residents to vote on the redevelopment design proposals to assist in supporting the planning application.

Resident design workshops and a site visit will be scheduled in over the coming months.

Moving forward with the redevelopment of Friars Close and Burrell St
October 2021

Since Riverside’s last resident engagement event in June there have been further meetings and discussions with the planners at Southwark council.

During these discussions Southwark’s responses were inconsistent and often inconclusive. This uncertainty caused a significant delay in moving forward and submitting a planning application.

Riverside also applied for Greater London Authority (GLA) funding to help towards the cost of the new development, which would have ideally required them to submit a planning application before Autumn. However, given the council’s concerns, it is clear that they will not be able to meet this deadline.

As a result, Riverside have taken the decision to pause work on the planning application and look into alternative options.

In this case, they believe that the best option is to appoint a developer earlier in the programme and work in partnership with them.

Riverside have therefore appointed a developer called Mount Anvil who are a London-based company with a significant amount of experience in overcoming the challenges that we are facing. This partnership will take the form of a joint venture (JV).

What’s changed?

  • Riverside will be in a joint venture partnership with Mount Anvil to take the redevelopment forward
  • The revised programme will see a delay of approx. 18 months. An indicative timetable can be viewed herd (link) and Riverside will let residents know if this changes
  • Riverside will go back to a similar scheme to the one that was presented to residents last year of approx. 100+ homes. This includes the private sale homes which generate the funding needed to pay for the affordable homes for existing residents

What will stay the same?

  • Riverside will remain as landlord
  • Allies and Morrison will remain the architects working on the scheme
  • Open Communities will remain as the Independent Tenants Advisor
  • Riverside remains committed to the redevelopment of Friars Close and Burrell Street
  • Riverside will continue to work closely with all residents and consult with them on proposals
  • Riverside’s pledges and promises


Tenants from Friars Close and Burrell Street learn more about redevelopment plans
10 Dec 2020

Earlier this year Riverside began discussions with tenants on the future of Friars Close and Burrell Street in Southwark, where it manages 28 homes for social rent.

Following positive feedback, Riverside, along with architects Allies & Morrison, re-commenced engagement with tenants of Friars Close and Burrell St to consult on the updated proposal for their estate.

Tenants see new plans.

As always, the safety of our staff and residents remain a top priority and we did not feel it appropriate to undertake face to face consultation events.

Instead, tenants living on the estate got an opportunity to see initial layouts and designs via an online event. The session, which was held earlier this week, included a video presentation and  live Q&A with the project team, with over 35 questions asked, it was a positive event, you can the full list of questions in our FAQ`s here

A booklet showing the proposed plans and updates was also delivered to every home, with details brought to life in a short video (below).

Over to you

Following the event tenants were asked to give there feedback on layouts and design options for play space and open space, terraces and balconies and communal areas.

Tenant feedback and involvement is integral to the design process as Riverside and architects, Allies & Morrison continue to finalise the proposal in time for summer 2021 when we will submit our planning application.

Planning for better homes at Southwark in London
15 July 2020

In March 2020 Riverside began discussions with tenants on the future of Friars Close and Burrell Street in Southwark, where it manages 28 homes for social rent. Riverside discussed the possibility of redeveloping the site to provide better homes for existing tenants while providing more homes for social rent and for sale

Over 75% of households came along to talk to us, and it provided a good understanding of the aspirations that tenants had for where they live.

Feedback from tenants has highlighted the need to improve design, space standards, accessibility and energy efficiency of the homes as well reducing overcrowding in some homes. To assess the current housing needs of tenants living on the estate, Riverside carried out a survey, which showed that:

  • A quarter of households are overcrowded
  • Just under half of households have more than one adult child living with them
  • A quarter of tenants said that accessibility was a problem and that lifts in the building would make coming and going much easier, particularly for those with disabilities
  • More than half of tenants said they wanted better security in homes and across the estate
  • Many said that the site needed an overhaul as it felt run down

Consultation going forward

Since the first event in March, Riverside has continued to communicate with tenants, initially conducting a housing needs survey with every household on the estate to understand the make-up of households. Due to the recent lockdown measures, further engagement has been mainly by phone and post. However, as restrictions have relaxed in recent weeks, the engagement team is set to run an outdoor exhibition-type event in the communal courtyard area at the back of Friars Close, while maintaining social distancing.

Tenants have received their first regular newsletter which includes information about the project at this early stage.